Well, America has literally trumped us this time. I think everyone had the same sick sinking feeling this morning whilst reading the words “DONALD TRUMP BECOMES THE 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES”.
I mean, what a statement. But can we say that we are really surprised? Not only in the UK and America but across the world there has been a rise in anti-establishment unrest and right-wing support. In a fantastic article by Richard Rolfe he really tells it as it is; what we are seeing is a revolution. Trump’s victory brings one of the most tumultuous periods of American history since the World Wars and the Great Depression. The political establishment will need to respond to this quickly and clearly. Donald Trump was very clear from the beginning in his strength as an independent candidate, and I expect we will soon see the Republicans who denounced him running to his side.
It seems, much like Brexit, the older voters have decided the fate of the nation. The map below just shows the massive majority Hillary Clinton had with the millennials. However, this group of 69 million did not show up en mass to place their vote and have failed to turn out to decide on the direction of their future. Maybe this was due to a disillusionment with the establishment figure, Clinton, after their beloved Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race. Either way, there is a clear problem in that many young voters are not encouraged by democracy any longer and see no point in turning out to vote. Perhaps this shock to the system may change things.
It is also clear that this Revolution has been a white one. Typically Democratic states such as Ohio, Florida and North Carolina all voted for Trump in this election. Why? Because the white working-class people, typically not college educated, have abandoned the Democrats by droves. With his strong views on immigration and terrorism Trump has fed the anxieties of many individuals and wiped out Clinton with this white wave.
You may be thinking; ‘But he said and did so many awful things, how could this happen?’ It’s true, he was racist, sexist, homophobic, insulted veterans, got accused of sexually assaulting young girls, admitted to tax evasion… and yet, he always bounced back. The man was bulletproof and America saw that. If anything, his consistent exposure in the media continually tattooed ‘Make America Great Again’ in the minds of the world, and it worked.
Furthermore, it was bad luck that he should be against Secretary Hillary Clinton. Yes, she is hugely experienced, is a strong woman, liberal and caring, nonetheless, she could not, no matter how hard she tried, shake off those emails. And what most people, including most American’s, cannot stand above anything, is corruption, whether proven or unproven, any House of Cards episode would have taught you that!
Trump’s victory has unsettled the markets, unsettled a lot of young Americans, and unsettled the world. It is not likely things will bounce back either; France will probably be next, with the National Front led by Marine Le Pen. But don’t get too dismayed, it isn’t all doom and gloom!! Remember, there are iguanas that have to escape from killer snakes when they are born, and penguins who are bashed to pieces in order to feed their young…
Okay, maybe it is all doom and gloom. But this revolution opens an opportunity for a counter-revolution. One where the millennials and libertarians of this world fight back against the right-wing nationalist attitude that is pervading our world. Stand up to racism. Speak out against sexism. March against homophobia. Make your voices heard and don’t give in to the pessimistic attitude that is consuming most of our open-minded, positive youth.
If all fails, I’m buying a one-way ticket to Mars (or Canada).