The case of the Trump regime: The need for resistance in international nurse education

In July 2016 doctors and nurses protested against Candidate Trump in Cleveland, Ohio (, and currently the US Facebook group ‘Nurses Resisting Trump’ is building up its members. Why should this trouble or be of interest to nurses and nurse academics in the rest of the world? If the answer is not immediately obvious, this signals a problem. The issue is not a conventional one of political differences between health care professionals based on old differences between republican and democrats, or conservatives versus progressives. The fact that nurses in the US protested against a candidate and now against the President, his Republican Administration and what this stands for internationally, is pivotal.

The inauguration of Donald Trump was greeted with mass citizen protest throughout the world. Yet, despite losing the popular vote, he gained office because enough American citizens believed the narrative he voiced. Clearly, those citizens are not all racists, homophobes, misogynists, or climate change deniers, and this has to be remembered when we critique and call for international resistance of nurse educators to the Trump regime.

Trump repeatedly stated very clearly what many politicians are conspicuously silent about: ‘wealth buys influence’ (Ornitz and Struyk, 2015). In this context, he asserted time and again that there are losers as well as winners in the globalisation game. This narrative resonates disturbingly with the many on the left, and should do so with all nurses and their educators internationally who subscribe to supporting and valuing cultural diversity and difference (Bach and Grant, 2015 ;  Grant and Goodman, 2017).

It will of course be argued that there are of course always legitimate political differences and values in the world of international politics, and these do not ordinarily overspill into the lifeworlds of nurses and their educators. But the case of the current Republican Administration is crucially different. The magnitude of global issues, such as climate change and its implications for health, and continuing inequalities in health, require far more intelligent and human responses than those associated with Trump and other authoritarian populists internationally, such as Putin, Erdoğan, Modi and their associates (Garton Ash, 2017 ;  Varoufakis, 2016).

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