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Lots of people voted for Trump because they were fed up with the ‘political elite’. The career politicians who wouldn’t know a real job if it fell on their heads. Lots of people wanted something to change – and, boy, did they get change.
It is all well and good to dismiss all Trump supporters as racist, misogynist lunatics but, to do so, is missing what could be a very serious issue indeed.
Increasingly in the UK and, I suspect, in the USA, people are tired of the ‘same old same old’ when it comes to politics and governments.
Political parties promise things that never materialize and, increasingly, politicians are so out of touch with our world that, frankly, we have lost faith in them and, as a result, are looking for change.
In the process of looking for change we are happily sticking two fingers up to career politicians – which, in my view, is a very good thing – but, unfortunately, we are ending up with strange things happening such as Trump becoming President and Brexit. Things that would never have happened a decade ago.
The worry is that our loss of faith and trust in our politicians – a loss that is entirely of their own making – leaves a political vacuum. When there is a vacuum, something fills it.
Historically, whenever there has been a political vacuum of this kind before, extreme politics enters the fray.
Donald Trump. Right wing and even far right parties gaining momentum across Europe. Increased anger towards immigrants.
This isn’t going to end well you know, one way or another but, it isn’t Trump’s fault nor any far right parties come to that. They may well be the catalyst for history repeating itself as it is apt to do but the blame lies fairly and squarely on our career politicians.
They allowed themselves to not only lose touch with ordinary people but to show the arrogance of knowing better than we do.
They may well know better than we do but we were damned if we were going to let them tell us they did. We were going to show them that we are in charge. They are only in charge as long as we let them be.
We showed them by electing Donald Trump in America and voting to leave the European Union in Britain.
One, Trump, is certainly not looking like a great decision. The other? Well, it remains to be seen.
Whatever the consequences ultimately of Trump, Brexit and the rise of the far right though, we are not to blame. Our political elite are.
Unfortunately, in teaching them a lesson they deserved to be taught, it looks like we are learning a lesson too.
Be careful what you ask for. You might just get more than you bargained for.