The ascent of Donald Trump to the leadership of the Free World represents a massive fail on the part of America’s techno-industrial complex to deal with the reality of the character of America he represents. Rather than embrace, take on board, and manage the reality of a heartland simmering with anger and disillusionment, America’s hipster classes derided their plight as a primitive backlash against the “inclusiveness” that they imagined to have characterised their new age ideologies.
Because of this elitist, condescending, and, in all its irony, exclusive attitude taken by America’s coastal Establishment cliques, people forgot to ask the important question around WHY Donald Trump had become such a force to reckon with in these US elections to begin with. And this is why Trump won. More importantly, this is why his win shocked some of the most influential of America’s lot. He came at them from left field — a field they chose not only to ignore but to exclude.
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We can see, however, that these hipsters haven’t learned much from the experience. After it was clear Trump had bagged the presidency of the planet’s mightiest nation, our Facebook and Twitter timelines were still filling with the same sort of whiney teeth gnashing that characterised the dysfunction in the anti-Trump campaign. Trevor Noah lamented on The Daily Show as the election numbers rolled in how he had become “very much afraid”…
“This is it, the end of the presidential race, and it feels like the end of the world,” Noah said. “I don’t know if you’ve come to the right place for jokes tonight because this is the first time throughout this entire race where I’m officially sh-tting my pants.”
As surprising as the results might have been to some, Noah did have therapeutic jokes up his sleeve. “We are going to be making jokes tonight but I am very much afraid,” he said. “Donald Trump is doing much better than expected. He’s doing so much winning that I am tired of winning.”
If there is a lesson to be learned here, it is that the reason Trump’s supporters had become so resolute about their decision to vote for him was because of sentiments like these issued by influential people who are perceived to be abusing their access to expensive instruments of mass communication.
Noah, obviously, did not learn this lesson.
But the signs have long been there. Mainstream media had become an object of mistrust (an institution that had been tainted by the agendas of the “one percent”) — just as social media had risen to become a potent tool for mass communication that ordinary people had access to.
Then there are the ordinary anti-Trump voters who suggest in not a few tweets and Facebook posts that America had become a society of hate, misogynism, and racism because of Trump’s victory — forgetting, of course, that theirs is a democracy and that behind this win are fellow American voters. Again, the question Americans should be asking themselves is Why?
Why did Trump win so many votes?
That question cannot be answered by Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg; nor by Silicon Valley’s “data science”, and certainly not by their fellow hipsters who will only give us the same answer Trevor Noah gave his viewers. As Albert Einstein was once said to have said: You cannot solve a problem using the same thinking that created it. Hipsterism had already lost Europe to resurgent xenophobia and spun Great Britain out of the European Union. They had been instrumental in the victory of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines and now their tiresome political correctness had precipitated the mass disillusionment of American voters that catapulted Trump to power.
So what is the solution to America’s Trump problem?
See, in framing the question that way, we remain in that very same cognitive prison Einstein describes. It should occur to us by now that the thinking that created “the Trump problem” is the real problem that needs to be solved here.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.