I have been shocked by the response in the Guardian to Trump’s inauguration speech (Report, 21 January). Have we learned nothing? Much of what he said should be being said by our own leftwing politicians. He spoke of decimated communities, closed industries and the outsourcing abroad of key work, leaving ordinary people scrabbling for low-paid and unreliable jobs, while the wealthy ruling class make decisions and policies which enrich a small elite. What is untrue here? Yet it was dismissed with sneering generalisms and personal attacks. I loathe the man and his views, but if we do not address the very real issues he references, and offer alternate solutions, we leave it to him, Le Pen, Farage, and others like them, to ride to power on a wave of social unrest. And we will deserve them.
Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire
• I believe here is now a testable opportunity. Trump is in power. He has promised what we lefties have dreamed of achieving: full employment, efficient healthcare, welfare service at point of need, public education at all requisite levels, housing etc. We have blamed our failures on the capitalists who seemed to have successfully subverted all our efforts. Now, Trump has the support of money, legislation and mighty muscle; and he is backed by a bunch of outstanding capitalists with exceptionally high IQs in his cabinet. His success, even partial success, without the advent of a third world war and the visible impoverishment of other countries and the degradation of the environment, will be a test of the force of capitalism. I wait to see.
• When Guardian commentators denounce Donald Trump for his “America first” stance, are they seriously suggesting that the actions of previous presidents were not first and foremost to serve the interests of the United States? What were the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Gulf war, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq or, for that matter, the meddling of the CIA in countries like Iran in 1953, which removed the legitimate PM Mosaddegh and returned the ousted shah, the Bay of Pigs landing in Cuba etc, other than to serve the interests of the US?
These were not acts motivated by humanitarian concerns or driven by a sense of benevolence or selfless charity. The only difference between Trump and his predecessors is that he views the interests of the US differently than the Washington political elite. For instance, Trump regards US interests are better served by a friendly relations with Russia as opposed to the cold-war-style confrontation and provocation that have characterised the Obama and previous administrations and, in that, he has the support of the vast majority of the people in the US, Europe and the rest of the world.
• Timothy Garton Ash is correct (Opinion, 21 January) that we are entering an era of global confrontation. The four key players are Putin, Modi, Trump and Xi and they are all manoeuvring for who can be king of our rock. US/European global dominance has come to an end and China is the front-runner to fill this vacuum. Trump and his advisers are fully aware of this and know that the only way to prevent it from occurring is to make key alliances as quickly as possible. Putin of course is key, which is why Trump has openly spoken positively of him. Also, it is no surprise that Trump is seeing Theresa May at the end of the week as he is making sure he has allies on the world stage. Who countries such as Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the rest of Europe will support will be interesting. If we keep this big picture in our minds when interpreting Trump’s actions, they will be much easier to understand.
We live in interesting times and there might well be a changing of the guard.
• In the face of the hundreds of thousands of women (and men) who marched across the US and in countries across the world, including the UK, in protest at the election of an arch-misogynist (Report, 21 January), it is nauseating to find that our female PM should be one of the very first to rush to meet with him. How desperate she must be, and how anxious, to want to make deals with this man and his cronies. It seems that, lacking any real plans for our brave new post-Brexit Britain, she is willing to risk making grubby deals with someone who apparently respects no woman, no person of colour, no one of immigrant status, no one in the LGBT community, no one who is disabled. I am deeply ashamed at the speed with which she and Boris Johnson have grabbed onto Trump’s coat tails
• Trump may not be all bad and he could well bring a new fresh way of seeing the world. For example, the US created and supported Nato, for the same reason it created and supported Seato, because of its fear of the growth and expansion not of Russia but of the USSR and Soviet communism. The USSR has gone and Russia is not any threat to the US, thus no need to spend money in Europe. The UK could also learn from his realism – and divert money from Trident to care homes.
• According to Gary Younge (Report, 21 January), even the heavens wept as Donald Trump stepped forward to take the oath. In most cultures of the world, rain showers at the beginning of a momentous event are a good omen. It may be that the heavens are thinking differently.
• If you’re going to pay close attention to women’s clothes at events such as Trump’s inauguration (Melania takes cue from Jackie, 21 January), could you do the same for men’s outfits? Are they off the peg? From where? Or bespoke? Who’s the tailor? Men’s formal clothes won’t get any more interesting or individual if they’re ignored.
• President Nixon was well known to try and make decisions while drunk and George W Bush only gave up heavy drinking as he became president. The truly worrying thing about Trump is that he is a lifelong teetotaller. All the bluster and hard rightwing rhetoric comes from someone who is completely sober.
• After spending Friday evening watching the creation of President Trump and most of Saturday reading that this was likely to be a short, nightmarish journey towards Armageddon, I was in desperate need of cheering up. The sight of a former politician hurling themselves around a dance floor without a care for life or limb has never been greater. Come on Ed, your country needs you now more than ever.
“Gordon Bennett”, Llangollen canal
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