• Dilli

Anarchy. But I am not surprised.

Updated: May 27, 2019

This morning's result was a prediction I was unhappy to be right about. I usually like being right about things - doesn't everyone? From reactions various politicians have given, the whole world is in shock. A friend of mine predicted Brexit, Corbyn staying leader of Labour, and Theresa May becoming Prime Minister all back in January, but he also thought Clinton would win by a landslide: this is where I unwillingly 'trumped' him.

Trump won for a number of reasons: fear, anti-establishment anger, and prejudice, among other things. People were surprised this morning as the results came in because the polls had shown Clinton in a lead. But it's the same as all political predictions: the result is always further right than expected. We saw this on June 23rd and also in 2015 when Labour was expected to win a majority and the Tories ended up being voted in. Trump said himself, people won't admit openly that they are voting for him, but that on the day they'll put a mark by his name in a flash.

It is interesting to think about how the year 2016 will be viewed in years to come, how it will be analyzed by the future historians who will have studied this period and will have looked at the factors that led to Brexit, this election, and other extremist populist movements. During his campaign Trump moulded himself in order to represent the anti-establishment populist movement, except now, rather ironically, he is the establishment.

It would also be intriguing to consider whether Bernie Sanders' decision to run in any way took votes away from Clinton. Many Sanders fans saw Clinton as the 'enemy' because she had been Sanders' rival in the primaries. Somehow as a result they felt compelled to vote for candidates with no hope of winning such as Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The final gap between Clinton and Trump was in fact the proportion of votes given to third-party candidates, so there is an argument to be had here.

Many people leading up to the election commented on the double standard with which the media and various political supporters treated Clinton and Trump with regards to their political experience, their business expertise, and, most key of all, their criminal records. Clinton was lambasted as a corrupt warmongering politician for having a private email account, while Trump's ongoing sexual assault cases, multiple bankruptcies, and perpetual inconsistency and self-contradictions went almost unnoticed. Indeed, the election result today demonstrates loudly and clearly that victims of discrimination, sexual assault, or any form of oppressive abuse are unworthy of attention. Trump's own crimes and hyperbolic prejudiced behaviour don't matter. It seems that, according to Republicans, rapists only come in two colours: brown and black.

Two things I am surprised about: the percentage of women and Latinos who voted for him. 42% of women voted for Trump and 29% of Latinos. It is difficult to talk about Trump without talking about his prejudices, and it is difficult to imagine why anyone who belongs to a category of people whom he has openly insulted could bring themselves to support him. Yet I would hesitate before labelling all Trump voters as 'idiots'. 'Misguided' and 'misled' are perhaps better terms. We can only assume that people know more or less what they are voting for, but, as Brexit taught several million disillusioned voters, self-invested politicians are not always the most reliable sources of information.

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