So we awake this morning to another ‘surprise result’, the election of Donald Trump to the role of President of the United States of America. After the June 2016 referendum and 2015 General Election we in the U.K. should be acutely aware that polls can be wrong. Along with the ‘shy Tories’ who, against the odds, brought a Conservative majority parliament in 2015, and the vote to leave the European Union, we Britons have become acutely aware of the phenomenon of ‘hidden voters’; those who don’t answer polls or lie about their intentions.
However, this article isn’t about polls and how, in a close race, they can be wrong.The topic of this article is the primary reason that the UK voted to leave the EU and why Trump will soon be President of the USA.
And that reason? Racism. Pure and simple.
Both the campaign to leave the EU and Trump’s election speeches led on immigration: “Take back our country” and “Take control of our borders”.
This may be why so many polls were wrong: people were embarrassed to admit to their views. Many claimed they wanted to bring back law-making ability to the UK parliament – though ironically these same people are now planning to march on the Supreme Court, like some heavy-handed lynch-mob, to try to wrest the law-making role of parliament away and give it solely to the unelected executive.
The fact that a significant number of voters had racist intentions is evident by the dramatic rise in racist hate crimes in the U.K. since the referendum. The racists who despised the fact they weren’t allowed to openly harm others suddenly felt vindicated. Cries of “go home” and worse are more commonplace for people of colour and anyone identifying as a Muslim. These are the people who won the referendum, and now they feel that 52% of us are with them, but just too spineless to be honest.
Trump’s openly bigoted and racist assertions about Mexicans and Muslims have uncovered greater hidden racism in the US.
We have moved into dark times. In 2016 the ‘western world’ has become a nasty, illiberal and dangerous place. In June the UK voted against free movement of people and capital; yesterday the US did the same.
This isn’t due to a ‘resurgent right-wing’ in politics, as I often see claimed. There are many on the ‘left’ who openly (and discreetly) supported Brexit, though they hid their dislike for foreigners behind their protectionism of the indigenous populations: Corbyn was on record for his dislike of open borders and the EU; Gordon Brown, while Prime Minister, campaigned using the slogan “British Jobs for British Workers”. Similarly Trump’s success relied on the votes of the American working class who have seen jobs lost to China and elsewhere. Ironically Trump is actively supporting the same dislike of ‘globalisation’ (read: free-ish markets) as the anti-capitalist protesters who make fools of themselves at G12 summits and on their hilarious “Million Mask March”. Even more ironically is that the protesters wear masks made in China and Trump has his branded clothes made in Mexico.
And this is not a reaction to the rich political class, as many claim: Farage is a career politician; Trump is a billionaire businessman.
These ‘leaders’ are collectivists. They want control of ‘their’ patch of the planet and don’t want others entering that they don’t like. They abhor the free movement of capital and the free movement of people. They abhor liberty.