WELCOME TO the future, ladies and gentlemen. After a year and a half, yours truly was looking forward to getting back to tackling issues that we face collectively. Let’s say Syria, climate change, the refugee crisis – now turned humanitarian quagmire. Maybe, just maybe, our dear publication could even go back to publishing actual news. Sadly, that hope was well and truly dashed on the morning of 9 November.
No, instead this is just the beginning. Let’s give him a chance, say all the pundits and the media, in their desperate bargaining as they try and reconcile their own failures to take The Donald seriously, while giving him billions in free publicity. Well, America gave him a chance. He swiftly proceeded to hire a white nationalist as his chief advisor. Steve Bannon is the former CEO of Breitbart News, an outlet that traffics in open misogyny, xenophobia, and anti-semitism, and is frankly one of the most repugnant individuals to come have come into the global spotlight – well, since Nigel Farage’s bug-eyed face first graced the European taxpayers’ pockets by getting paid to insult his peers and not show up to work.
In the words of Seth Meyers: “Bye chance! Thanks for stopping by”. The alt-right, as it has come to be known, is empowered, thrust into the mainstream and hijacking Pepe the Frog – a meme, if you’ve been living under a rock – as its standard-bearer. I’m no pundit, but it’s not hard to imagine that Trump’s elevation to the presidency could cause a cascading domino effect, empowering the fringe right-wing worldwide.
After all, America, one of the great bastions of liberal stability, has voted in an authoritarian populist for the first time since the end of the Second World War. He has indicated that he’s willing to completely realign America on the world stage. Next up: European elections. The Netherlands, France, and Germany, to name a few, have elections coming up in 2017, and are each dealing with their individual brand of populist strongmen and women. This isn’t a question of ‘if ’, but rather of ‘when’.
I’m going to go dry my salty liberal tears. Best of luck, world.