Whether you supported these two political events or not, these two seemingly very different democratically decided outcomes have a very close tie. The events I am referring to are of course: Donald Trump winning the US Presidential election and Britain choosing to leave the European Union. Arguably these two events have made 2016 one of the most biggest and surprising years in political history. The common link between these two shocking events is that supporters of either of these events gave of an air of anti-establishmentism.
These movements could be considered as a 21st century democratic coup. Particularly the election in the US can be likened to this idea of seizure of power from the turned up nose elites from the Whitehouse. This is indeed how Donald Trump branded his campaign he described it in his victory speech as “not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement”. With the British the referendum which went from being joked about happening to resulting in the the majority choosing Britain to leave the EU, it likewise can be seen as an unlikely people’s revolution which won.
These uprisings have allegedly been in order to target the wealthy ruling elites who are out of touch with the rest of society. ABC News elegently described both these results “as evidence of a disconnect between the ruling elite and the disenchanted and skeptical voters across the electorate”. In the United Kingdom this discontent felt by the general public towards establishment could be felt in the general election in may 2015 when an extreme minority party came out of no where and received 12.6% of the nation’s votes.
This discontent towards the elite ruling class was forged by lifelong politicians who have no real life experience in anything other than the world of politics. So out of touch it is laughable. Failure to connect with the General public because they lack the ability to step out of their body and identify the problems our country faces.
Another factor to this twisting tale of surprising political events is the resentment towards the idea of globalisation. Both Brexit and Trump promised that these great democratic nations which had once been uniquely powerful and incredibly patriotic, would be restored against the ever increasing flow of globalisation. With the development of the internet and improvement of technology our world has become increasingly connected. It could be said this was at the cost of the destruction of the middle class. So these people who have felt like they were forgotten and are just another mute finally had a chance to allegedly change their life for the better. These people have been striving for an identity in a world which is increasingly the same and globalised.
No matter your opinion on the results of Brexit or the US Presidential election one things certain that both these events are very closely related. Both Brexit and Trump promised the destruction of the global elite and the recognition of these two seemingly great nations. Both these democratically decided political events are unquestionably going to influence the political landscape for years to come.
So we are left with a situation where Hillary Clinton has (according to CNN results) approx. 2.8million more votes than Donald Trump, yet due to the electoral college system we have one of the most hated figures in all of the history of politics.
To make a judgment about the democratic system we first must understand how it works. Each state has a number of electoral votes based on how many members in the House of Representatives and how many Senators that state has. For example the state of South Dakota has three electoral votes, which is the number of senators and representatives it represents in congress. There is a total of 538 electoral votes and a candidate must achieve 270 in order to win a majority along with the presidency. When you vote you elect an elector.
This method of democracy was put in place because the founders of the American constitution did not trust direct democracy. They believed that factions would appear around on the country who would group together and keeping a common interest in mind would violate the rights of other citizens by electing based on greed. In modern-day terms we have seen people try to vote for something because they think it is funny. The thinking of this system when created was that it would stop extremist parties or radical leaders.
As we can see that actually this system is outdated and does not work anymore. First of all it discourages voter turnout. In the 2016 US Election the voter turnout was only 59.3% as opposed to 66.0% in Germany’s general election 2015 where they use a popular vote system. This method of using a non-proportional government dishearten’s voters because they don’t think their vote counts. Moreover, it is frightfully clear that it does not keep radical and extremist leaders out.
The Electoral College was created in order to stop troll votes and extremist leaders coming to power. It is ironic that arguably one of the most extremist leaders that the free world has ever seen has been elected using this flawed system. What is viewed as the democratic paradise of the world has proved once again along with political correctness, that this is not the case. Once again America has shot it’s self in the foot.
A major reasons why many Americans voted for Donald Trump was his stance on political correctness, this appealed to many middle class voters who felt they had been oppressed and forgotten about among the midst of catering for the flocking number of immigrants. A culture of biting lips and cursing under breath at things rather than raising and standing for what one believes has been created by this monstrosity of a policy. The culture has come about due to a shift towards increasingly incorporating and accepting left wing ideas in more mainstream politics in the US, which for a long time has been a centre right nation.
Political correctness is the act of not voicing your opinion in fear of insulting minorities. On the surface this policy is one which makes a huge amount of sense and could really change things for the better. The term politically correct has only been around in western politics since the start of the 21st century.
The first amendment of the American constitution states the people’s rights to their freedom of speech. The fundamental concept of political correctness conflicts with people’s freedom of speech. Hence we could view political correctness as an idea that infringes on people’s freedom of speech, one of the most significant rights the American people hold. Have we become so naive as a race that we say things just to keep people happy rather than taking a look at the cold hard facts and trying to understand what the issue is. Is it not ironic? One of the most democratically established nations is subjected by an idea which prevents people sharing their views.
Donald Trump has been welcomed and his ideas made seem some what rational because of the sheer frustration of people who have been patronised and antagonised by the prevention of them sharing their political views. This group of people have been politically swept under the carpet by the left, when they pop their head out above the political parapet they get humiliated and called “racist bigots” or ignored completely.
Do not get me wrong there is another type of anti-PC supporter. This type uses this resentment as an excuse to fuel their racist, homophobic and xenophobic ideologies. Some have even gone as far to say that Trump is “rebranding” racism to make it appear acceptable.
Is there a place for political correctness? I personally believe there is a place for it but not as it currently stands. Currently the left too often shame the right for having any opinion other than what they agree with. This has frustrated people and angered individuals who simply want to express their views. The way political correctness plagues politics at the moment, it threatens the integrity of the US democratic system as we know it. Political correctness needs to be changed. We need to make a habit of not forgeting that we owe every single person no matter what colour or creed the same respect. As a democratic society which is becoming increasingly polarised, we should take time to listen and tolerate others views no matter what side of the political spectrum we are on. However we cannot turn away from the facts and simply call them politically incorrect because they risk offending people. We must stand up for what is right and solve the many disturbing issues America has while not forgetting what democracy stands for.