Leader comment: No winners in US division

President Donald Trump reacted angrily as three appeal court judges refused to overturn a ruling stopping his ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Picture: AP/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump reacted angrily as three appeal court judges refused to overturn a ruling stopping his ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Picture: AP/Evan Vucci)
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It is not hard to detect an air of gloating and mischief-making around the court defeat of President Donald Trump in his attempt to reinstate his ban on citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries getting in to the US.

There are very good reasons why there should be no ban, but, watching it from this side of the Atlantic, it does seem as if this is payback for the blustering, bullying and high-handed behaviour many feel Trump is guilty of. And now his tweets are entirely in capital letters. That may well signal the president has entered his own personal Defcon 3.

But we should be wary of taking any pleasure out of Trump’s present predicament, because what it will mean is a ramping up in the behaviour of the president, and ultimately that will help no-one.

What this row over the executive order does is create greater division. For many Americans it will be seen as a corruption of democracy: they voted for Trump as president because they agreed with his views and one of those was a greater control of immigration in a bid to better protect the nation from terrorist attack.

Never mind that the judges in the latest case found that no attack on American soil had ever been carried out by someone from the countries affected by the travel ban. Never mind that Trump’s lawyers did not lay out what the risk was from further delay in imposing the ban.

Despite the fact that the judges were unanimous and that one was a Republican appointee, there are Americans who will see this as yet again the establishment blocking the will of the people, and they will be angry. Trump will fuel rather than calm that anger.