*This article was first published in the Edinburgh Evening News newspaper on the 10th of July 2018*
THERE is a sign that hangs in my office in the Scottish Parliament: “A woman’s place is in the house… the senate, and the Oval Office’.
It’s a reminder of what could have been. Two years ago I travelled to America during the summer break to campaign for Hillary Clinton.
It was a time of hope: hope that the first female president would be elected; hope that Obama’s progressive crusade on healthcare and other issues could continue; hope that America would reject the racism, misogyny and intolerance of Donald Trump.
But, nope, it wasn’t to be. This weekend, President Trump will arrive in Scotland on a three-day visit.
The police operation will be gigantic, and it’s welcome that the UK Government has stepped in to ensure Police Scotland doesn’t have to foot the bill.
But although he will be largely shielded from the public, I’m confident Trump will return to the White House with a greater understanding of what people in Scotland and the UK really think of him.
Given his fondness for tweeting at news channels, he’ll hopefully tune in to the BBC to see footage of the giant inflatable Trump baby that will be floating over London.
And on Saturday there will be a major protest against him here in Edinburgh.
You can expect to see creative use of placards as city residents peacefully make their views known.
There are some people like Nigel Farage who believe Trump should be treated with more respect. So here’s a reminder why he deserves anything but respect.
He began his campaign in 2016 by accusing Mexican immigrants of being criminals and ‘rapists’.
He called for a ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’, refused to condemn white supremacists, said Nigerians would never go back to ‘their huts’ after seeing America, and referred to El Salvador, Haiti, and African countries as ‘s**tholes’.
For years, he tried to claim that America’s first black president was not born in the US, but in Kenya – a lie that exposes his racist beliefs.
His sexist comments date back years. Fat, pig, dog and slob are just some of the words he has used to describe women in public.
One of the most disgusting moments in his campaign came when it emerged he had discussed grabbing women by their most private parts and said: “When you’re a star, they let you do it.”
And who can forget the time he mocked a disabled reporter?
But it’s not just the offensive words that come out of his mouth; it’s his deeds as well.
Most recently with the policy of separating parents and children at the US border. Children, alone and terrified, herded into cages.
History must never let Trump escape the shame of this barbaric act.
We are only a year-and-a-half into Trump’s reign. Who knows what other evil acts he will perform during the rest of this term or – shudder – a second term in office.
But he must, and he will, learn of the fury of everyone who believes in tolerance, respect and fairness.
A decade ago, the presidential candidate who offered hope to America – and the world –won the election.
Trump offered the people false hope, and clawed his way to victory in 2016.
When he visits Scotland this week, those of us who hope for a better world will send him a powerful message. Let’s make sure it is loud enough that he has to listen.