Thursday, November 10, 2016

Who the Hell Voted for Him?

The next four years are going to be hilarious, if not intriguing. Less so, perhaps, for Americans.

"President Trump" - kinda grabs you by the, ahem, doesn't it?

One wonders if he truly thought he would win. The photos during that point during the vote-counting when he stormed ahead suggests he was a little surprised at his surge. Melania, sorry FLOTUS, seemed exasperated by the prospect.

Mike Pence appeared genuinely shocked, pensive even. He had been so wired and prepared for a faux pas or another blunder by his running mate that he was unprepared for the one irony that he should have at least entertained the notion of; being the VP of the USA.

So many unanswered questions? Trump's inauguration. Will he rub it in. Will he hint at the long list of naysayers, haters, and enemies that he is no doubt having written up? Will he mention The Wall? Or signal how he will "bomb ISIS back to the Stone Age"? Or rescind the Iran deal? Or bring back torture worse than water-boarding?

Then there's Obama's, sorry Clinton's, concession speech. It is truly the end of the road for her political ambitions. It's also the end of the road for so many within the DNC. This was theirs to lose. In an election in which frustration and anti-establishment themes dominated, they chose the least progressive, most paid off candidate they could find.

But first, the reaction of the Twitterverse:

Poor Alfredo. All the people who he agrees with online didn't disagree with him, and yet another group who doesn't agree with Alfredo's worldview voted differently. How confusing for him.

Or these crestfallen millennials wailing, "this isn't my America":

It's the end of civilization because their views and predictions didn't carry the day.

Social media has reached its apotheosis. It isn't really a vehicle for change in the sense that if we amass a following that furiously agrees with us, then the world will change accordingly. Social media is more of a conflicted space than it is a space for conflict. We confuse preference with principle.

We prefer that people like us represent an enlightened group. Beavering away at narratives that roil in self-affirmation. And yet the principles many of us claim to uphold float on group-think.

Nothing, no clicking or winning formation of 140 characters, can trump (sorry) getting out of your comfort zone and going down to the ballot box and casting a vote. Or attending a protest. Social media is exactly what it calls itself. A social space. We hang out and converse with likeminded souls.

NYT columnist, Russel Baker, cleverly observed that in the GOP, Trump saw "the empty shell of a political machine, available for occupancy" (Nov. 10, 2016  NY Review of Books). But these authors, even when dissembling a sense of even-handedness invariably dismiss Trump as a flare-up and the inevitable result of the descent of the GOP into low-brow politics.

Politics is by definition selective. Candidates select their constituency just as their constituency selects them. The majority of Americans who cared enough to cast a ballot - that basket of deplorables - voted for Trump's anti-establishment manifesto, not Hillary's "more of the same over here and thanks for the votes".

A consensus emerged within the mainstream media that Trump was too soiled, too acrimonious with common sense, too indecorous to be president. This was not really reporting, indeed it was barely reportage. It was opinion dressed up as the news.

No comments:

Post a Comment