As many of you did, I stayed up on Tuesday night watching the election results roll in, in mild acceptance Hillary would inevitably win. It didn’t take long for that to change. The fallout from the Trump victory after has been momentous, particularly on the left which, instead of rationally and introspectively figuring out what on earth went wrong, why the Democrats couldn’t find a candidate to better Donald Trump, has instead taken it upon itself to slander half the voting population of the United States. Obviously this hasn’t been everyone on the left, and of course emotions are high, but what an impression it makes on all those working class voters, who aren’t racist, aren’t misogynistic, but wanted change. I wouldn’t be surprised if they felt even more justified in their vote after seeing people on twitter sneeringly and hatefully hurling abuse at them. Instead of this, I’d like to take a brief moment to consider what really happened with the phenomenon that has been and is now, President Elect Donald Trump.
From minute one, the tone for Trumps campaign was set. Years before he even ran John Oliver jokingly pleaded on the Daily Show for him to take up the Republican mantle. A completely forgivable jibe at the time, but when his campaign began, this was exactly the treatment he was given. He was a joke, those that supported him were obviously idiots who had no clue how to run the country. As his support surged, the comedy side waned, but he still wasn’t treated seriously. Articles were written about how he’d never win, early states coming out in support of Trump were considered flukes, no big deal. Then slowly but surely, as it actually looked as if he would become the Republican nomination for president, the media wave began. He’s a racist, a misogynist, a fascist, he’d clamp down on human rights and end free speech, he’ll bring about the apocalypse, he’s even working with Putin! The media reporting on Donald Trump was a farse, it focused on tabloid scandals and as John Pilger has rightfully pointed out was nowhere near true journalism. Remember one time that policy was really part of the campaign? Let’s go even further, can you remember one piece of Hillary Clinton’s policy? The media ran a totally personal, character driven campaign, that played perfectly into Trumps ballpark, because this was the area he could shine.
Eventually, people became sick of the constant character attacks. A fearful, out of luck white working class, side lined for decades, was given a choice between a loud mouth jock, who spoke his mind and promised to actually bring change, or the ultimate institutional candidate who promised nothing other than more of the same. What on earth did we all expect would happen? Any change when the system seems as bad as it is to those working class Americans is better than more of the same. Donald Trump can completely fail in his presidency; but the message has already been sent.
Michael Moore was right in describing this, in more appropriate language, as a screw you to Washington. This screw you has been long in the coming. Just as with Brexit, it indicates a shift in politics. The left, once representing the working class and the oppressed, now sides with the big banks and looks down upon the poor and the helpless. Is it any wonder Corbyn surged passed his opponents in the labour leadership election? Surely Bernie would have too without the DNC’s massive corruption in favour of Hillary. The Trump phenomenon then is not just special to Trump, it’s a reaction across the entire political spectrum, Trump was just the one to take advantage of it. People are sick of politicians swerving issues, they want ones with passionately held beliefs and they want people who speak their minds. The shift Brexit showed was that people were not happy with the Neo-Liberal agenda of globalisation and mass immigration, and felt left behind, and the left has totally failed to allay those fears. It was their role to look after the working classes, and they abandoned them for donors and greed. Hillary Clinton was the epitome of this, her emails divulging a huge insight into her personal character, as a two faced, Realpolitik, wall street loving institutionalist. She had no interest in changing anything but the map of the middle East, which she had been doing beforehand, yet to criticise her policy was to be a misogynist, to suggest an alternative was to be racist, and anything but her would be doomsday. Have we really progressed to a period in politics where your genitals are more important than your policies?
These are the issues that led to Trump. We should have seen him coming a mile off. It was never about racism or misogyny, to assume this is what Trump voters believe is exactly the same mistake as the assumptions the left made here about Brexit voters. It was about making a point, that the left is so out of touch, and the working class has not benefited from the vast wealth of the West’s corporations. There’s a reason this has come at time of the greatest inequality the modern world has ever faced.
Trump was the lefts creation, he was fuelled by constant media bombardment, a demand that no one couldn’t vote for him and that things couldn’t change.
Well now they certainly have.