In 2016, two earth-shaking events happened:
The June referendum, when 17.4 million people in the UK voted to LEAVE the EU.
It was a 52% majority.
And the November election of Donald Trump for President of the US, when 62 million people voted for Trump which won a majority of the Electoral College votes.
These millions of voters in the UK and US felt they were NOT being listened to by their leaders. They felt marginalized and disenfranchised. They felt their leaders thought their concerns were insignificant and so they were put on the back burner.
Yet, they had LEGITIMATE concerns about their country!
All the bile and criticism thrown at the majorities in these two countries is a sign that the insulated political class wants to take the people out of democracy. Now, democracy means giving the people a voice so they can speak for themselves. The word democracy implies power and control to the people.
So, what happened in the aftermath of these two earthquakes?
People of the masses got bashed! This was the response to the events. Constant complaining and attempts to block the people’s decision.
Lets look at some of the LEGITIMATE concerns of the majority of the voters.
The 17.4 million people who voted to LEAVE the EU:
- They wanted to make their own laws and decisions. Take control back from the EU.
- Close the open borders by vetting incoming people for safety and population reasons.
- Protect our institutions which are feeling the strain from over population.
- Do our own trade deals with the rest of the world.
- The people want their country back. For too long the elite have put the needs of other countries ahead of the UK’s.
What the 62 million voters wanted Trump to do:
- Have the government start listening to the people’s concerns.
- Bring jobs back to the US.
- Manufacture our own goods at home, NOT abroad.
- Re-build infrastructure and create many jobs.
- Need affordable health care for the ordinary person.
- Strengthen the borders by close vetting of incoming people.
- Stop cheap foreign goods from entering the country.
- Stop illegal immigration, if you’re in the country illegally, you are a criminal.
These are all LEGITIMATE concerns.
Now, lets look at the attempts in both countries to delegitimize the results of the vote and the voters who produced them. The power elite tried to force their views on the voters by FEAR and INSULT.
In the UK a fear campaign was launched. The Prime Minister and his cronies, the Governor of the Bank of England, The Chancellor of Germany and even the President of the US plus many celebrities said leaving the EU would mean economic catastrophe for the country.
Yet, still a majority didn’t do as they were told and voted to leave the EU!
In America, Clinton talked about “the deplorables” who supported Trump and the elite found the idea of such deplorable people exercising power frankly distasteful.
Some things stand out in the people bashing responses to Brexit and Trump’s election:
- It has been said that those voting for Brexit in the UK and Trump in the US must have been uninformed, emotionally gullible people. Some say we entrust too much influence to the ignorant and easily misled people who don’t listen to the wise and enlightened elite. This is a clear insult to the voters.
The fear campaign of the elite tried to scare the “simple-minded” voters into obedience to their views. But the electorate resisted this ploy.
- It has also been said that people who voted for Brexit and Trump must be racists. Ridiculous! You can’t write off millions of voters by using the over-used race card. Look again at the legitimate concerns of the people, there is nothing racist about them.
- The elite political class want to redefine the meaning of democracy by excluding or downplaying the people by trying to represent them as it sees fit. They seek to separate the power from the people.
And this is why the elites of the UK and US and the rest of the West could not and can not accept the results of the two political earthquakes.
I always thought that majority rule was the main stay of democracy. Apparently not, when millions vote against the ideas of a small political elite.
So, what now? We need to reaffirm the democratic principles. We need to open up a political debate on how to engage the many who have been excluded from public life, and put all the people back in Democracy.
Maybe we could have more public debates on national issues via the internet. Instead of being just spectators, the people should have more of a say in where the world goes, NOT JUST THE ELITE!
Also published on Medium.