Donald & His American Dream

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I think that one belongs to you Joseph.

Before this particular jigsaw puzzle was finished, politics as we knew it had changed forever. Before these three had opened the box, most views were far easier to understand. Working class people were socialists, middle class businessmen and the professions were conservative, and liberals were a collection of intellectuals and misaligned aristocrats. Unquestionably, and to a great extent, they were all concerned with the welfare of citizens, no matter which class they might represent. Each political party had a distinct image – even if they became blurred at the edges, during elections – and everyone knew their place in society.

Well, you don’t need a history lesson from me, and the consequences of post World War Two, are well known. Generally thought that politics would remain in carefully labelled boxes forever, recent events in the US have proved otherwise, tipping our whole conception of politics on its head. But, how was it done?

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The androgynous and loutish Donald Trump.

I think it is clear that neither of the two candidates – Trump or Clinton – were particularly truthful at any point in the so called debate. But that didn’t seem to matter. Trump had studied the Brexit debacle, and come to  a very simple conclusion. That it was very little to do with firm political beliefs and completely to do with disenfranchisement and poverty. That it was not so much what he said, but who the audience was at the time, and how they would react.

This is why his whole spiel is full of inconsistencies. He simply told a willing electorate what they wanted to hear – rednecks, KKK, racists, homophobic’s, sexists, misogynists and losers – who were all told that they were right to hold their somewhat extreme views, comments about which the next day, he would deny ever having said.

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Hilary Clinton and her tribute to US dentistry.

Clinton, on the other hand, wasn’t really equipped for a street brawl – kicking gouging and biting were allowed in Trumps rules – and gamely failed to deflect Trumps accusations. Mainly about an alleged FBI investigation into her emails –  which he then called corruption – she became wrong footed, demonised, insulted, abused, and politically assassinated. Something which must all sound a bit familiar to those of you, who have studied the run up to the second world war in Nazi Germany? But, does this mean that there are no longer any distinctly different political parties? And, is the biggest liar and bully, going to be your next leader?

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Who’s the biggest liar?

The similarities between Trump’s US election, and UKs Brexit are very clear, although hardly similar in scope or scale. This was because, in both cases, voters stepped away from their customary political standpoint and turned against their traditional representatives. Meaning that many voters no longer subscribe to the three party system in the UK and the failed two party system in the US, it also underlines the fact that politicians in general are out of touch with their voters, and cannot claim to represent them any more.

In some ways, Clinton seemed at times to be more right of centre than Trump, and Trump – allegedly representing the hard core of American business and the world of banking – found himself hobnobbing with the Klu Klux Klan, and the rednecks of Floridia. None of which he acknowledged later on during his election program. But it was this very similar faction, which removed the UK from forty years of European Union membership, and we have yet to discover the result of Trumps triumph, or his version of the American dream.

By Patrick Brigham

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