By Elijah Lutz, Staff Writer
In response to a petition signed by more than 570,000 people, the House of Commons of the United Kingdom now must debate whether or not to ban a certain American politician from entering the country. Who is this man that riled up so many British citizens to form this public outcry? You guessed it, it is none other than our favorite son, businessman and Republican frontrunner Donald J. Trump, and he has upset the Brits with his borderline hateful rhetoric on Muslims. But is this lively debate to be taken seriously?
The answer is most undoubtedly yes, for any debate before the House of Commons is a far cry from what we see in the houses of Congress in the United States. It is reminiscent of a true open form debate, where the parties use strong rhetoric and arguments to go back and forth in debate, unlike the very orthodox and punctilious debates of Congress.
A prime example of the British legislature at work can be seen during the Prime Minister’s Questions, a weekly session in which Members of Parliament, or MPs, have the opportunity to ask questions of the British leader and hold him and his government accountable. Many of the most humorous moments in politics have come from these sessions, and it is most definitely good entertainment for political junkies such as myself.
MP Steve Double told BuzzFeed News “It is a very interesting point – how do we, as an open democracy, deal with people who say things we perhaps don’t agree with. My personal view is that we shouldn’t ban Donald Trump but we should have the confidence to stand up for what we believe in, have an open debate, and defeat the views in open debate.”
Mr. Double’s opinion was also shared by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said that he does not want to ban Mr. Trump from the country, despite finding his comments about banning Muslims from entering the United States as “divisive, stupid and wrong.”
That being said, many British citizens feel strongly on the opinion of enacting the ban, viewing the proposed actions of Mr. Trump to be racist, hateful and contrary to the values of freedom and democracy.
Those who have spoken with me know my less than spectacular opinion of Trump. While it takes much of me to not support the cause of banning him from the United Kingdom just to spite him, I do not believe that it would be a good idea to do so. Being a part of a democracy such as the United States and the United Kingdom means that we must be accepting, or at least tolerant, of what he says, no matter how hateful (or intolerant) we view it. After all, he is only practicing the freedom of speech that is guaranteed to all of us in the Constitution. Though I do hope that the Republican nomination goes to someone other than Mr. Trump, he still leads in the polls and shows no sign of stopping.