HUMAYUN GAUHAR | 13 NOVEMBER, 2016
'Lets Stop Indulging the White Man, Misogyny Won Trump the Polls'
While millions of people are crying their eyes out and thousands across America are protesting, kicking and screaming over the ‘unexpected’ victory of Donald Trump, I am laughing all the way to my computer.
I’d been saying for months that Trump would win. People scoffed at me, saying that I knew little about the US system. That may be true, but I do know a little bit about human nature and the movement of historical forces. I have studied it all my life. Which is why I had predicted Trump’s nomination as the Republican Party candidate for president even against the wishes of the party and had predicted Brexit correctly.
This is not to praise myself: this is to say to people to think for themselves and not to abdicate their thinking to media, opinion polls, drawing room chatter and suchlike.
Human nature can’t change. Don’t get fooled by the veneer of civilization. It peels off after a certain line of tolerance is crossed, when people feel threatened and disenfranchised, when they feel, rightly or wrongly, that their independence is under threat and, most importantly, when they are economically degraded and feel that they and their children have no future.
Hopelessness then turns to anger and anger turns to hatred and people find the easiest scapegoat, in this case the Washington establishment, foreigners and immigrants in their land taking away their jobs and partaking of their social security and benefits, particularly Muslims. Immigrants then become ‘The Other’ as the veneer of civilization crumbles and the beast emerges, throwing law, scripture and tradition out of the window.
The demon of racism comes racing out as does misogyny and bigotry most vile. They lash out until they get what they want. After the angry win, the veneer of civilization peels off the losers and they start protesting, kicking and screaming, burning and going on a rampage, as the Hillary Clinton supporters have started doing. Too late. They should now await the deluge and change their convoluted, outdated two centuries old political system and bring it in line with the true wishes of the people so that one guy doesn’t win the electoral college yet loses the popular vote while the other loses the electoral vote but wins the popular vote and gets trashed.
It is the ‘loser’ that the people want but they get the ‘winner’. How convoluted. And they call it ‘democracy’.
Any indirect votes like through electoral colleges and lower houses of parliament is a gross dilution of the will of the people, which is the cornerstone of democracy. Which is why countries that operate under indirect voting systems are declining because they are throwing up bad leadership and poor governance rived with corruption. But it will be difficult to change systems because that will take away the benefits of small elites: one percent of Americans own half of their country’s wealth.
Unconscionable, because it gives rise to the notion that the other 99 percent are stupid. Pity they country 99 percent of whose people are assumed to be stupid.
Many are hoping that the campaigner Trump will be different from President Trump. Intelligence and economic agencies will drum reality into him. Trump is a deal maker so it could be easy to negotiate deals with him. Deals are better than, “You are either with us or against us” for there is something in a deal for all sides concerned. Deals are not heads I win and tails you lose.
Trumps more extreme ideas could yet overtake his presidency. He threatens to bomb ISIS to kingdom come without regard to the human suffering it will cause. It could hasten the end the American Empire. Will he really be able to build a wall between America and Mexico? Mexico certainly won’t pay for it. Can he really ban all Muslims from entering the US? He can then say goodbye to relations with the Muslim world and drive it into the arms of China and Russia. Will he really change trade deals or tear them up, like NAFTA? Will he burn the nuclear deal with Iran? And so on like with taxation.
Listen to what others are saying. Hadley Freeman writes:
“A lot will be written about how Trump’s victory represents a backlash of rage from the white working classes…Here’s an alternative take: we’ve heard enough of white rage now. Oh sure, listen to the grievances of enraged voters. But understanding them is different from indulging them, and the media and politicians – in the US and UK – have for too long conflated the two, encouraging the white victim narrative and stoking precisely the kind of nasty, race-baiting campaigns that led to Brexit and Trump (as the voter demographics have proved, the linking factor in Trump voters is not class but race).
“Both campaigns promised to turn the clock back to a time when white men were in the ascendance, and both were fronted by privately educated false prophets such as Nigel Farage and Trump, absurdly privileged buccaneers who style themselves as friends of the working classes while pushing policies that work against them. They have bleached language of meaning, boasting that they aren’t ‘career politicians’ (now a negative thing as opposed to someone who has devoted their life to public service), and they scorn “experts” (who are now apparently the biggest threat to democracy).
“To call out voters for falling for damagingly racist and sexist messages is viewed by politicians as a vote-killer and dangerously snobby by the media, as though working-class people are precious toddlers who must be humoured and can’t possibly be held responsible for any flawed thinking.
“There is no doubt the white working classes in the west have suffered in recent decades, yet no other demographic that has endured similarly straitened circumstances is indulged in this way. For decades, American politicians have demonised the black working classes who suffered far worse structural inequalities for far longer – and Trump continues to do so today.
“Misogyny won the US election – let’s stop indulging angry white men.”
Another person I cannot name says:
“You know - I could be wrong - I'm not an expert. But I don’t think the question is, ‘Why Trump won?’ - I think the key question is, ‘Why Hilary lost?’ It's because she lost that he won. Because she was so disliked and not trusted. I don’t think there's a backlash or whitewash. He won because she lost. She was an entirely unsuitable candidate. And rather than vote for the devil - the Americans chose the deep blue sea - which is an unknown territory.”
Read again the fall of empires, despite their fearsome arsenals and fantastic knowledge banks.
(Humayun Gauhar is a senior columnist based in Islamabad)