A prominent 23-year-old writer and TEDx speaker has offered perhaps the most thought-provoking theory on why numerous opinion polls failed to gauge the wealth of support for newly elected US President Donald Trump.
Siyanda Mohutsiwa posted a series of tweets on Wednesday in which she describes her observation of an “alt-right” movement which “radicalised” young white men online.
Mohutsiwa, a Botswana native currently studying in the US, explained to The Huffington Post UK: “I couldn’t understand why people were surprised by the outcome. It seemed inconceivable to people that young college-educated men could be motivated to vote for Trump.”
Some 57% of white college-educated men voted for Trump, according to CNN’s exit poll. Some 48% of white male voters aged 18-29 choosing the billionaire.
Mohutsiwa’s Twitter thread has already been shared thousands of times, giving pause for thought to those left bewildered by Trump’s close to landslide victory.
HuffPost found numerous examples of “alt-right” Reddit threads containing posts which appeared designed to influence users’ political beliefs.
In one post, a user instructed others in how to “red-pill” - or offer the painful truth of reality - to someone without any political knowledge, known in “alt-right” parlance as a “normie”.
They described how to create an online argument using broad statistics of US immigration, replete with stock responses and comebacks to questions.
The Reddit post clearly advised users not to mention race, as to do so may distract the “normie” from the wider point being made about migration.
The user added that this method was useful as it inspired the “normie” to conduct their own research into the effect of migration on politics.
Mohutsiwa was busy preparing for an upcoming TEDx talk as HuffPost spoke to her on Wednesday, a follow up to a talk entitled ‘How Africans found a voice on Twitter’ in February.
Expanding on her tweets, she said: “I don’t know what’s next now. I don’t see this organising into a mass movement. These are people who are parts of many, many normal organisations.
“Their internet anonymity has allowed them to spread without impacting their personal lives.
“This feels like the beginning, but the beginning of what I’m not sure.
“I don’t think Donald Trump has created this movement, but I think he has perhaps even unwittingly benefited from it.
“I don’t think this movement would have happened like this without the internet.
“These young men have spent a lot of time alone on their own thinking about things such as sexism and racism.”