Before we go on, I will swear a lot here, it’s just that sort of day.
I wanted to put my last word on the recent political clusterfuck.
A few months ago, I wrote a post about the EU Referendum https://misfitmunky.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/the-people-have-spoken-they-seem-to-have-said-something-stupid-but-they-have-spoken/
I wrote about how full of divisive language, rhetoric and outright dishonesty the campaign was. It left me with a sense of apathetic cynicism regarding the government of this country. Thing is, no matter how cynical you are, hope creeps in. The US election is one of those things that matter on a global scale, for good reasons and bad. America has this first amongst equals place in the world and often surges forward, so that the world follows. They have helped end wars for the right reasons and also started wars for the wrong reasons (not that there are many good reasons, but heigh-ho) and when they talk, other nations listen. Their president is often referred to as the leader of the free world. Whilst that may rankle those who have lost that privilege of power, it’s not an unfair assessment and as a result, there is a lot of truth to that title and so the US Election matters to far more people than most expect.
When America chooses well, the world benefits, but when they don’t we all suffer. I mentioned after Brexit how bad the campaigns were, but what we saw over here regarding the US made Brexit look polite and agreeable.
So here’s my take on it.
From 2008 onwards, the wool came off everyone’s eyes and the trust in the financial classes was shown to be misguided. Thousands were made homeless, thousands more lost everything else. Millions where harmed in one way or another by a global financial crisis. There were wars, a shrinking middle class and a rich elite that seemed to delight in shitting on the little guy. The worst part of it, was that we as a culture, bailed them out and carried on as before. Our economies started tanking, hundreds of thousands lost their jobs, tensions rose around the world and as a result, people got ANGRY.
This was an anger based on years of being shafted, of being ignored and being manipulated by a political elite and a media run by the same type of arsehole as the banks. These angry people wanted someone to blame. Many of these angry people were white and not really used to the system shitting on them as much as the rest of the people where. People wanted somewhere to put their anger and the media started their usual it’s the foreigner’s fault parade.
We had all the anti-muslim stuff, then the immigrants thing and more and more we were told that those who look different were the enemy. Thing is, we (and I mean both the US and UK) believed them. We were told that hardworking people trying to live in a strange and hostile land and adding value to it were bad guys and the financial and political elite who had created a lot of the economic hardships they blamed on the foreigners, were the good guys.
Eventually we started the take that more and more seriously, blaming all kinds of people for things that were not their fault. People felt better for their anger, but to be honest, it didn’t help them at all. The Brexit campaign succeeded because while neither side has any idea what a post EU future would look like, the leave people knew to play on the Johnny Foreigner angle. People who wanted a different lot in life, a more simpler time and a world that they understood blamed the EU for all sorts of thing, especially filling the country with immigrants. Once the immigrant issue became linked the the EU, then that was all she wrote. I was shocked at the time, but I get it. Bit by bit, we lost the last shreds of faith in our political system and it’s members.
The US has had the same problem. They have a shrinking middle class, a lack of jobs, a world that grows more complex and politically correct (that’s another post right there) and they are scared. Then they’re bombarded with images, ideas, cultures and lifestyles that are just as valid as theirs, but are strange and not what they new. Back scared people into the corner and they get angry and so the list of angry and otherwise disgruntled people grows. Add that to a crumbling education system, a biased news service and a horrifically partisan political culture and that angry group grows bigger and more vocal. Trump got the nomination because he wasn’t a politician, we was unpolished, more open (at least he appears so) and more entertaining. He was a different type of beast, still a beast, but not part of the same shower of arseholes that were the problem. When he agreed with the anti immigration parade, well that won him more support. Again, fear and anger. Hillary Clinton’s part in this, is that she is a politician and a woman. Two things that Trump is not. What the left wing needed was an anti-Trump, but due to some admittedly legitimate concerns people have with her, he became the anti-Hillary. Now a vote for Trump wasn’t just a Republican vote, or a shock to the system vote, but also a fuck you Clinton vote. Add in some third party candidates splintering the vote and it’s easy to see how a fuck you to the system sounds like a positive thing. I don’t blame the Trump voters for choosing him, I don’t agree with it, but I get how valid that point of view is. It was a race to elect the least objectionable candidate at a very trying time.
They did it.
But bad leaders have been in before and bad leaders will get in again. Instead of the rhetoric of hate towards those who voted against Clinton, try doing something more positive with that anger. The election is over, but we are soon going to learn that the great FUCK YOU!!! feeling that voting Trump in, that leaving the EU gave us all, won’t solve any problems that matter and we don’t know what the consequences will be. No matter what many wanted the American people made their choice and have to now live with it.
I fear for the minorities, who have struggled to get this far, but face their victories reversed, I fear for the people who will lose their lives because racism and sexism have been validated more than ever and I fear for the world as it turns to America to see what is to come.
America is better than this, I doubt that this will make anything Great Again.
Another election has descended into a debacle and I’m tired now. After the Tuesday I had yesterday, I just feel low and a little beaten.
I miss talking about geeky shit.
Got to go internet people, I don’t feel like being online anymore today.