Like millions of other people, I have been numbed by an election running rampage in the country south of me. I have felt as if we have been electing a world government, a world president. And while I don’t live everywhere in the world, everything I read, every country’s news I have followed, the Trump effect seems to be all pervasive. I haven’t been in a conversation in the past ten months or so, when a Trump comment (negative or not) wasn’t shared. I have wondered how much of this was just rhetoric, how much of it was social chitter-chatter and if it really spoke to who we were as people. I have to acknowledge that I have been surprised at how even people in my own entourage have found resonance with the Trump effect. Even though their engagement is partial, half-critical, its mere existence has surprised me. I have had to wonder if I should judge people by the content of their speech or who I know them to be inherently as people, and if these two are the same thing?
I haven’t been surprised at what has happened in the United States. I feel that the same was at play when the Brexit vote passed, when Catalonia flexed its muscle to breakaway from Madrid, when the centre right parties won regional polls even pushing the firm hand of Europe, Angela Merkel, on the back foot. Unfortunately, we have taken many steps back in our societies all over the world. The word immigration is a pariah, for many difference only warrants othering and while moving people is the reality of the 21st century, there is this attempt by some to hold on to the ‘comfort’ of the past.
I may be a political aficionado, but I don’t claim to have much personal insight into why a blue collar white voter votes Republican, or why the ‘white working class’ voting block is seen to stand contrary to ‘Black Lives Matter’. I don’t know why Latinos need to explain and the homogenous majority assumes legitimacy. I certainly don’t get how historically amassing wealth is a justification for continued inequality. I get the socio-political and historical arguments and I understand them, but on a more human level I still am unable to comprehend human conflict. But what I do know is that people prefer to remain married to an idea that they have known and found favor with, without a desire to question, let alone change. I wonder why that is, when the first lesson I learnt at school was that any one piece of knowledge was only as good as the next learning.
With nationalism and dictatorships rife around the world, where terrorism and migration are used synonymously and people have to choose between their next meal and insuring their family against a world of risk, I don’t know why we have built what we have. And my question is that have these thousands of years been worth anything?
This somber note will stay with me till the oldest democracy in the world votes a new Chief Executive. And after 18 months of continuous news cycles, pushing the boundaries of what is ‘Politically Correct’, trading barbs of who deserves to take the helm of a government, I’m making a prediction of my own. Not because I’m averaging polls, not because I am hoping for the lesser of two evils and certainly not because I voted for that candidate; I cast my vote for the NDP last time around.
I’ll make this call with the understanding and belief that change in the garb of moving backwards to a glorious past, non recognition of a changing, constantly moving people isn’t smart and is an archaic state of mind. I think America will vote in a bureaucratic styled female, who has envied the office she seeks since the first day her husband ran for office. At least in her defence, she was surely the sharper political mind of the two and represents competent gender equality, which is half a step enough for me.