So Trumps too scared to come to the UK. Who says protest doesnt work? | Hugh Muir

If he cant bomb it or tweet against it, the US presidents cupboard of responses seems bare. We may be denied a spectacle, then, but saved a distraction

How might President Trump react to a world leader who, afraid for his image, perhaps afraid for himself, refused to fulfil a promise to visit a loyal ally. He might fire off a tweet: RAN from critics. A gift for crooked MSM. TOTAL pathetic loser!

But he wont, because the loser is him. He got to hold hands with Theresa May when she visited Washington, but alas, that may be the high point of his cuddle-fest with her, and with us because Trump, it now appears, is not keen on making his proposed state visit to Britain any time soon.

He has apparently, in a recent telephone call to the prime minister, declared that he does not want to come if there are to be large-scale protests. The visit, we are told, is on hold.

Some may be surprised by this. From the violence and menace that became features of his ugly campaign, it was easy to assume that he liked a bit of edge at his public appearances. But on those occasions, he knew he would always have the support of far-right thugs and hangers-on who could drown out dissent and, if need be, throw a few punches at protesters, passers-by, anyone who would dare to question him. That intimidation, unprecedented in recent history, would have been more difficult to replicate here; he could hardly bring his street fighters with him. There are only so many seats on Air Force One.

Maybe he didnt fancy the trip without Theresa there to hold his hand; to keep him strong and stable, as it were. Even he might blanch all the way from Tango orange to the whitest white at the idea of skipping through the Downing Street rose garden hand in hand with Phil the spreadsheet Hammond or Boris Johnson.

So we may be denied a spectacle then but will hopefully be saved from the distraction of Trumps bandwagon when we may be fixating on at least one more general election, and we should certainly be focusing on the history-defining implications of Brexit.

Saved too for now at least the embarrassment of those who offered Trump the invitation in the first place, those who saw our new place in the world as lying at the feet of a reprobate.

And what do we learn from this? Once again we see what it is to deal with someone who has such high office and such thin skin. Just the notion of turbulence that might be seen around the world seems to be enough to scare him off. If he cant bomb it or tweet against it, the cupboard of responses seems bare.

But, for the more important message, look to ourselves. It is easy to question the efficacy of protest. Millions marched against the war in Iraq, but couldnt stop it. Millions more marched against Brexit and cuts in the NHS. There is rarely such a direct link to be drawn between public action and response from those with power, but each public protest speaks to the strength and tenor of opinion. Every one sets out a position and raises the stakes. Here the stakes became too high for a brittle, image-conscious president in Washington. What do we want? Not Trump. When do we want him? Never.

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Why athletes are getting more political in the age of Trump

Washington (CNN)When Beyonc got political and paid tribute to the “Black Lives Matter” movement at the Super Bowl last year, many sports fans were up in arms, accusing the star of violating what some consider to be an unspoken rule: Keep politics out of sports.

But in an America that is still reeling from a divisive presidential election cycle, where the rise of President Donald Trump catapulted heated debates over race and social issues into the mainstream, many athletes are becoming politically active in a way not seen in decades. And not everyone is happy about it.
“Sports is really no longer an escape from the real world that it used to be. Sports is a mirror of our society,” CNN Sports Analyst Christine Brennan said. “I think because Trump is so controversial and because the things he’s saying and doing run counter to what many people believe … athletes are finding their voice in a way that is reminiscent of the 1960s.”


    Curry, who was not known for inserting himself into politics prior to 2016, publicly confronted the CEO of Under Armour Kevin Plank, saying, “I agree with that description if you remove the ‘et’ from asset.”
    Cleveland Cavaliers star forward Lebron James slammed Trump’s travel ban last week, saying, it “does not represent what the United States is about.”
    And NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who formally endorsed Clinton, said the ban makes America “a bad horror movie.”
    Six New England Patriots players, including Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty, who protested racism on the field by raising their fists during the national anthem, announced that they will skip the team’s upcoming White House visit, where they will be honored by Trump for winning this year’s Super Bowl.
    While not all six cited political reasons, some specifically pointed to their opposition to Trump.
    “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House,” McCourty said. “With the President having so many strong opinions and prejudices, I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”
    Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich both slammed Trump last month in what Brennan describes as “absolutely the stuff of history.”
    “I’m completely against what’s happening. I think it’s shocking. It’s a horrible idea,” Kerr said, reacting to news of the travel ban. “I feel for all the people that are affected. Families are being torn apart, and I worry in the big picture what this means to the security of the world.”
    And before he died in June, Muhammad Ali dove into another political battle and spoke out against what was then candidate Trump’s proposed temporary “Muslim ban.”
    “We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda,” Ali said in December. “They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody.”

    Back to the 60s

    When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem in August to protest racial injustice, he quickly became one of the most controversial figures in sports like several others before him.

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    Why Trump seeks to scare where other presidents soothed

    Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump, concerned his travel ban could be stopped cold in the judicial branch after a less-than-stellar rollout, is leaning into fear, attempting to ratchet up terror concerns by telling audiences that he has learned considerably more about terror since taking office last month.

    Trump and his top aides are well aware that his travel ban would benefit from public approval, so Trump made the case Wednesday that he knows more about terrorism than most. He suggested that Americans — at least those who don’t get classified briefings — don’t understand the terror threat against the United States.
    “Terrorism is a tremendous threat, far greater than people in our country understand,” Trump told a gathering of sheriffs in a Washington hotel.


      “Now, the American people have got to go about their business. We cannot let the terrorists achieve the objective of frightening our nation to the point where we don’t conduct business, where people don’t shop,” Bush said after 9/11, the deadliest terrorist attack in US history.
      Bush, in his final speech as president, said the United States was a nation “that inspires immigrants to risk everything for the dream of freedom.”
      “This is a nation where citizens show calm in times of danger, and compassion in the face of suffering,” he said.
      A good example of Bush using fear: His push to establish the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.
      At the time, Fleischer said, Bush would regularly read his morning “threat matrix” — a document about produced by the Department of Homeland Security on possible threats — and use it publicly at times to push his plan to fight terrorism.
      “With a vast nation to defend, we can neither predict nor prevent every conceivable attack,” Bush said before establishing the new government agency. “And in a free and open society, no department of government can completely guarantee our safety against ruthless killers, who move and plot in shadows. Yet our government will take every possible measure to safeguard our country and our people.”

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