I’ve been putting this very much needed post off all throughout the presidential election and the running up to it. Mostly because it is a rather large project for me to embark upon since American politics still remains quite estranged to me, but also because I had hoped that I’d never have to delve into it. I had naively hoped that Hillary would win and we could go back to normality, pretending that this bigoted, chauvinistic, insufferable racist and homophobe (to keep it short) would go back up his Trump tower and remain there for the rest of his days. The reject Rapunzel with wotsit coloured hair.
But that didn’t happen. As much as we have tried to avoid it over here on the British isles, the subject of Trump is inescapable. And so it should be. This affects us and is going to effect the world as we know it over his reign over the next four years, whether good or bad. Although, it should be mentioned that the most of us are expecting the latter; bracing ourselves for the tumultuous second coming of Christ from God’s hand of intervention like an apocalyptic re-make of the Book of Revelations. Hell, blood, dragons, and all.
Nevertheless, I’m fortunate enough that I go to a very liberal university. Me and my friends marvelled in pride over the ‘FUCK TRUMP’ banner hanging from the union’s bannisters in the first week of term. However, it’s been a recent debate of ours whether it was the Left’s fault as to why Trump actually won.
As demonstrated in a series of absolutely hilarious videos by political satirist and news reporter Jonathan Pie in this video and this video, he interestingly shifts the blame onto the Left for the outcome of the 2015 general election, Brexit, and even the US election, admitting that he, too, is a guilty perpetrator of all the traits he criticises in his videos. “It’s the Left’s fault”, he says, for hurling “labels and insults” in the face of opposition rather than opening up our doors to debate and informative discussion.
He disputes name calling, claiming that the anger and blame from the Left are misdirected. And he does have a point. I’m guilty of it, too. You only need to read back a couple of paragraphs and in one sentence I indirectly imply that Trump supporters are idiotic and imprudent racists, while his victory is parallel to the end of the world.
However, while it does leave little-to-no room for debate when the Left and Right get caught up in arms over name calling, do we not have a point to call Trump supporters racist? After all, if that’s not enough to put anyone off from voting for him, then the world is in a very sorry state of affairs indeed.
This places Brexit and Trump in two completely different ballparks as well. A lot of the Left criticised those who voted to leave the EU in the referendum by branding them as racists; the debate over immigration and the refugee crisis loomed over us to no avail, placing us into two opposing categories designed for us to bicker over and distract us from the cold-hard facts. Yet at least the referendum’s appeal wasn’t only due to immigration: the ‘leave’ campaign promised an attractive pull towards a (much needed) economic boom, lest we forget the £350 million bus that was promised to save our NHS.
However, Trump’s overtly racist comments should not go unnoticed. I strongly believe that when faced with such hatred, we ought to cause a considerable stir about it. Besides, our uproar has caused considerable steps in the right direction such as the outcome of the petition to refuse Trump’s entry into the UK, alongside John Bercow who has shocked us all by vetoing the presidential speech in Westminster Hall.
Moreover, aside from Trump, we have a responsibility and a duty, fellow Lefties, to quit the name calling. Doesn’t it frustrate us to watch the back and forth of school boy quarrels in the House of Commons? So why are we doing it? I know it’s hard when faced with the overwhelming feeling of sheer anger and misunderstanding, but if we’re going to get anywhere, we’re going to have to keep our cool. We’re going to have to listen because so far, shouting and bawling hasn’t always worked in our favour. Sometimes it does, but most of the time it really really doesn’t.