Back in 2008, the United States of America briefly released the world from tyranny and gave it hope. It was a moment in history which lasted a few short months and then the United States plunged the world back into the tyranny that it had never really been released from.
Barack Hussein Obama The Second’s election as President of those there United States provided the, swiftly passed, illusion that the vultures had been shooed from their perches and life in a world of marketised war and neocon social vandalism was over. How wrong we all were. Well, how wrong everyone but the vulturish neocons, who vowed to undermine Obama from his first day in office, whatever the cost, because they said they were going to do it and they did it. Instead of hope we have had frustration. Instead of a dream, it has been a nightmare.
Since 2008 we have witnessed, not a shrinking influence of anti-society politics but an expansion. In Britain we have witnessed the richest 5% exorbitantly increasing their personal wealth, whilst the rest of us have seen every aspect of our livelihoods shrinking. The vultures took their fortunes, grossly fattened during the Bush Junior years, and the influence that their wealth had bought to pummel society and its administrations. Since 2010 Britain has watched as the Tories have systematically sold off public assets and handed public services over to privateers, all whilst increasing public debt and overseeing rises in homelessness, in work poverty, work and home insecurity, food bank reliance, child stress related mental health problems, inequality, suicide rates and housing, NHS, Social Care, Mental Health Care crises.
A few short months ago, Britain stepped off a cliff that may well be looked back upon as one of Britain’s great social fissures (I have previously compared it as a constitutional upheaval akin to the Reformation) ; it may yet prove to be a full stop in Britain’s decline but it feels like more of a natural progression of the societal vandalism exacted by the Thatcher/Blair/Cameron governments (not that I would discount it continuing to find new lows under Theresa May and her cohort of extorting social arsonists). In America, we have Trump. Or they have Trump (but we would all really have Trump if they have Trump).
The Right of America have been corrupting its democracy to such a degree that Trump is its natural, unholy, conclusion (or not even conclusion, which is an even scarier thought). As America goes to the polls today it does so with the world watching; some are watching with fear, others mild fascination. Is Trump just America’s greatest corruption of political office, has reality/celebrity TV usurped politics, or does he represent a far greater corruption? Has the corruption exerted by the 5% so decayed society that Trump’s rabid nihilism is the answer? For most, Trump’s version of a presidential candidate is the excretion of Pandora’s box. Barack Obama’s administration has suffered from the demonstration of the depths those who have benefited from neoliberalism will sink to fatten themselves; ‘no one left behind’ has become ‘no person knowingly left un-stepped on’.
If America does choose to elect Trump then I hope it will combine with the British decision to vote to leave the EU and signal the zenith of people’s frustration at the exploitation of society by the minority. If it doesn’t then we are in for a hell of a roller-coaster ride in the coming years. We’ve seen the ugliness of where such societal corruption can take us and we know we have capacity for worse.