American Election 2016 the Debriefing
Hello, my name is Kaj Samuel Lundgren and I am a singer and multi-instrumentalist
in the postmodern stadium rock band, a truth called nothing. Just like a lot of people, I am interested in America, like America, and wish for America to do well. As we now know, the country has just dealt itself a major blow by electing a dilletante, con-man, would-be demagogue for president; and all over the world sensible people are asking themselves how things could go so wrong. I believe I can answer at least part of that question. Let’s bullet-point it up!
1) The first mistake the Dems did was nominating an unelectable candidate. Regardless of her qualities, which are plenty, a cursory look through the alt-web – alt-right, conspiracy, and nationalist web sources – would have told them what it told me when I called Trump’s win two weeks ago. Namely that Lady Clinton is many times more hated than conventional media were aware. No, the leaks from Assange didn’t help, but the writing was on the wall even discounting them. Hopefully the Dems will now come to their senses and realize the Clinton name is poison when it comes to the public. Just imagine, if Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden were the nominee, a few drops of toupee glue might have been all that’s left of the Orange Ranger.
2) So all conventional American media now admits to being more or less blindsided by the result, whereas I wasn’t – I called this two weeks ago. How to reconcile that? Well. I personally engaged with the trumpists on our facebook page the days before the election. It was very much like stepping into an alternate reality. Conspiracy theory is now a part of the mainstream, and it was clear it was from these modern, social-media-based sources the trumpists were getting their interpretations of the facts, rather than professional, fact-checking journalism. For instance, they constantly mentioned two stories: the Clintons’ alleged trips to “pedophile island”, and the assertion by some guy named Sean Noonan that the Clintons had a couple of people killed. Now, I’m not going to make any statements about the truth or falseness of these claims (I suspect they are exaggerated or taken out of context, of course). The interesting thing is that this was the stuff Rs and R-leaning undecideds were reading in the days leading up to the election… and yet conventional media didn’t mention these stories with a word. This supports the theory that establishment media live in a self-reinforcing bubble, which is ironically what they always accuse the other side of doing. I can only see that they dropped the ball completely by not keeping up with what Breitbart, conservativespirit, proamericannews et al were reporting. Note that I’m still not even talking about the truth value of these allegations. I’m saying, I was looking forward to seeing what the conventional sources had to say about these stories, and… nothing.
3) Okay, so immigration. This is a multi-faceted topic indeed, and I won’t even try to be thorough. But I will mention one thing. So the idea that a nation might want to protect itself from hordes of newcomers by tightening borders is understandable on its own. But the thing is that they will keep coming, and they will inevitably settle down somewhere. So this may sound crass, but the thing to do is to spread them out over as large an area as possible – all stable countries in the world, preferrably. That way, refugees’ impact economically, socially and (if you’re worried about that kind of thing) culturally is lessened.
The problem here in Europe is that we have all these shitty nations who refuse to take any refugees at all, forcing two countries to largely carry the entire continent through these tumultuous times, and stoking the fires of far-right nationalism – causing countries to tighten themselves up even further, and it’s just a circle of shittiness and dodging responsibility. If a higher level of government – say, the European Union – would have stepped in and forcibly divided the refugees more equally across the countries of Europe, the result would have been that no one would have noticed much of a difference, not least because of the lessening of ghettoization. (Also the EU would have proved its legitimacy, but that’s neither here nor there.) But because a lot of people are irrationally afraid of immigrants, it’s a shitfest instead. Of course, being that American foreign policy was one of the major factors that destabilized the Middle East and created this crisis in Europe in the first place, it seems like it would only be fair play for them to accept a healthy amount of refugees.
And here’s the thing. In not so many decades, large areas of south Asia – Bangladesh in particular – will likely be underwater. Some scientists have made projections of as little as 20 years. And there are, let’s put it lightly, quite a lot of people living in those areas, people who will be looking for somewhere else to live. So the next period of great mass emigration is only starting. The thing to do is to get a grip, roll up your sleeves and deal with it, not hide behind walls and border cops. Of course, when the candidate proposing isolationism doesn’t even believe in man-made global warming, it’s a double-whammy of shittiness.
4) Lastly, the media are culpable in another way, or another two ways. First is the polling industry. I have always questioned the utility of releasing poll after poll after poll so close to an election. It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten that the very act of observation changes that which is being observed. Surely these polls influence and mobilize rather than inform. And they obviously don’t work as a means of measurement anymore, in any case. It’s all just distractions at best, confusion at worst. I’d call for simply outlawing polling in major elections.
Second, what I’d like to call the Brexit feeling. This is the feeling that convinced me to call the election in favor of Trump two weeks ago. Last summer, I was watching a Brexit watch party on the BBC, and it was really striking how the experts would assure the audience that although these last results don’t look good, they are still well within projections, and it will turn around anytime, don’t worry, don’t worry… They kept this up long after Brexit started to look like a certainty to reasonable people. And during the campaigns in America this year, what did we see? Every D-leaning or neutral (and some mainstream R) media just kept going on and on about how far ahead HC was, how – woops – she isn’t that far ahead anymore but don’t worry it’ll be fine; Don Orange fucked up again, and so she surges, but now it seems like she lost that lead again but DON’T WORRY, STUPIDS – LADY CLINTON IS AHEAD! It’s almost impossible for the Orange Terror to get anywhere near the White House! So all this is going on, and the people are supposed to come out and vote, but why would they if it’s so certain HC has it in the bag? There are plenty of obstacles to voting in America, so surely this media circle-jerk of wishful thinking can only make it more likely that people will decide to skip this one. And given that Trump clearly inspires more fierce devotion in his followers than Clinton has ever done in anyone, it should be obvious how dangerous that is.
I don’t know how to end this debriefing, so I’ll just trail off with a sentence about coming together and not giving up and so on, a sentiment that might be hard to believe in when authoritarian, anti-intellectual forces are gaining ground in most European nations and our entire profession of dictators is applauding America’s wise desicion in electing an idiot, but maybe in four years, maybe someday…