I think everyone must be pretty tired of politics, but it’s like one of those soaps you just can’t stop watching. Except that there is some real life behind it, once you filter out the slogans, the sound bites, the rallying cries and the message.
The bizarre thing is that the message has never been as crude and blatant, desperate even, as it has been over the last few years in Europe and America. Barack Obama just did what was in effect a public appeal, an entirely partisan endorsement of one candidate in the two horse French presidential election. Last year the same man lectured the British on the right choice to make before the referendum on leaving the EU, with a barely disguised threat we would face, should we make the “wrong” choice. Again last year, the way Clinton was marketed across the board in the mainstream media, as the only identity that could deserve the presidency at this time in history, and the way Trump’s supporters were denigrated, was remarkable also.
Brexit has proceeded slowly, and the next UK election will be about Brexit most essentially (whatever anyone pretends). So just before this election, which will either confirm May as PM, or replace her with Corbyn (cough), out spring the leaks from the EU about meetings with the British Prime Minister, and how Juncker states that a “successful Brexit” is not possible. Followed by ridiculous “divorce settlement” figure musings. Nice timing. Underhanded, opaque. How very Brussels!
There is a deep reaction to a process taking place here, and you see it in these representatives of a globalist elite (clichéd term, but it fits), in the rubber wall of media opinion clutching its pearls in moral outrage, or else dismissively sneering at the popular ground moving away from it, and in the outright hysteria that sees fascism everywhere, violence in words and internet insults, xenophobia in any kind of local non-minority identity, and hatred in any kind of unapproved private belief system, or way of thinking. I’m not sure who it was who said that utopians always seem to eventually tend towards totalitarianism, probably in their need to “reshape” (ie negate) reality, but it seems quite a credible view.
People have always got on with their lives, irrespective of what their “betters” instructed them to ape or believe. That is the gulf that exists between priest and congregation in any healthy society. But we got this situation where a highly influential bubble was kept under the priestly spell of a technocratic, post modern utopianism. Ordinary people just got on with life, mouthed (or held back) what they needed to in order not to be reprimanded, and shrugged their shoulders, even if with some resentment. But the bubble got bigger, the spell more imperious, more righteous, more slickly sure that it was the future.
The bubble-people didn’t have the old-fashioned virtues of real life though. They allowed themselves to indulge in their collectively self-confirming follies. And it was the people outside the bubble who not only got viewed as stupid, backward, unworthy of an opinion (tricky that, when you pretend to believe in democracy), but who also had to live with the consequences. Things were not well on the road to utopia.
Despite attempts to recruit assorted minorities to the bubble cause (“support us or you’re done for”), and threaten and shame the rest, the spell has been breaking, the bubble wearing thin, and the breath of fresh air that people have felt has not been forgotten.
It’s strange to watch the media, much of the political establishment, and what have been termed “the chattering classes” look at all this and think that they can have business as per the last 50 years, offer people the option of “what we tell you” or disaster/fascism/apocalypse/xenophobia/punishment, and think that people are really going to go for the former, and believe their characterisation of the latter. There’s a fundamental mismatch of world view here, and the world view which is losing its grip just doesn’t get the thing it can’t seem to control. You could criticise Trump all you liked, insult his followers, and it didn’t even matter that Trump was flawed and ill-qualified, when you kept on insisting that people believe in Clinton. You could threaten the Brexit choice with punishment and demonization, but your denial of the severe problems of the EU was just going to speak for itself. You can scream “fascist” (or “wolf”) as much as you like, but when you refuse to listen to people’s concerns, and insist they do what you tell them or else, then you betray a pious authoritarianism. Calling yourself “liberal” doesn’t make it so.
At some point the Emperor stands there, naked in the new clothes, and bolts for it. But despite what is wailed from the roof tops of the BBC, this isn’t a dark, atavistic will of the mob. It’s the relief of reality being admitted at last.
Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.
It’s just another day for most people. Hopefully with less bullshit.