Why?

047

Have half of the American population become xenophobic, misogynistic haters overnight? Of course they haven’t. The demographic who voted for Trump are, like any other political demographic, a mixture of many different views and beliefs.

There are the die-hard Republicans who would vote for anyone or anything, as long as it wore Republican colours.

There are those who believe in Trump’s vision, as he set it out.

Those who believed that Clinton would take away their guns.

Those who have had a pretty raw deal over the past however many years, and think that Trump holds out their best hope.

And there are those, who I believe number many millions, who wanted to give the establishment a damn good kicking, and perhaps did not care how much damage they did in achieving it.

They are the ones who think that everything is run by the rich; the elite, no matter what their political colours, and that the system needs to be torn down and built afresh.

‘Drain the swamp!’ – how that must have resonated with them.

Had the Democrats selected Bernie Sanders as their candidate, and the Republicans selected a more moderate candidate as theirs, then I suspect we would have seen many of those who voted for Trump, supporting Sanders – solely because he would be seen as the anti-establishment candidate.

And the Democrats had another huge disadvantage, in that they were the presidential incumbents, and therefore the obvious targets for this anger.

Clearly, the political class, most commentators, and probably a huge chunk of the population have been unaware of this mood, this anger, although it must have been widespread, and for a long while.

And perhaps the Brexit vote has, in some ways, given it a legitimacy, given people permission, almost, to express their feelings. Even made them realise their power. Trump has been very keen to use Brexit as an example, aided by Farage’s visit.

And Brexit was a phenomenon strikingly similar to Trump’s victory, in that it caught the pollsters, commentators and political classes by surprise, and for many voters was an outpouring of anger against the political status quo, the elite.

Where we go from here, I don’t think anyone yet knows. In the UK, it seems that the political class have not yet realised that there is going to have to be, at some point in the future, some serious discussions about how the electorate are given a genuine say in how things are run. The same conversation will have to happen in the US.

Of course, the electorates of other countries will be watching all of this with great interest.

It could get quite exciting.

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59 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Couldn’t agree more, Mick. I don’t like Trump and I am not a raving racist obsessed with immigration and foreigners taking my job. But what I do like is the Establishment being brought down a peg or two – in this case, they have removed the pegs altogether. The election, like Brexit, is about the ordinary people who are largely ignored by the political class – their votes taken for granted – finally getting to have their say. Who knows what will happen next, but you can bet your socks that the world will not be the same again. And that might not be a bad thing.
    On a personal note, if Trump can get into the White House, my chances of storming Number Ten in 2020 are suddenly looking much more likely, don’t you think? 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I never doubted you for a moment, Lucy. I would have said your victory was a foregone conclusion.
      No, the world will not be the same again, or not for a good few years yet, at least, when everyone begins to forget how shocked they were. Because that will probably happen.
      Marine le Pen next?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Great minds think alike – le Pen in next. Then Frexit, no doubt – the collapse of the EU? I do think we are due a bout of devolution in one way or another. My satirical blog isn’t looking so ridiculous all of a sudden. Still. As long as we have tea, red wine and as many rounds of sandwiches as we can carry, I think things will be okay. The world has seen worse than Trump and no doubt will again.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Yes, amazing how much they think alike. I remarked to a friend this morning that I had begun to post a few more satirical pieces recently, but this morning’s news rather meant that anything satirical that I could think up to post today would have been already outdone by the actual news.
          Yes, fill up the bunker with sandwiches and bottles of red wine. We shall die happy.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. Mick I feel that both UK and US elections show that people want change. Even though the candidate might not be popular and desirable but it shows how ignored and miserable people feel. It’s negative voting we see here too, people just don’t want the same set of people.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Thanks, Mick, for your wise perspective. I fear we have succumbed to the old adage of “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.” I am numb with shock this morning and only hope this wake-up call will help us restore sanity and renew commitment to values that bring us together as a nation and a world. I hope we haven’t let the world down irrevocably….

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I am tempted to say ‘cut off one’s nose, poked both one’s eyes out, chopped off both ears and blow-torched one’s face’, although I’m sure it won’t come to that. There are a lot of fences to mend, though, I fear.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. You said it Mick. The US election result are so similar to Brexit – both unanticipated and regressive maybe. Or maybe people putting up a nice, good image is now slowly becoming a thing of past. Both are close wins as well. Btw liked the image that you have used for the post.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. In a democracy, you ignore half the electorate at your peril.

    I watched PBS last night (Public Broadcasting System) and I was stunned by the fact that no one on their staff seemed to comprehend the results. They looked gobsmacked. In view of that, perhaps they should consider removing the word “public” from their title.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. For whatever reason, huge chunks of the electorate have been ignored/hidden/left behind in both the UK and in the US. and, I suspect, in many other countries in the west. What must be had now in both countries, and beyond, is a serious discussion on how these people can be included in future.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m actually surprised that he got as far as he did, Hariod. Much of the US seems to have a fit if you so much as mention Socialism – Pinkos, Reds under the bed, Commies, it’s endless. I don’t know whether there are actually active laws against Communism (Perhaps someone could enlighten me) in the US, but I do think of the McCarthy witch hunts, and a lot of vitriolic diatribe I have read and heard against socialism there.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A well-written piece Mick. I always find it interesting when I hear someone from outside the United States express a more accurate perspective on American matters than a lot of Americans could manage. I tend to wonder why and how Europeans and others know as much about it as they do – the reverse is not true.

    I’m tempted to respond to some of your points in more detail, but I need to let the dust settle a bit first.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, there is often an advantage in being able to stand back a little and watch. But I was struck by a few similarities to the Brexit vote – namely the result seemingly taking everybody by surprise, and the widespread comments from those who voted to leave that it was about giving the ruling elite a good kicking. (not to mention the comments about immigrants!)
      Regrettably, though, the atmosphere now as we wait for the Brexit process to be triggered, is still very poisonous, and there is quite a strong, and aggressive, feeling amongst many of those who voted to leave, that when the terms are negotiated then the opinions of those that voted to remain should be completely ignored. I can only hope that when he takes office, Trump remembers (or is reminded!) that he is there to represent all Americans, not just those who voted for him.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think that’s a very accurate take on the election Mick! Maybe being at a bit of a distance gives a better perspective? Things are going to get interesting, but I believe we will get through it. Personally, I got up this morning, headed down to the animal shelter and walked dogs the way I always do. And not a single dog seemed to care about the election result, either!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’re right in that sometimes it’s a little easier to see things from a distance – not just physically, but emotionally. Not that the rest of the world views it all dispassionately, of course, since whatever happens in the US will have ramifications everywhere else. But…carry on the same as normal is usually a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wisely put, Mick. The establishment, worldwide, has long been so distant from the electorate it’s supposed to represent that it has lost all touch with ordinary people. Until the politicians, and leaders of big business come out of their ivory towers and connect with the rest of us mortals, they will continue to have these growing problems and the rest of us will simply have to deal with things as we always have!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I suspect they will continue in the same vein for some while yet, Stuart. In the US, there will probably be (reasonably) effective checks and balances on Trump’s behaviour, and in the UK nothing will happen until minority parties begin to poll more votes and make the 2 party system unworkable. Of course, what might make a difference is what actually happens after we leave Europe. I keep hearing comments along the line of ‘see, we’ve left the EU and nothing bad has happened’, which makes me grind my teeth and swear.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Me, too! We’re clearly in the ‘phoney war’ period at present. Nothing will happen of any consequence until we actually put in place the mechanisms that result from whatever ‘deal’ we get regarding Europe. The government keeps kidding itself we’ll get a good deal without having to commit to free movement, which is clearly nonsense, but until they have that spelt out for them, they’ll continue to blindly follow their hopes and treat them as facts.
        Trade deals are obviously an issue, but I worry more for the climate issues, especially with an arrogant and ill-educated US president who will doubtlessly try to bring others into his oil-loving crowd of deniers. As always, it’s our children who’ll suffer the consequences of ignorance build on greed.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It will be interesting (to say the least!) to see what kind of deal our ministers manage to negotiate over Europe. I find it highly unlikely they will get favourable terms, simply to try to discourage other EU member states from holding a similar vote. So what will happen if the deal on the table is one that the Leavers don’t like? Will they then demand a further vote? Will they then demand that we remain in the EU for now? At that point, of course, we would have had to trigger Article 50 just to open the negotiations, so presumably the reply from the EU would be ‘tough, you’re leaving anyway. Like it or lump it.’
          That would be interesting.
          By then, of course, Trump will be in jail and President Pence will be dictator of the US.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Could be! Of course, the Brexit referendum was not legally binding, only advisory, so I imagine there’ll be calls for a Parliamentary vote, which will trigger a General Election and who knows what will happen then? With Trump imprisoned for his many misdemeanors, and the US voters, by then, having sacked much of the Republican Senate, who knows what will happen there, too?

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Its always exciting and that is why I love it. Fascinating times. I voted for Trump ( I will duck from now on..) I think Teresa May should stop being so pompous….giving Farage ” the flick” may not be the best thing she can do – currently. After all, she got to be in the post through a somewhat backdoor dubious means.

    I think it will all turn out rather well. We always need a good shake up every so often. Merckle and Obama, looked like two sad souls begging people to stay at the party. It will soon be like the Berlin Wall… crumble away to a brave new world

    I also think Trump and his family will pleasantly surprise us. How can he be a Jew Hater if his son in law is Jewish and his daughter converted. As for Melania being described by someone as a Trophy Wife. Really?? Speaking 5 languages and running a business, I would say that makes her rather self sufficient.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, all things are possible. But when all you have to judge someone on are their speeches and statements, and those are full of hate and unpleasantness, at the very least it makes for depressing reading. Other than briefly in his acceptance speech, there has been nothing about bringing people together, virtually no backing away from his promises to trash the environment, deport millions (since they are all criminals and rapists – rapists, note, from this man with a perfect record of respect towards all women), no apologies for his attacks on gays, people of a non-white ethnicity, people with disabilities, and now surrounding himself with an entourage who appear (from interviews I have watched) to think exactly the same way as he has spoken, then I would say the outlook appears grim. And, from a personal point of view, I have no time, or respect, for anyone who who behaves in that manner.

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          1. He is more transparent than Clinton and that’s a good start. As for his lewd comments, in truth, F F S , who really cares. Usually fat ugly women with everything to gain….I don’t think sane confident women really care about his remarks. Come on, hands up anyone who hasn’t said or thought that sort of stuff. Male and Female

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Well, I’ve played sports and shared locker rooms and, no, most men don’t indulge in that. I’ve heard it a few times from men who are rather immature (and usually drunk) and it’s the sort of thing that 15 year olds say behind the bike shed.
              Yes, immature. Is that what we want the US president to be?
              And transparent – well, a business history of non-payments and bankruptcies, that’s there for all to see. And tax-avoidance. And if transparent means being open about being homophobic, misogynistic, etc, then, yes, it’s good that we know, but no, it’s not what the POTUS should be.

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