Honestly what else could this be about? The 8th of November 2016 will go down in history as the day the Americans elected a reality TV star. This has been greeted with a wave of interesting responses from across the internet and on social media here in Australia. The responses have ranged from terrified and devastated, bewilderment, confusion, anger, & bemusement. Needless to say there was also a considerable amount of surprise. Regardless of any of our feelings however it has happened so naturally we ask why did it happen? what is one to do about it?
The simple answer to the former is to suggest they got the most votes, fair enough, but not helpful. I’ve seen a range of accusations of racism and misogyny, swipes at the education of the population and not just from American’s but from people of the World. Really? Are any of you so naive as to believe that it boils down to any one or even a combination of these issues? Now, let me be clear no doubt these things will have had an effect on the election but they are not why Trump won. The reasons for Trump’s victory are many and varied and can not be boiled down to simplistic, reductionist, ideologically biased tweet sized bites.
The proper analysis will be conducted over the coming weeks, months and years but in the meantime lets all take a breath. The Republican party picked up majorities in Congress and the Senate. They now have at least two years to impose legislation and policy that will aim to bring growth and stability to the US. Whether or not that can happen requires greater minds than mine.
Supposedly what we saw was a battle between city and country, men and women, minorities and privileged, left and right, LGBTQIA+ and Cis and whole lot more that I’m not even sure how to articulate. In the end to borrow an axiom you catch more flies with honey than water. You cannot continue to bash and berate people into giving up there position. They won’t do it. They will double down on the wrong team and who can blame them you would do exactly the same. In the end, Trump told the most people what they wished to hear; even when he had to speak lies, paradoxes and with endless hypocrisy.
Leaders are a reflection of the people they govern. Doubly so for populist leaders. They are embodiment of the current climate within the people. There is a great frustration with the establishment. A great anger at those preaching from their presumed moral and intellectual superiority. The people no longer wish to indulge a petulant and habitually deceitful media. They want to tear down the hierarchy and remake it in their own image. That is the mistake.
For all the flaws, corruption and holes in the system you cannot destroy it and start again. For all the bad it has, it provides us with security, the necessities of life and freedoms we value. We need to do is refresh and renew it. For we can see that it is old and corrupt and we need to heal these rifts with youthful dialogue and energy. To speak truthfully in the realities of a complex and confusing words. To look at the problems of today, of the future and have a dialogue to find optimum solutions to our problems and disagreements. Continue to discuss what concerns you and listen to those who disagree. You can only speak for yourself, or those you were elected to represent. That is the way of the west and hopefully, despite all that has happened, that will continue for some time yet. This isn’t the end of the world even though I don’t feel fine.