Sitting down to write this post, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin.
Should I address the incredulity that I, and it seems a big part of the world, am feeling? Should I focus on what such a person in power could mean for our future? How about what this says about our acceptance of women in high positions? Perhaps, in the wise words of Julie Andrews a.k.a. Maria von Trapp, the very beginning would be best.
And that is – the day we began to accept a steady decline of values, a slow eroding of culture and intellectual thought, and replace them instead with reality shows and their stars, in all their grimy baseness, and adulate them as ‘stars’.
People seem to look around at the Kardashians of the world and think they’re just ignorant people who bring nothing to the table but take nothing away from it. Oh how wrong they are. On many counts.
To start with, they are far from ignorant. They are, instead, extremely business-savvy people who have figured out how to become sickeningly rich by creating a big, bubbling cauldron of want in those who seek to imitate. But WHAT they want is the issue here. Their language is crass, their clothing sense vulgar, and they clearly aren’t interested in investing in their intellectual future.
THIS is what people around the world are aspiring to.
Of course, there are several other shows that share this dubious honour. Big Brother, Survivor (I think it’s called), and others of the same ilk, where to win, to stand out, to beat the odds, it’s not how wise one is that counts, how many books one has read, how much research has been carried out, no. Rather it’s how loud, boorish, obnoxious, conflictual you can be that will be sure to get you the headlines.
Trump is all of that, and more. Can we honestly be surprised he has won?
I think not. I hoped not, but I have to say I’m also not surprised.
This descent into racism, bigotry, chauvinism, narcissism has been written in the stars for a long, long time. And the seemingly above-the-belt politicians, with their own use of xenophobic language and action, have simply been pandering to this.
We seem to be playing to the lowest common denominator, instead of the highest one. Who cares if he has bankrupted companies, created false universities? Who cares if all he wants from a woman is to play with her pussy? (His words – not mine). Who cares if he spews hatred, makes claims he can’t back up, is proven time and time and time and time again to be a flagrant liar?
He is, however, very good at one thing – the game of reality TV. This is where he came from, after all. He is and has always been a charlatan. He may bring zero substance to the table. But he won not because of issues but because he could speak the brash, harsh language that reality TV has made the norm. The louder one is, the more points he scores.
All you need to do is take a look at some photos of him. He looks like he’s playing a role in a Laurel and Hardy piece. It’s slapstick comedy at its worst. But it’s no laughing matter.
Granted, at least in my books, Clinton was not the ideal candidate to beat him, but she was by far more qualified than him, more capable than him, more political. What she was not is a man. Because yes, I’m 101% sure that being a woman played massively against her. And the fact that a misogynist was her opponent, allowed to get away with some of the most abusive behaviour and language possible towards a woman only made it worse.
Sure, there are other matters at play too. Such as the fact that people are fed up with dynasties, that the political spectrum is no longer a matter of right-centre-left, that globalisation has led to some people wanting a world-view politics, while others pull for a closer-to-home approach.
But ultimately, what we have done to culture, is our doomsday. Let us not forget that Nazi Germany burnt books, that education is never sought out in dictatorships, that a society without arts is a very poor one indeed. And yet, culture has inexorably been eaten away to be replaced by reality TV as the high temple of society, when the lowest common denominator is the one people aspire to, when the likes of the Kardashians are venerated, when all this happens and more, a result like the one we are seeing now shouldn’t surprise us at all.
Make the people ignorant and they will vote ignorantly. Give them a charlatan, make him charismatic, and they will turn him into a demigod. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.
This is a gigantic defeat not only of political proportions but of society as we know it. This is a slap in the face of civilization and values, it is a return to gladiator days.