Since sitting and watching Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania fall beneath the crimson wave of the Trump Campaign, I've spent a lot of time thinking about whose responsible for the Donald Trump's election to the presidency and for Brexit come to that. Obviously the people who voted for them are, but in a way I think we are too. And by we I mean liberal lefty millennials like me.
Think about it, the internet was supposed to bring us together and help unite us has actually made us more divided than ever. We move inside our little liberal/conservative bubbles and we block out and unfriend and ignore anyone who disagrees with us, to the point we find ourselves unable to comprehend the reasons people might vote a different way to us. And because the media hates complexity we swallow whole the idea that Trump or Farage are racists - which I think they are but that's neither here or there - and therefore anyone who votes for them must also be a bunch of racist ignorant misogynists. And in the end all we have is a divided toxic political system where nothing gets done, because we can't even bear to be in the same room as someone on the other side of the aisle.
But If you honestly think that Trump won or we voted to leave the EU because the majority of the American/British population are by nature racist then I have a bank account in Guinea-Bissau I need your help accessing. If you genuinely believe that 60,116,240 Americans or 17,410,742 British people are racist then you really need to reconsider what media you are consuming. Maybe some are, but I'm willing to bet that a vast majority voted for Trump and for Brexit because there are no jobs to be had and there haven't been for years. The town you've lived in your whole life is dying and it doesn't matter how many times you drag yourself to the job centre or how many times some sixth former in the nice suit tells you that "recovery is just around the corner" and "unemployment is going down" cause there still aren't any jobs and you feel utterly useless because you have a family and you want to provide for them and you can't. And now another politician is coming round talking about things you don't understand and they care more about the blacks, or the gays or the Hispanics than they seem to about bringing back jobs to your little town and you know what you'll be damned if you're going to vote for another professional politician bought and paid for by the unions or the hemp lobby.
And then Trump steps up and opens his mouth and Farage starts talking and here is a guy who understands. This is a guy who cares. This is a guy who says he can make things better. And you know deep down that he probably can't but hey it's not like things can get any worse. So you vote for him. Because you've been neglected and looked down on and forgotten for too long and you are going to make people listen to you for once. It's like Lewis says in the film The American President.
People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.
Trump offers premium grade sand. But when that's all that's on offer is it any surprise people lap it up?
I'm as angry as many of you are about Trump winning. I think it will be terrible for America and terrible for the world. But I think we have to accept that this is at least partially our own fault. If the left ever wants to win another election in it's life it has to stop pretending that the Angry White Man is going to go away and that "demographic change will see us through." No. That won't work. It won't wash any more. If the left wants to win get up to the Rust belt and get up to the working class towns in the North of England and actually listen to what people have to say. You might not like it, but it's that or perpetual opposition. This applies to the rest of us too. If we are genuinely interested in changing the world, then we have together. Not just the left, not just the right. All of us. And that requires sitting down together and talking.