Trump is making America great again

Monday 24 April 2017, 6.45pm | Emmanuel Centre

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Trump is making America great again

This debate will be filmed for later broadcast on BBC World News.

There’s no pleasing some people. For years a chorus of voices on the liberal left has bleated that free-market capitalism has benefited the few at the expense of the many, led to growing inequality and robbed people of job security. Without intervention by government they told us, things would only get worse. Then there were all those voices saying that America had lost its global mojo – that under Obama it had ceded the initiative to Putin’s Russia, and had stood by helplessly as Syria and the Middle East descended into turmoil. Now along comes a man who says he’s going to do things differently and put America first. He’s going to stop the big multinational corporations deciding the fate of ordinary Americans. And in his first weeks in office he has started to shake things up. Yet what do we hear? Shock, horror, how dare he? You may not care for Trump’s character, and you may find some of his policies distasteful. But he is doing what he said he’d do. At last American voters have a president who says what he means and does what he says. He’s out there and he’s making America great again.

Or is he diminishing it? It’s all very well to big up Trump up as a man of action, say his critics. But what good is action if no thought of the difficulties or consequences accompanies it? How will America become great again if much of the world is repelled by Trump’s behaviour and fearful of the measures he is taking? It is delusional to think that America’s security will be increased by banning vulnerable refugees from countries that America’s foreign policy has allowed to fall apart. The fact is, the Isis-inspired terror attacks in the US in recent years have been carried out by American-born citizens and not by people travelling into the country from Muslim-majority states. And how will starting a trade war with Mexico do anything but hurt the living standards of Middle America – the very people Trump claims to champion? Trump’s support for anti-abortion laws and the latest news story claiming he wants to enshrine in law certain religious beliefs – that premarital sex is wrong, marriage can only be between a man and a woman and life begins at conception – are throwing the country back to the human rights dark ages. Make America great again? On the contrary, Trump and his policies are a recipe for disaster and decline.

So is Trump the disrupter that America needs to restore it to greatness? Or will he send it to the dogs? Join us at this major debate on April 24th to mark Trump’s first 100 days in office and decide for yourself.

Speakers for the motion

Arron Banks

Major donor to UKIP and co-founder of Leave.EU. Along with Nigel Farage, he was one of the first British politicians to visit President-elect Donald Trump. He is planning to bring Donald Trump’s ‘drain the swamp’ political agenda to the UK by by targeting and ousting ‘corrupt’ MPs.

Ted Malloch

American businessman with ties to Trump’s inner circle, tipped to be the next US Ambassador to the European Union. European leaders have threatened to block his appointment after he made comments publicly supporting the breakup of the EU. He is a Professor at Henley Business School and has served on the executive board of the World Economic Forum.

Speakers against the motion

Khizr Khan

Muslim-American constitutional rights advocate and father of the late US Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in action in Iraq. His speech at the 2016 Democratic Convention, in which he denounced Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigration and questioned his understanding of the U.S. Constitution, was one of the most memorable moments of the election campaign.

Remaining speaker to be confirmed.


To be confirmed.


Speakers are subject to change.