When I first heard that the UK was leaving Europe I was horrified. I felt a twisting sickness in the pit of my stomach. Despair and disbelief, the same 2 feelings I had this morning when I woke up to know that Donald Trump is the new president of America.
‘How could this HAPPEN?!’ I frantically typed into the family whatsapp group on hearing both pieces of news, feeling utterly let down by humans, a personal emotional blow that hit me right in the core.
I felt pissed off.
When I heard about Brexit I was in the early stages of dating. Like me, the Casanova in question identifies as a socialist, who cares and stands up for people and thinks freedom to travel is a beautiful and important thing. So, imagine my shock when, on insulting every brexiter to ever mar the earth with their existence, he stopped me.
Turns out he voted for Brexit.
‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!’ I shouted, jumping up on my soap box without giving him a second to speak, or asking him why he might have done that. To me, it was black and white. Racist = Brexit. Good person = Remain.
He explained that he voted against staying in Europe because he didn’t want the UK to continue to form part of a huge post-colonial power that could dictate and distort market rules for its own benefit at the expense of developing countries. Oh, so he’s not just a stupid racist.
I’m not denying that a lot of people had racist or at least fear driving them throughout the Brexit campaign, but to be insulting isn’t productive.
Mostly, I guess people had had ENOUGH. Enough of all the bullshit in the media, enough of the elite telling us what’s best for us and ignoring the voices of the dissatisfied and disaffected people who feel a total lack of control when it comes to politics that govern them.
Brexit was essentially a big ‘Fuck You’ to the status quo.
Then came today. Trump.
Don’t get me wrong, I despise him. He is a racist, sexist, inflammatory man. His opinions and behaviour repulse me.
But, once again, we find ourselves in a situation where despite democracy taking place and a decision being made by the people, a lot of us are feeling furious, disgusted and pointing indignant fingers at Trump voters.
We call them stupid, uneducated, racist, morons…
How has this happened? He was democratically elected. BUT WHY?! A more complicated one.
Firstly, let me employ the help of my little friend, the meme.
You see, it wasn’t as simple as good versus evil. Trump is a bad person.
But Clinton has been involved in a long series of corruption scandals throughout the last few decades, and got away with every single one because she is rich and powerful.
She is also a big supporter of military action in the Middle East and has systematically bought her way into power by purchasing media support who can silence those that question her.
Clinton is a symbol of the elite, one of many who have tactically bought power whilst creating the illusion that we’ve asked for her.
This status came up in my newsfeed this morning and got me thinking about all this:
By George, I think he’s on to something.
See, just like Brexit, people weren’t always voting for Trump because they agreed with him or his policies. They were voting for him because they’d had enough of the status quo.
Enough of powerlessness. Enough of being told by smug ‘educated’ people what they should do.
Enough of the elite running the show how they wanted, with corruption in the media reaching an extent where major news companies should now be considered an entertainment channel more than an actual news source.
I’m sure some people voted for both Brexit and Trump because they are racist idiots.
But I’m also sure that a lot of people did it to make a statement that they are sick of world politics being orchestrated by the wealthy few who tell us what to think, how to feel and expect an applause at the end of it.
Carefully fabricated speeches, only posting the stories they want us to hear about, buying their way through politics without a legal scratch. Enough.
I didn’t want to leave Europe and I sure as hell didn’t want Donald Trump to be president but maybe we need to stop acting so shocked and outraged and start addressing some real underlying issues. People are angry, they are sick of corruption and manipulation in politics and the media.
Donald Trump is a bad person. However, he also spits in the face of the status quo and laughs in the faces of the elite politicians, all of whom stood shoulder to shoulder at Eton or the ivy leagues and censor what they don’t want us to see and hear.
Clearly, the people are crying out for a change in the way politics is done. I hope the elite out there are listening because I’m not sure how many more sweeping statements 2016 can take.