Shortly after Donald Trump became President-elect, a British satirist named Jonathan Pie produced a video about who was to blame for the rise of Trump. There is a transcript at the bottom of this article and the video can be viewed here.
Who did he blame?
Not the people who voted for Trump, but the left-wing.
Because they had called the right-wing names, such as racist and bigot.
Apparently, because the right-wing's feelings got hurt they voted for Trump and in an puerile temper tanty blamed the left-wing.
I'll just point out the bleeding obvious here, that the left-wing didn't vote for Trump. Trump was elected because of the people who voted for him and that wasn't the left-wing, it was those who ticked Trump at the ballot.
Pie goes on to say that not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist. Well ... Trump's campaign was so full of racism that it beggars belief that anyone who voted for Trump wasn't racist.
The 2010 Australian of the Year, Chief of Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison, once stated 'the standard you walk past is the standard you accept', when he stood up against the abuse of women in the Australian Army. If people are happy to walk past the racism, sexism and bigotry espoused by Trump, then they are accepting racism, sexism and bigotry. There is no point claiming that people who voted for Trump aren't racist if this is the standard they accept.
If you don't want to be called a racist, then don't act like one, don't vote for one.
Pie states that because the left can't make an argument for their cause, Clinton is now seen as liberal. Um ... really? Clinton was the best Republican candidate the US had. Few, if any on the left, see Clinton as liberal.
He pointed out that Clinton offered nothing different, no change, whereas Trump did offer change. Seriously? This is the problem. People wanted change but didn't challenge the kind of change that Trump offered. Nor did they challenge the veracity of his outlandish statements. Politifact reported Trump's truthfulness at 4%, yet the right-wing went into denial about his lies, blaming leftist media rather than facing the truth. It is this unwillingness of the right-wing to accept facts that led to the rise of Trump, not because of the left-wing challenging his lies.
Pie states that argument isn't won by hurling labels and insults. This is true. However, people on the left have been subject to just as much abuse from the right-wing. How many of us have been called 'libtards', traitors, loony left, pinko faggots, do-gooders. But we don't use that as an excuse to vote for a despot like Trump.
He believes that the left refuses to accept or listen to opposing views. I'm not sure who he hangs around with, but most left-wing people are more than happy to discuss well-considered opposing views. They aren't willing to accept racism, sexism and bigotry. The nature of debate is to make a point, counter it, respond. If the point is convincing, then concede it, however if it isn't convincing then continue the challenge.
Pie makes quite the profound comment in suggesting that the left-wing would be better off having meaningful dialogue with the right-wing. Hear, hear. Oh so true. There are some right-wingers who can engage in meaningful discussion, but for far too many on the right the moment that their claims are challenged, they lose their shit and scream left-wing bias, do-gooders, political correctness. Evidence that their views actually contradict facts results in the most vicious outbursts associated with cognitive dissonance.
Having said that, many of us on the left do engage with right-wingers and try to convince them of our arguments. However, the fact is that few people change their minds that dramatically; particularly the religious right-wing who have turned capitalism into a cult.
Pie tells the left to 'stop thinking that everyone who disagrees with us is evil'. (Firstly, plank/speck - the right-wing tends to do this very well). Besides 'evil' is a strong word with religious overtones (did I mention the religious right?). We do not see disagreement in itself as evil. How do people view racism, sexism and bigotry? Regardless of what side of the political spectrum people align, there are many who would view racism, sexism and bigotry as evil, or at least something to condemned and criticised. Why shouldn't we challenge views that directly result in harm to others, views which attack other races, religions or sexual preferences? Since Trump's election there has been a marked increase in hate-crimes across the United States. Is this evil? It's certainly not good and definitely not acceptable.
Besides, anyone from the left who has had experience in discussing issues with the right, would know how evil they think we are. They see us as pagan socialists who are willing to sacrifice babies to abortion. Many of us have been told innumberable times to f*ck off back to Moscow or Cuba for daring to suggest that there should be more equitable distribution of wealth, that workers should have a greater say and share in the wealth they create for their employers.
Take Obamacare. If ever there was a self-defeating argument it was the opposition to universal health care. Many of us tried explaining how it would assist in keeping people out of poverty, keep them from being bankrupted if they had affordable and universal health care as other countries have, such as Australia. But nooooo ... the right-wing saw this as evil socialism. Many of them frothed at the mouth every time it was mentioned and when Trump said he would ditch Obamacare, they cheered. This is one policy that negatively affects many of his voters, yet no amount of reason could convince them that not only was Obamacare good for them, but it should actually be expanded into something similar to Australia's health care policy that provides essential health services at no cost to the user.
Pie's video has been shared by thousands of right-wingers all looking to blame someone else for their support of Trump. For that matter, a number of left-wingers have also shared it, accepting Pie's argument. While it is true that there should be more dialogue between the two sides, this hasn't been for want of trying.
In the end, it was the right-wing who chose Trump. They can't continue to blame others. They heard from his own mouth what his views were on migrants, various races, women, homosexuals, the left-wing. His views were analysed and criticised for their sexism, racism, bigotry and even contradictory positions. Yet, the right-wing still voted for him. It wasn't just the left-wing who pointed out that Trump's entire campaign was one of chicanery, there were many on the right-wing as well, including some notable Republicans who disavowed him. Trump was a mountebank, telling people anything that they wanted to hear in order to trick them into seeing him as the saviour of America, that only he could restore America's greatness (whatever that was, because he never truly defined it). Instead he created an illusion of greatness and then scapegoated minorities and the left-wing as being responsible for America losing this perceived greatness. People on the left and right warned Trump supporters of this. As the old saying goes, 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it think ... er ... drink'.
Trump supporters can't absolve themselves of responsibility, just because their feelings got hurt. But this is quite simply the modus operandi for many on the right-wing. They can't accept responsibility for their actions. They have to blame someone else. They need a scapegoat. This is why they look to people like Trump who scapegoated foreigners, Muslims, blacks, LGBTIQ people, the poor, the left-wing.
The nineteenth century German philospher, Arthur Schopenhauer, observed, 'The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice'.
Schopenhauer believed that choice emanated from a person's immutable character. Those who voted for Trump identified with the character of Trump and the nature of his policies.
One can try to rationalise as much as possible with someone else, however, if there are pre-conceived opinions, prejudices, then it makes no difference. What else can one do if a person won't listen? Labelling their opinions? Why not? Reason, labelling, insults. It doesn't change a person's prejudice. Ignoring them sometimes works, except when it is the future of the free world at stake.
The rise of Trump can be accredited to a number of issues, including the failure of the Democrats to truly engage with the people. However, if voters blamed Obama for their low wages and high unemployment, then they needed to look a little further. It was the Republicans who consistently blocked Obama's employment creation policies and who protested most vehemently against raising the minimum wage. So what does the right wing do? They elect someone with extreme right wing views; someone who wants to repeal Obamacare, tighten up welfare and has vacillated between opposing any increase to the minimum wage and supporting it. Why vote for this?
To sum up Pie's summation of the election: The right-wing got their feelings hurt and voted for a quasi-Hitler, but it's the left-wing's fault. The left forced them to vote for Trump. Got it.
Having said that, the Democrats did contribute to the rise of Trump through Clinton who represented the establishment, the old guard, when there was a massive groundswell within Democratic ranks for change as well and many felt this could best be delivered through Bernie Sanders. Some reports now indicate that Sanders may well have defeated Trump in the presidential election.
What were the options on election day?
- Vote for Trump - a sexual predator, racist, bigot, xenophobe (ooohh ... name calling again, but he needs to be called out for who he is) and his policies represented this
- Vote for Clinton - same ol', same ol' - sometimes this is the lesser of two evils, as in this case regardless of whether Pie or others want to accept this. Clinton's policies were lame, but she undersands the political scene, understands foreign relations, which are kind of important to holding the most powerful position in the world.
- One of the other candidates on the ticket who has no chance of winning, but sends a message to both major parties
- Don't vote - not the best option, but around half the country chose this. If there were better candidates, then more may have voted.
If the right-wing wants change, for that matter if the left-wing wants change (ahem - Bernie Sanders, who Jonathan Pie was personally in favour of), then lobby politicians. A protest vote is one thing, but a protest vote for a man of such vile character as Trump reflects on the character of those who voted for him. A vote for the policies of the nature that Trump espoused, reflects on the nature of those who voted for them.
Got your feelings hurt because someone labelled you a racist because you chanted 'Build the wall' or waved your flag every time Trump attacked someone? Rather than getting all petulant and puerile, it wouldn't hurt to become circumspect and question what sort of person votes for the sort of person Trump is and the sort of policies he promoted.
Want change? Then as Gandhi said, 'be the change you wish to see in the world'.
Is sexism, racism and bigotry the change that Trump supporters want? If not, then why vote for it?
Transcript of Pie's video:
Great f*cking sweet. Yep.
I'm not shocked at all, Tim.
Tim, I haven't even been into make-up yet, Tim.
I'm not shocked at all. I've been saying this for f*cking months.
Nearly a year.
The moment you think he can't do it, is the moment he takes the White House.
Of course Trump f*cking won. What is everyone so f*cking shocked about?
Jesus, the media, the political elite, the pollsters, the markets, you.
How can everyone be so f*cking stupid?
Hillary Clinton, what were the Democrats thinking?
Hillary Clinton ... don't get me wrong
I'd personally vote for Lucifer over Donald Trump.
The pussy grabbing, wall building, climate change denying, healthcare abolishing, tax dodging, sh*t spewing demagogue.
How sh*t do you have to be to lose to that?
Where was Sanders?
Why wasn't he on the ticket?
I have no doubt in my mind that Sanders would have beaten Trump, hands down.
But instead, they chose Clinton, a candidate who's been cosying up to the banks and dry humping corporations for years.
Who is on record telling her corporate friends that you should have a public and private persona.
Don't tell the truth to the plebs, or you won't be able to rip them off.
She'll do ...
That was the feeling.
What did they think was gonna happen?
People keep saying to me, 'how did this happen'?
They're dumbfounded, but it's so simple.
The left did this.
This is my fault, people like me.
When are we going to learn?
The left have given up putting any argument across at all, to the point where Clinton is considered left. Liberal.
On many issues, Teresa May is less right wing than Clinton.
That's just a f*cking fact.
And yet my friends are on Facebook saying, 'I'm with her'.
I'm f*cking not.
'Oh, but she's better than Trump'.
Sorry that's not good enough. Clearly. Clearly, she's not good enough.
And if I see - f*ck me ... one more tweet containing a #TrumpWins, next to a #EverdaySexism, I'm gonna drop a f*cking b*llock.
Not everyone that voted for Trump is a sexist, or a racist.
Some of them are, but most aren't.
Most people didn't vote for her, not because she's a woman, they didn't vote for her because she offered no palpable change. What so ever. Same old sh*t.
Trump represents a change.
A terrifying change, but a change nonetheless.
Hillary represented, well she ... represented very little actually.
Because she protects corporate interests.
Because she doesn't call the police when questions from the debate are leaked to her in advance.
I notice we barely reported that.
Not everyone who voted for Trump is a sexist or a racist.
How many times does the vote have to go our way before we realise that our argument isn't won by hurling labels and insults.
Tory majority government ... Brexit
When will we learn that the key is discussion.
If you're unwilling to discuss then you are creating the conditions in which Donald Trump can thrive.
But instead of persuading people to vote,she just courted celebrity endorsements, and then lost.
What's going on?
It's almost as if the political acumen of Beyonce and Jay-Z count for nothing.
And then she loses it and loses the election, and she locks herself in her hotel because she's too upset.
Or perhaps it had never occurred to them to even write a concession speech.
Either way, grow up!
I have no sympathy for her whatsoever. Be a better candidate.
But thing is, I can't say this to any of my friends, Tim.
People like me, I'd get f*cking lynched if I said this.
Because people like me won't listen. I did this. This is my fault.
F*cking Donald Trump. The left is responsible for this result.
Because the left have now decided that any other opinion, any other way of looking at the world is unacceptable.
We don't debate any more, because the left won the cultural war.
So, if you're on the right, you're a freak. You're afraid. You're evil. You're racist, you're stupid.
You're a basked of deplorables
How do you think people are going to vote, if you talk to them like that.
When has anyone ever been persuaded by being insulted or labelled.
So now if you're on the right or even against the prevailing view, you are attacked for raising your opinion.
That's why people wait until they're in the voting booth.
There's no blame, or shame, or anything, and you can finally say what you really think and that is a powerful thing.
The Tories in charge, Brexit, and now Trump.
And all the poles were wrong, all of them.
Because when asked, people can't admit what they think.
They can't admit what they think, they're not allowed to.
The left don't allow them to.
We have made people unable to articulate their position for fear of being shut-down.
They're embarrassed to say it.
Every time someone on the left has said, 'you mustn't say that', they are contributing to this culture.
It's time so stop the moaning.
It's time to stop crying over spilt f*cking Brexit.
It's time to stop ignoring your opponents, or worse, trying to silence them.
It's time to stop banning people from speaking in universities.
It's time to stop thinking that reposting an article on your Facebook feed is political engagement. That banning a gymnast from doing what he's good at, because he insulted someones religion, somehow achieved something.
And sorry, when did the gymnast's association start thinking it was appropriate to start enforcing blasphemy laws.
It's time to start realising that reading the Guardian doesn't make you a liberal.
That retweeting Green Peace doesn't lower your carbon foot print.
And if my mansplaining is triggering you, you can either f*ck off to your safe space or you can engage, and debate me, and tell me what I'm getting wrong, because Trump just won the White House.
Being offended doesn't work any more.
Throwing insults doesn't work any more.
The only thing that works is f*cking bothering. Doing something.
And all you have to do is engage in the debate.
Talk to people who think differently to you and persuade them of your argument.
It's so easy, and the left have lost the art.
Stop thinking that everyone who disagrees with you is evil ... or racist, or sexist, or stupid, and talk to them!
Persuade them otherwise, because if you don't I'll tell you what I don't get.
You get President Trump!