Reasons to be fearful 1,2,3…4,5,6.
Lessons from Brexit and why America (and the world) should be worried.
So the leader of the most powerful nation in the world is effectively down to a two horse race — a ‘successful’ billionaire reality star with no political experience, or a career politician with an ex-President for a husband. Who will win? It’s a no brainer surely…
Ask anyone outside America and they cannot believe how this has happened, and how, as of 25th July, Trump has actually got a lead over Clinton in the latest CNN/ORC poll. The DNC has yet to finish but the trend is deeply worrying to anyone liberal, left of Hitler or with two brain cells to rub together.
As a Brit who voted in the recent EU referendum — another two horse race of ‘In’ or ‘Out’, I feel there are certain parallels and perhaps lessons to be learnt. I voted against the ‘Brexit’ and was shocked and saddened by the result and (at the moment) unfortunately vindicated by the subsequent economic uncertainty — plummeting pound & stalling investment in the UK, as well as the seismic political upheaval. How did Brexit win and how might this inform the current Presidential race.
- Appealing to people’s fears — this is an obvious one, and has been well documented. Immigration was used as an argument to leave the EU and is being used as an argument by Trump to explain why the economy is not as vibrant as it should/could be. A guaranteed vote winner for racists and also those who definitely don’t call themselves racists but who are reactionary enough to point the finger at others they believe to be responsible for their own failings. Sadly this ‘non-racist’ group is growing in society as the more selfish we become, the less likely we are to look at ourselves to improve and work harder, and the more likely to get irrationally angry and point fingers. You know who you are!! *points finger in random directions*.
- Bloody mindedness — fear mongering can work in two ways. Sadly the Pro-Brexit fear mongering worked in their favour, and conversely the perceived fear mongering of the Bremain group (‘it’s going to be awful if we leave — catastrophic’) worked against them — with the uninformed thinking this was an over-reaction by the Leftie French-bread-eating Continental-breakfast-loving softies — what do they know? Like having two people running into a beautiful plush living room — one screaming ‘there’s a bomb in here’ and the other shouting ‘don’t listen there isn’t a bomb’ — and the majority believe the first person who makes everyone else leave the lovely room — even though there never was an actual bomb. Middle England reacted like this — and it’s looking like Middle America is too.
- Blond haired buffoon effect — Boris (Johnson) is a loveable loon and people trust him; Donald is on a TV reality show, speaks his mind and people trust him. How have these two men managed this magic trick? It’s easy to point out the wealthy backgrounds, belief in entitlement and contacts in politics and the media which all help to create a lifestyle and an image. But it’s also the apparent ridiculous bumbling that suckers people in. He’s saying stupid things — we all get things wrong — so he’s just like me, he understands me. Boris is bumbling, he’s likeable, he’s not smug (apparently) and he’s funny (in a Blackadder the Third ‘Prince Regent’ kind of way) this all wins over British voters; Donald is bumbling in a blatant way, supremely confident and he’s funny too — often in the form of scathing comedy-roast style put-downs which appeals to many US voters. The image these men create is not who they really are — we have been suckered.
- Lies lies and damn distortion : from the Brexit ‘£350 Million per week’ outright lie to ‘Hillary is going to take away the Second Amendment’ outright lie, both Brexit Boris and Wrexit Donald have used falsehoods and half truths to twist the narrative to the way they want it to go. Lies and twisted truths make the opposition naturally defensive and steer the narrative to them being forced to explain the truth — the public see this, and the uninformed voter believes the lie, doubts the explainers and votes for the first guy instead — the confident liar.
- I protest!! — ‘Life’s not great at the moment I’m going to protest against that in whatever way I can’. Protest votes definitely affected the result of Brexit. Those who voted against Cameron, the establishment and an overwhelming number of experts because they hated being preached to. It was a large sector of the population sticking two fingers up to those they felt look down on them. This similar feeling can be witnessed in America where establishment Hillary is seen as part of the problem (not the solution, not the new wave of Bernie-ism) therefore an ‘Anyone but Hillary’ movement has begun.
- Undecideds — 28% of the UK didn’t vote and by not voting these undecideds handed victory to Brexit whether they wanted to or not. My belief was that if you were not 100% pro-Brexit then you should vote to remain as the consequences were too great. The rise in hate crimes, the vindication of the extreme right (giving a rallying cry to the far right in Continental Europe) and the potential break up of a stable Europe are extremely worrying signs and any student of history will know what that led to. How many will not vote in November? How many will protest vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein or Boaty McBoatface or even Trump?
I would never have believed that Brexit would win. I would never have believed Trump could win. Now I am scared. The outcome of a Trump victory could be genuinely horrifying — actually scrap the ‘could’ , it will be as anyone will understand who has seen the videos of those he has done business with (e.g. https://www.facebook.com/GavinNewsom/videos/10154444887753117/?pnref=story) , of his multiple bankruptcies and his philandering. The New Yorker article alone (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwriter-tells-all) should strike fear into all our hearts.
How can we stop this? What is the solution? The facts need to be made crystal clear, we need to educate an entire nation very quickly — education is the critical factor, and worryingly the un-educated and uniformed may sway the vote as they did in the UK — and the consequences of this ignorance could be catastrophic. Get ready for the Reality show of all Reality shows coz this shit is about to get Real.
The End Is nigh.