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BY JOE HUGHES 14/11/2016
The alt-right; the far-right; the KKK; fascists & those unable to comprehend any human emotion other than hate, are uniting this week to celebrate human shitpot, Donald Trumps victory in the presidential election. It is hailed by right-wing politicians, media outlets & general persons as being a huge victory for them, but when you delve beyond the headlines it is actually a devastating reality check for right wing & neo-liberal politics.
In one of the most prominent presidential elections in modern history, around 47% of the nation didn't bother voting - thats about 108 million people who felt they were not represented by a candidate. This is because this wasn't right against left, as many, shockingly even by some on the left, were claiming. It was far-right against not quite as far-right, and people are sick of right wing politics dominating.
I found it alarming that Hillary Clinton had been catapulted into a figure of hope. The woman who sympathised with, and was paid $225,000 an hour by banks at the heart of the global financial crisis, such as Goldman Sachs, was a figure of hope; the woman who has initiated illegal wars across the world & whose decisions have destroyed countries such as Libya, Yemen, Honduras, Iraq & Syria, was a figure of hope; the woman who has imposed her corrupt politics on those in the US & countries such as Haiti & Palestine, was a figure of hope; the woman who was funded by Donald Trump for years, was seen as the hopeful alternative. US voters were left with a choice between sawing off their legs with a rusty knife or caving in their own skull with a hammer & chisel. The voting figures shouldn't have come as a surprise then.
Donald Trumps vote share actually dropped from the last election in 2012. Far from inspiring a wave of millions of new supporters, he actually lost 600,000 votes compared to Mitt Romney, and persuaded 2% less of the electorate to vote from him than his predecessor. Not quite the inspiring figure he is portrayed to be then, unless of course we all missed the moment Romney was also hailed as the ultimate anti-establishment man, rather than the pitiful lamppost, with all the charm & charisma of a kerb, he actually was.
Why then, did Trump win the election? Two reasons; firstly, the corrupt electoral college system, which I’ll leave for another day; secondly, Hillary Clinton. Her downfall was even more devastating than Trumps. She lost 6 million Democratic voters from 2012 and 5% of the electorate.
I have no doubt in saying Donald Trump took 100% of the votes he was always going to get. There are no Trump supporters out there who couldn't drag their bodies out to vote for him. I have the same confidence in saying, that while Clinton got 100% of the votes she was always going to get, the Democrats did not. When stacked up against recent elections, this will go down as one of the worst results for them, but voters were not flooding over to vote for Trump, they simply didn't vote. They were left with a choice of two people they could not bring themselves to vote for.
Had the Democrats not rigged their candidate election with the corrupt super delegate ruling, Bernie Sanders would have rightly taken on Donald Trump, and won. It would have given people a clear, distinctive choice on the ballot paper. He’d have only needed a couple of percent of votes to take the win, something he'd have walked. Instead, people were denied that choice by the ultra conservative leaders of the Democrat Party, who were convinced that beating the far-right was done by a centrist politician & who were scared stiff of what Sanders stands for.
This election, along with the general election in Britain last year, should serve as a stark warning that the far right cannot be defeated with conservatism or central politics - it can only be defeated by the left. This warning should be particularly adhered to by the Labour Party. The Conservatives have been swinging further right for years & if you thought Thatcher/Reagan was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The Parliamentary Labour Party must unite behind Corbyn.
Those that claim Trumps victory was a kick out at the establishment are right: people are sick & tired of neo-liberal capitalism causing so much inequality and pain amongst us. Those people though are not flooding to the right wing to seek haven there - they are crying out for a hopeful, left alternative.
It is tricky for the left to put forward candidates capable of winning, as the system is rigged in favour of the right. Despite this, we must ensure we are organising strongly & putting forward our case for a better society for all, loudly. In France, the rise of the Front National is largely going unchallenged, as the left are too disorganised there. A right victory in France next year could leave Corbyn as the only hope in the western world. Sanders has certainly inspired millions across the US. Corbyn is certainly inspiring millions across the UK. It is our job though to ensure that message is conveyed to millions more. The voice of millions is stronger than the corruption of a few.
We cannot afford to have further elections with no strong left alternative on the ballot. Regardless of political beliefs, it is fair to say people deserve the opportunity to vote between two distinctive candidates.
Whichever way last weeks election went, the establishment were always going to tighten their grip on power in the US, but one thing this election teaches us, is that with a decent, genuinely hopeful candidate, the establishment can be beaten.
This was a morally bankrupt election, but Trumps victory shouldn't come as a shock. The conditions that allowed such a win existed long before last week, and have been building for decades. Clinton should know, her & her husband helped create them. Now it is the job of real progressives to stand up and fight this shit.