DECEMBER 18 ― If you need proof that you shouldn’t equate your social media feed with what the world is really like, look no further than last week’s UK election results.
Labour/Left were thrashed badly by the Right Tories. British parents won’t be naming their newborn boys “Jeremy” for at least five years.
It’s hard to exaggerate what a crushing loss this is for the liberal anti-Brexit camp.
Boris Johnson’s victory was also seen by many as a “second” referendum on Brexit, one which cements more emphatically than ever the preference of Britain to leave Europe: British voters simply don’t want to “Bremain”, they want their country’s sovereignty back, they don’t want a free-flow of migrants, they want out.
Even the most vocal Bremain groups need to accept their cause is lost.
Essentially, the British voting population wanted (and wanted vehemently) precisely the opposite of what our social media feeds and MSM news and celebrity “voices” (see note 1) claim the world wants.
A glance at Twitter, Facebook, Medium, etc. will, in a moment, fill your screen with 200 reasons why the UK must exit from Brexit, why Trump is a psychotic fool, why the Democrats must impeach him, why Johnson is as crazy as Trump, etc.
Yet the way people have voted with their, uh, ballots suggests the “world” we see on social media is based on an illusion.
Just imagine that there are millions of people online who believe a certain “version” of world politics, but hard reality shows them that many other millions of people believe differently.
And no one can cry foul, either. The results were delivered fair and square.
The situation in the UK and US cannot be compared to Malaysia’s (pretty barefaced) gerrymandering over the past few decades; this can be largely confirmed by noting how virtually nobody complained about “unfair” voting in both the States and England.
I recall in 2016 not even Trump believed he could win. Hence, the asinine irony of pro-Hillary supporters claiming that the elections weren’t fair after the results came out.
Folks, you can’t consider democracy “fair” only if your side wins. Duh.
Whatever the pros and cons of being Left or Right, I think we can all agree that ― at least for the moment ― the Right runs reality.
This victory will be near complete if Trump gets re-elected next year, so if you’re a pharmacist make sure you get those Trump Derangement Syndrome pills well stocked.
Notes to the Left
There are so many consequences from the above. I just wish to highlight one: If you identify with the Left (and statistically speaking, you probably do), this entails that you’ve aligned yourself to a worldview which is somewhat at odds with the on-the-ground concerns of many people.
True, your priorities and values fit well those espoused by CNN, by the average liberal arts university, by most popular talk show hosts, by most Hollywood celebs, etc. but all that doesn’t change the fact that the world by and large disagrees with you.
Not unlike how the anti-vaxxers have it dead wrong when it comes to healthcare, and the flat-earthers are out to lunch on astronomy, the Left seems to have struck out on world politics (see note 2). At least, again, for the next five years.
If this doesn’t warrant some humility, am not sure what would. Like what Thanos was preaching to Loki, maybe it helps to know what it feels like to lose.
To feel so desperately that you’re right, yet to fail nonetheless.
It may, therefore, not be entirely out of line to recommend that you begin thinking beyond your “boundaries”, etc.
Like folks who’ve been in church for decades being asked to study other religions, maybe it helps to reflect hard on the positives of the “other side”?
Why do people support leaders like Johnson and Trump? Must it only be because they’re, uh, racist and xenophobic?
Is that entirely fair (or even logical)?
Why was Corbyn slammed for being anti-Semitic? Could there be valid reasons other than the blatantly ad hominem, “The Jews are the problem!”?
Why do so many Brits want Brexit? Is there something about regional integration which somehow doesn’t sit well with the general population?
What real problems of mass immigration may an ordinary Brit experience, which we non-Brits in front of our Twitter screens may have no idea about?
Five years. Even the Avengers needed that time?
Note 1: The anti-Brexit camp was represented by celebrities from across the spectrum of what one can be famous for in Britain, namely Hugh Grant, Russell Brand, Gary Lineker, Ian McEwan, etc. all of whom have called for a second referendum because they weren’t happy with the first one.
Note 2: By no means is the Left powerless, though. Education, diversity, climate change, abortion, sexuality, the LGBQT issue and “how we view religions” remain, I think it’s safe to say, firmly within liberal command and influence.
* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.