What the Left and Right both agree on is that what we’ve been doing over the past decades has not been working and that society is being exploited by an ‘establishment’. Where we disagree is on the interpretation of what we have been doing and who has been doing it.
We are all living in a world which is increasingly transferring wealth from nations and concentrating it into the possession of a smaller and smaller group. We are living under a new colonialism that has spread from out of our borders into our borders and the crumbs on the table are becoming scarcer and our economies are becoming more vulnerable.
A question on a lot of people’s lips is “how could America elect Donald Trump”? Certainly, the portrayal of his campaign on British media created an image of a vapid racist bigoted xenophobic discriminatory vulgar hostile obscenity, and that may reflect elements of those who voted for him BUT he polled no better or worse than the past couple of Republican candidates; Hilary Clinton did not attract the voters needed to beat him. So the question should be “why did America not want to vote for Hilary Clinton” and the answer may simply be that she represented ‘same old’ politics, a politics that simply is not working for a mass of people.
Scenarios for Trump’s voter base are myriad; he may have simply received the usual Republican turnout or he may have lost parts of that traditional Republican base but replaced them with the right-wing extremists and the disaffected who were new voters. Republicans who could not bring themselves to vote Trump probably could not bring themselves to vote for Clinton either, which notably included George W Bush. Clinton did not attract the disaffected because Clinton had no message for them. Trump may well continue into his first term as President conducting ‘same old’ politics, I find it hard to imagine what else he can do, but he campaigned on offering something genuinely new. Trump has promised to take on the ‘establishment’, it is doubtful that he will but it is what people voted for.
So, while those of us aghast at Trump’s success focus on the discrimination and hostility of his campaign, those who don’t have truck with that but voted for him focused on his pledges to take on the ‘establishment’. The error of the Democrats is that their politics (and, it has to be said, the Republican party itself) is still that of neoliberalism, it is still a politics that favours cumulative advantage, trickle up economics, and exploiting nation wealth for the benefit of an established advantaged sect. The Democrats could not field a candidate to challenge the establishment because their party, along with the Republicans, has been subverted by the ‘establishment’ to perpetuate their interests.
We have a lot of stupid people in the politico-media circus; they may be educated but they are made stupid by the indulgence of a society that has been skewed to favour their like. Those in the politico-media circus are selected from an incredibly small pool of our population and few of them are actually required to be anything more than barely adequate or functional. The danger of Trump’s victory and that of Brexit is that we focus on the racists and the bigots and our politico-media circus will pander to them and indulge them in exchange for maintaining their privileged positions and the cost for society will be extreme. The alternative is that we focus on challenging the ‘establishment’, focus on challenging cumulative advantage, trickle up economics and the exploitation of nation wealth benefiting the established advantaged sect. If we make the first choice then we will continue on the path of ‘same old’ politics and we will witness a rise in far-right extremism, which is a road we have travelled before. Taking the second choice will be the only way we answer the call of the disaffected and thwart the rise of the far-right.
Jeremy Corbyn released the statement below in response to Trump’s win, I’m sure he will be attacked for it and the public will be pressed to look away from tackling the actual problems with our society.
Don’t rock the boat, the 5% haven’t finished with us yet.