When long running TV cartoon “The Simpsons” demonstrated a spooky prescience in March 2000, about a Trump American Presidency leaving the country bankrupt, writer Dan Greaney told the Washington Post that Trump was chosen because he was a “Simpsons-esque figure” who fitted “right in there” into that cartoon world. (Source: Sydney Morning Herald)
So one wonders why we are so shocked by Donald Trump and his cardboard cutout dynasty ascending to the throne of POTUS? Is it because none of “us” well educated and learned political pundits predicted it? Perhaps we should have watched less political commentary and more episodes of the Simpsons.
Or is it because we feel we are all actually living in an absurdist global culture that is in a natural state of entropy that is leading to the unraveling of the planet?
Much has been made of the fact that Trump succeeded in his bid for the Presidency because of his natural affinity for sexist, racist and xenophobic commentary that went straight to the heart of middle America, which is white, evangelical and uneducated. By engaging the so-called “disaffected” working class man in a witless and virulent campaign in which he made ridiculous promises and by appealing to the very worst of opinions in “rust” and “wheat” belt America, he became triumphant over the liberal, educated and more diverse supporters of presumptive female heir to POTUS, Hillary Clinton.
That he will be completely unable to live up to any of the promises he made is undoubted, the Republicans are already making moves to make sure his loose canon is muzzled. Meanwhile any one that is sick of talking about Trump is busy “slut-shaming” the ex nude model Melania Trump who is now to be FLOTUS and who looked frankly terrified when “the Donald” took to the stage for his victory speech.
While legions of respected journalists, horrified that they missed the momentum that Trump’s campaign of meanness had the energy to get it over the line, are writing impassioned and repudiating columns, it seems everyone has missed the very important issue.
That clearly the world is a very confused place.
What Trump has cleverly manipulated is the insecurities of a solid block of generally white middle-class aspirational voters. What the mainstream media totally missed is that the “other” to this group is a diverse, hodge podge of people, black, feminist, pro-choice, gay, intellectual, Hispanic, internet savvy, climate aware, humanitarian, ethnically, culturally religiously and sexually diverse, computer proficient, hippy, educated, latte drinkers whose views tend to be less mean and more altruistic when it comes to nuanced understanding of the issues behind forced and economic migration, racism, flexibility and job inter-changeability and are more global community oriented in their outlook and connections. But getting them together to support any candidate is much like trying to organise a dinner party for anarchists.
Of course this doesn’t necessarily mean that gay black Muslim men haven’t voted for Trump and that straight white middle class Christian women didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, but in terms of percentages and numbers the people who were motivated by Trump to vote for him tended to be of a more specific type.
And politics as we know is a numbers game. Majority rules.
Yet I think, given the protests that have broken out across America in the wake of the 2016 Election, that there is a place in that democratic system for the mandatory or compulsory vote. Instead of the hegemony of white male privilege, everyone, no matter their individual tendencies, would have their chance to voice their opinion. Consensus, long practiced by First Nations Elders is a way forward, where the needs of the individual are examined and weighted against the needs of the many. Everyone, no matter who, has a right to speak but until consensus is reached no action can be taken.
A lengthy and difficult process to replicate in a world of light speed technologies and micro-second decision making, critics would say, but I disagree. We must not give into divisive politics, because it only serves the masters not the common person. Globally we must unite rather than blindly believe the rhetoric of people who would only appeal to our self-interested, short sighted individualistic selves.
In the case of America, as I am sure would happen if we had the same voting system in Australia, the people who have placed Trump as the President Elect have only voted for what they think is a replication of their individual and aspirational needs. Think about it… Rich, old white man married to beautiful but mainly ornamental woman, surrounded by luxury, leisure and power over his circumstances. This is how his constituents dream their lives to be.
But this is not going to make America great again, except for those few that have manipulated the system to suit themselves. Its selfish and childish and yellow.
Yes. Yellow used to be the representative colour of cowardice.
Now it is the colour of a cartoon representation of an American President, which seems to be leading us all the way to hell.