How was Donald Trump allowed to happen?
Incase anyone has just woken up or has been living under a rock somewhere, America just elected Donald J Trump as their president. That’s right, a man who will be facing a rape trial tomorrow has won the presidential election today. So, expectedly, everyone is losing their shit, and rightly so. But the question on everyone’s lips is “how did this happen?” Well luckily, I, a 19 year old boy from a small town in another country, with floppy hair, a nose ring and no political qualifications except those buzz feed quizzes, have the answer.
It’s because Hillary is a woman…
Nah that really isn’t it at all. Thats not even close to being it, so anyone telling you that can piss off. Sure, some people who mainly live in those little socially backwards states like Kentucky may not have voted for Clinton because of her gender, but they’re not election changers. Considering 50% of white women voted for Trump, I don’t think it’s possible, fair or accurate to reduce a game changing election to a candidates gender.
However, you can reduce the result of an election to the candidates, and if you’re looking for an answer you should look at Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. The fact that the Democrats looked at an country which was desperately crying out for a change to the way politics is done, crying out for an outsider candidate, someone to stand up to the big banks and protect working people and thought “yeah Hillary Clinton is the woman for the job” is one of the best pranks of the 21st century. While most pranks end up with your mate covered in various substances and a video on YouTube, this one has ended with the Oval Office occupied by a Muslim hating demagogue with the political knowledge of a wet shin pad and a gay hating Vice President who’s basically got a masters degree in being scum of the Earth.
Through undermining the campaign of Bernie Sanders, the liberal elite at the top of the Democratic Party looked down upon the writhing electorate and said “yeah we hear you, but it’s Hillary’s turn now, and we don’t care what you think.”
It doesn’t matter that Hillary was the most ‘qualified’ candidate, she wasn’t the one to stop Trump. When you’re running a campaign against a creature who’s closet is practically a skeleton crack den, you can’t put forward a lady who’s closet is not only full of skeletons, but is made of them. Bernie Sanders represented the change low income Americans were crying out for, he was free from crony corporations, he was inspiring and he was capable of mobilising both the ethnic minority and the white working class vote. The Democrats looked at this and thought “nah who needs that when you can have THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT? YEAH! Guys? Guys?” No. The Democrats messed up, and now America is paying for it.
But that was one factor, for someone like Donald Trump to come to power, there needs to be a political space big enough for such a behemoth. So point number 2: how did this space come about?
In my ever so un-humble opinion it’s the fault of the Democrats, Republicans, of neo-liberal capitalism, all at once, together, in a big pot of social and economic neglect.
For decades, the Democrats and Republicans ignored middle and lower income Americans. There were definite problems, wages had been stagnating, unemployment was always shakey, many Americans lived from pay-check to pay-check, and as a result we now have 45 million Americans in poverty today. The sheer audacity of Clintons campaign to come up with the slogan ‘America is already great’ whilst these people struggled to feed their kids was a huge middle finger from the Democrats.
On the other side of the house, the Republicans can hang their heads in shame, or just hang- I’ll take either. It took until the “grab her by the pussy” incident for any real stand to be taken against Trump. Trump’s calls to ban Muslims were met with spineless silence by the GOP, his claim that John McCain wasn’t a war hero as he was captured was met with bowed heads and avoided eye contacts and when Trump came out with the ludicrous idea of building a wall, where we the GOP elite? They were cowering in their ivory tower. The Republicans sat by and watched Trump take a hold of their party like it was his play thing. Why? Because that’s secretly what they were all thinking. Ted Cruz wanted to build a wall. Mike Pence thinks gay people should receive shock therapy. Marco Rubio doesn’t think there is any excuse for abortion. The GOP, on the whole, are a vile breed of human. Nothing Trump said was particularly radical to them, just with less nuance. Trump embodies exactly what they’re all thinking.
On the flipside, neo- liberal capitalism has been the default economic system used by both parties for decades now, and for decades it’s left communities in the dust. It has created an environment in which the corporations and the millionaires can thrive at everyone else’s expense. Americans have been left starving on the streets and communities have fallen through the cracks because the establishment were committed to the outlook of smaller government. Even if Trump isn’t going to change this, by presenting himself as an outsider he gave Americans enough hope to vote for him.
The signs were there for Donald Trumps rise, America fell for it. Thank God we in Britain haven’t had decades of neo- liberalism, neglected communities and a rise in venomous nationalism. Thank God we don’t have a Government with a disdain for working communities or disabled people, who knows what could happen if we did…