I think it's pretty safe to say that 2016 hasn't been a great year for progressive and liberal politics, the depressing victory of businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump as the President-elect of the United States has probably been the final rusty nail in its coffin. Even though many of us knew that this was going to be the inevitable outcome after the ugly divide that Brexit has caused, it still really doesn't feel like any less of a hopeless time to be alive for me than right now.
Once again, a major political campaign has been democratically successful by spewing misinformation and toxic hate speech against minorities onto the general public, rather than offering any positive economic and social solutions, you know...like the politicians that we elect are meant to do. And as history has previously taught us, it's extremely easy to manipulate people with anger and fascist propaganda tactics by capitalising on the blame of minority groups. Even though I don't believe that everyone who voted for Donald Trump or Brexit are all prejudice against immigrants, I do think that it was a major factor after witnessing the rapid spike of hate crime incidents recently on both of the Atlantic.
Unfortunately, the current political and capitalistic system is the perfect conditions for someone like Donald Trump or Nigel Farage to thrive in, the more outlandish and offensive things that they say, the more disillusioned people see them as simply telling it like it is or offering a real change to a government that hasn't been listening to them for a long time. The opposing Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton and the Brexit Remain campaign were completely out of touch and never offered any real change to the current system which simply gives many of us no future what's so ever.
The oppressed working-class (even though strangely, as with Brexiters, they will be the ones that feel its consequences the most) who have been suffering under austerity have also found their protest vote against the greedy and corrupt elites who crashed their economy in the first place, whilst pocketing every single last penny at the same time. The truth is that it was elites, not immigrants who have taken 'their' country away from them, voting for a future of economic uncertainty and social division just isn't going to give them 'their' country back anytime soon.
Despite all the demand for change, the one thing that is now noticeably different is how completely divided both nations are left standing after all of this. I, myself, am struggling to find common ground with some of my friends and I'm even finding it tough to want to be in their company (and vice versa I'd suspect) because of how far apart that our uncompromising differences have pushed us. The policy of maintaining control over one's subordinates or opponents by encouraging dissent between them, thereby preventing them from uniting in opposition. This is also known as divide and conquer, a strategy used throughout history as a means to gain or maintain power. Is this really the change that we want? Or is the weaponization of the immigration crises that is being created by the global elites for their own financial agenda what is really going on here?
Maybe things have to get really bad in order for it to get any better for us, but if the current political and social events of 2016 are anything to go by, it honestly feels like we are heading towards some kind of bleak dystopian future which almost seems impossible to escape from. It truly would be a terrible shame if all the progress that the human race has made post both World Wars just falls victim to the familiar destructive cycle. An economic crash, a global recession, minorities and immigrants are blamed, the people are divided, the right wing extremists get elected into power and then predictability, a war. If the world really wants a real change, a real difference, then at the moment we are most certainly running mindlessly in the wrong direction from it, with scissors in our hands.