Many are horrified at the support Donald Trump has received. Yet this condescending attitude towards his supporters has only enhanced it, and will continue to do so.
With the US Presidential Elections just a matter of days away, people across the world are terrified at the prospect of Donald Trump winning. In the West, the progressive left are among the loudest in this regard, and have resorted to condemning those who support Trump. Not only that, many have desperately endorsed his rival Hillary Clinton (despite not having anything positive to say about her personally) just to keep Trump out of the White House.
Many mistakenly believe that once Trump loses, everything will be safe, and that the sentiment that presented him with such support will dissolve.
This is a misconception. If anything, the emotions that led to support for Trump will intensify, and a worse candidate will take Trump’s place in the future.
Since many people support Trump due to resentment towards figures like Clinton, I dread to think how much this contempt would intensify after four years of her as president.
Of course, I’m bringing this last point up as Clinton represents this political elite that, for years, has been viewed by many as out of touch, and hasn’t connected with voters — ignoring the will of the people. This occurs not just in the United States, but in Europe too. A division occurs between the people and the political elite. Unfortunately, the liberal left seem to take the side of the political establishment – in cases like opposing Trump and support for the European Union.
Baffled at how an individual like Trump can gain such fervent support, they resort to slamming his supporters as ‘bigots’, ‘morons’ or simply assume they are all racist — even leading to some non-Americans making distasteful generalizations about American voters as a whole, as I’ve witnessed. Clinton herself has joined in with this, categorizing half of Trump’s supporters as racist or ‘other deplorables’.
This misses a key point: that Trump simply presents himself as the anti-establishment candidate. And with his outspoken and showman-like way of doing so, this clearly excites people. Just look at the ovation he receives during his past rallies.
With this condemnation coming from the left too — much of it emerging from the support base, or even political figures within the camp of say Bernie Sanders in the US, or the Labour Party in Britain (in the case of Brexit etc.), this makes the movements in question seem unappealing. No wonder many feel compelled to vote for Trump, or the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) as a last resort.
Clinton herself made this worse from her unwise remarks that half of Trump’s supporters are racist, sexist or ‘other deplorables’. Such a president will not solve this resentment that the masses have towards the establishment, and will only enhance it.
What people condemning Trump supporters must understand is that they won’t make this issue go away by carrying on this condescending attitude of calling them stupid. Rather, they should try and reason with them, and cement the divisions that have been caused between both sides. This bridge that exists between the two is the reason that Trump has garnered such support. When people feel helpless and despairing, it is often instinctual to support the more extreme option.
If these feelings persist, the working class are continuously ignored, and we get to the 2020 elections, imagine who could replace Trump. Something worse perhaps?
A similar occurrence is happening in Britain. The 17.1 million who voted to leave the EU are being slandered in the same manner that Trump supporters are. If Brexit is blocked, which it could be after the recent decision to leave it to parliamentary vote, this rage will erupt further and support for UKIP in 2020 will surge.
With polls showing European nations like France, Austria and Holland possessing higher levels of antagonism towards the EU than Britain did before June 23, such sentiment has spread across the whole continent, and will undoubtedly jeopardize the future of the EU as a whole.
The take-home message is that the liberal left need to cease this condescending attitude, which has caused support for Trump, UKIP, the Front National and others to grow initially. This is a universal message, to those in America and Europe. Otherwise, more extreme candidates will emerge in all these places.
If both sides began to reason with each other, this would ensure we get a political figure who represents the will of the people, and who doesn’t employ regressive principles – as many fear Trump would do. Surely this would be a nicer alternative than voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’ every time’
That’s all. This is a warning message.