With great wealth comes great responsibility – Bristol business leader slams Donald Trump

Dear Donald Trump, we think Bristol doesn’t like you.
Last week, thousands of people from the city signed a national petition to ban you from the UK. It crashed the website the petition was hosted on, and gathered worldwide attention. In fact, nearly 1,800 people in Bristol West said they didn’t want to see you here.
But it’s not just them.
Businessman and one of Bristol’s biggest developers, Stephen Fear, wrote an open letter today condemning your views. Here’s what he had to say: (It’s quite long, so bear with)
“Dear Mr Trump,
I always think that the true measure of greatness is dictated by the way we treat other people, not by how much money or power we have.
Which is why I urge you to understand that any of us that have acquired the trappings of success, or a media platform, use our good fortune in a measured and balanced way.
You have been quoted as saying that Syrian refugees will be repatriated should you enter The White House.  You must realise that you may be condemning thousands of children to death if your wish was ever fulfilled, so I am sure that cannot really be what you intended.
I am English, but I love America. It is a place where I have spent some very happy moments.I love the democracy and basic sense of decency most Americans show each other, and for that matter the rest of the world, every day. By showing apparently intolerant views you are lowering yourself to the level of the people you direct your torrent of words against and give them even more power to destroy lives.  In a way you have added a turbo to their faltering engine just when it seemed they were running out of fuel and the world was getting its act together.
The vast majority of people are fair and free thinking, that is why most aspire to live in advanced democracies like The United Kingdom or the USA. I can assure you that London is well policed and its population free to go where it likes.
I have never come across so called “no go areas” and I speak as someone who spends considerable time in the city. With great wealth comes great responsibility. You apparently have the first, and with your bid for the presidency, aspire to the second.
Being responsible is about being thoughtful and positive rather than shouting negative bigoted hatred from podiums. The world has enough hate preachers. The presidency of the United States requires thoughtful leadership of the world’s most powerful democracy and I urge you in future to think about the actual words you use in your bid for that great office.
My own success is probably small when compared to yours, at least if reports of you being worth ten billion US dollars are to be believed.
But then I have never measured my success in purely monitory terms or by trying to prove I’m better than anyone else. I measure it internally.
I ask myself constantly whether whatever I’m doing feels right? I must ask you whether it feels right to you when you say that you will BAN all Muslims from entering the USA?  Does it feel right to say you will send men, women and children back to Syria where they may face bullying, imprisonment, and possibly death?
We have both read and used the words and philosophies of Norman Vincent Peale on which to build our fortunes. His philosophy of positive thinking inspired me, although his religious zeal never did. Unlike you I never had the opportunity to meet The Rev Peale. I didn’t live in New York at the time or I would have tried.
I equally never had the good fortune of coming from a hugely wealthy family or acquiring an expensive education. I used public libraries to educate myself in an attempt to make sense of what sometimes seems to be a mad world. Listening to your ill advised rant on television the other day I realised just how mad it can be. At that point, to me at least, it seemed to have got a bit madder.
Democracy is about having an effective opposition. It is that which regulates the government in office.
Thankfully America is a democracy so whatever the outcome of the 2016 general election you will not get a free hand to do as you like. You will not be a dictator however much you like the sound of your own voice. In the end you may be the only one listening. You may win the republican nomination and then perhaps the presidency, I doubt it, but you may.
But I do not believe long term you will win the hearts and minds of the American people by shouting hate filled rhetoric from media stages. It’s boring, old fashioned, and frankly sad to watch a sixty nine year old man so desperate to win an election that he has to use words of hatred in a bid to achieve it. All the above is only my opinion of course but as I said at the beginning of my letter.
The true measure of greatness is dictated by the way we treat other people, not by how much money or power we have. People who understand that important point have a chance of acquiring a place in history.
Forgive the pun but it will be the Trump card that Hilary Clinton will play to defeat you in the hugely important American election of 2016.
Stephen Fear

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