In a confused world where bad people say good things and good people do bad things, can the population really be blamed for voting against the ‘status quo’, no they can’t. Will they pay the price, yes.
Short sentences and repetition seem to have been the victor, constantly announcing that one man can make America great again was enough. Policies, facts, methods, even the nobility of truth aren’t enough to disparage the downtrodden from following this simple rhetoric. The people voted not with what they knew but with what they could understand. Thats not to say that people are “stupid” or that an “IQ test should be taken before voting”, more so that world affairs have been made so complicated understanding it takes more time and dedication than the every day person can ‘afford’ to give.
People have become fearful of long words, complex sounding theories and side stepping, using twenty loosely associated words when one word, said with conviction and promise, would be enough. Perhaps its because people are tired of legal jargon that every new iTunes, email account and trending app brings. Add in being bombarded with constant meaningless acronyms that sound powerful but in reality are as exciting as writing lines after school. Maybe its because the internet has shortened our attention spans so much we expect information to spoon fed via infographics and floating captions in a three minute video. The news that tickles our gossip fancy or fuels our desires is forced into 140 characters to explain something as complicated as Kanye and Kim’s latest Hollywood movements so why can’t our politicians do the same for us, don’t they know we have work until five and then off to our night job at seven?
Popular socialists such as Bernie Sanders use a method of speaking that is more like your everyday person, down to earth, not fashionable, respectfully delivered and with the courage to stand by what they have said. But for every Bernie there is a Trump, every Ellen there is an Ann, every New York Times a Fox news, keep adding potatoes to that pan without checking the water and you’ve got a messy clean up job on your hands.
I can’t help but feel this is racially motivated and anti-establishment in equal measure. It sets a worrying precedent that has happened before in the most unspeakable way, at best a few angry fists thrown by tired, frustrated people, at worst we will be shot at by the very weapons we ship around the world in the quest for global democratic practice and market monopolies. A large swathe of Trumps supporters are guided by the “will of God”, ancient moral scriptures informing people where right and wrong sit; broken down conveniently into ten short sentences.
Another section of Trumps supporters are strongly behind their military, often taking the time to publicly pay respect and thanks. Branded, rightfully, as heroes and welcomed on their return, something soldiers historically missed out on by a movement of “love not hate”.
He managed to insult many of the core values these people hold dear, disrespecting the former soldiers and acting against the will of god, although it was with a woman so its somehow a lesser sin on the “deplorable” scale.
People were even happy to follow him though openly admitted they didn’t like his actions.
In some way the man on the telly wasn’t the man on the bus, the fraud audits, court papers, sun bed and even the lectern. Hateful words followed by half baked action plans won out because sections of this world need someone to blame, but that someone has to within reach. In all honesty we have seen it played out on the TV, it’s what the election debates have been muddied by from Trumps Triumph to Brexit. When offered an object to throw punches at people took it; tired of swinging blindly in the dark, they saw a symbolic punching bag and continued to drive five knuckles of sobering fury at it. Any sense of how much damage is being caused or what the bag is made of falls away because their anger is transferred into the imported leather they’ve been told has hurt their futures and family.
Today is not a day of victory. Trump didn’t win, the people didn’t win, the world will certainly not have won anything, it is a day of loss.
Hillary lost, the DNC lost, the stock market lost, the establishment lost, just like it did with Brexit and just as hoped by the many people who had nothing left to lose. Bernie supporters know this feeling and have little to say except “we told you so”, you were told not to follow the same old same old, told not to be the navy blue trouser suit when the people wanted red hats and one off politically enthusiastic birds looking for their moment. Instead navy blue trouser suits went high, but should’ve have gone low, deflected when they should have reflected and carried on being fed by the hand that squeezes us.
Of all the losses, societies empathy has been the hardest to watch fade. When people who would normally give the shirt off their back turn to racism and scapegoating it’s time to admit that the marriage isn’t working and it might be time to see a shrink.
My only hope is that after a period of conservative rule, UK and US, the true causes become clear and we can focus a collective conscience of better change for a more equal good. Until then lets build that wall, a “yuge” wall, some might say a ‘Great Wall’!