Another day, another surprising political result. I don’t really quite know what to say; this certainly seems to reflect a disatisfaction with some supposed political elite, but I don’t really understand why people think that voting for those who belong to a different type of elite group will somehow resolve this. It also seems that some kind of straight-talking appeals to some people, and I can see some merit in that. However, there’s a difference between simply shooting one’s mouth off, and being honest about what you think while still being informed and aware of the implications of what you’re saying.
Clearly (to me, at least) a healthy democracy is one in which no single ideology gets a strangehold on how our countries should be run. However, I have often naively thought that we mostly live in societies with a reasonably common set of ideals and goals and that the main differences are more in how we maintain those ideals and achieve those goals, than in the ideals and goals themselves. I would like to think that this is still broadly the case, but I’m finding it harder and harder to believe that it actually is. My real concern is the undertones (and maybe not even undertones) of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and misogyny. I had really thought that these were things (any kind of discrimination, really) that our societies had decided were unacceptable, and yet there seem to be many who are willing to either ignore this or – even worse – actually find it appealling. I really hope that I’m mis-reading this, but I fear that I am not.
However, given that I dislike catastrophic thinking, maybe I’ll try to end on a positive note. It seems to me that things are unlikely to be a disastrous as it appears that they could be. Not only are there various checks and balances, but what is said on the campaign trail is unlikely to precisely match what will actually be done when in office. I’m going to at least hope that this is the case, for the moment at least. Good luck everyone, we might need it.