An open letter to Trump and Brexit voters
Dear fellow inhabitants of the world,
2016 has been a year where many expectations and assumptions have fallen by the wayside, for a whole variety of reasons. It has also presented me, personally, with much confusion and possibly a lack of understanding. Perhaps you can help me make sense of the events which your way of voting has precipitated.
The world has become a much more difficult place since the crash in 2008, and I am one of those who has been frustrated by how the many ordinary people (that famous silent majority) have been forced to pay for the greed and mistakes of the few bankers and business people and establishment politicians (that famous one percent). What they have done to those much less well off than them is indeed sickening.
What has confused me, though, is that although the campaigns for Trump and Brexit have been led by exactly those same people, by that one percent, you have voted to make them a success. You have followed the words and actions of wealthy establishment figures and concluded that those leaders are you, that they will do things which will make you more successful, more wealthy, and your future brighter. I don’t understand this at all, because their philosophies will not change; they will not all of a sudden become more altruistic and generous, less bent on making a profit, less self-centred, more caring. For them it is an impossibility, because, most of the time being a success means being ruthless and putting down anyone who might challenge their success.
Another thing I don’t understand is that you call yourselves the common people (the “common” meaning everyday and normal) and yet you support movements which discriminate against the common people, those people of any religion or faith, those people of any gender, those people of any sexual orientation, those people of any colour, those people of any language, those people of any choice, who live alongside you, who contribute to the economies of where you live, those who sweat, bleed, piss, shit, cry, hurt, and fear just like you do. And you raise to a status of demigods your leaders who would discriminate against you because you smell of sweat, because you don’t speak the way they do, because you’re not the same perceived class as they are. To me, that makes no sense.
And finally, I really don’t understand the sudden and overpowering invective against what the mass media is so famously calling the liberal elite. I don’t even understand what this liberal elite is meant to be. Is it people with posh accents, or people with a university education, or people who are creative, or people with the aspiration of making the world a better place for the generations that come after them? And aren’t all those things (except maybe the posh accent) praiseworthy and inclusive rather than being elitist? Isn’t the quest for knowledge every single day of life a quest we should all be on? And isn’t it our responsibility to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to acquire more knowledge rather than just standing still? Isn’t our goal, in fact, the same – to make everyone equal? Maybe I have misunderstood.
Maybe this letter to you is just a way of clearing my mind of the anger and sadness I felt on 24th June after Brexit and again yesterday, when I saw the world suddenly become a much less kind place. Maybe it’s me trying to hold my hands out to you in an effort for unity and compassion. Maybe it’s me trying to knock down all the walls that already exist in the world rather than building even more.