I have a confession to make. Unlike many engaged in politics, I do not look at Donald Trump with a sense of outrage and fear. Instead my overwhelming emotion is that of intrigue. Don’t get me wrong; some of his rhetoric has been appalling, particularly with regards to women, Mexicans and Muslims. However I do not believe anyone intelligent should have taken him so literally, and indeed if we analyse the election we should have seen this coming.
Trump has won and he should be congratulated on victory against all the odds. He managed to dispatch the other republican candidates with consummate ease, winning the electoral college with the entire “establishment” against him and in the process defeated two political dynasties (the Clintons and the Bushes).
On Muslims we should certainly not have taken his rhetoric literally. As his massive climb down since being elected suggests, it was very clear what was meant: this will only be applied to those who come from countries with values/cultures vastly different from the West, with histories of supporting Islamism. This to me seems a perfectly reasonable position (albeit one I personally disagree with; ultimately the problem of Islamic extremism needs to be confronted head on).
On women, the comments Trump was recorded saying on the now infamous Access Hollywood tape cannot be excused. However there is some truth in the fact that this is how a lot of men talk when in male only environments. Any guy who tells you differently is, quite frankly, a liar. Thinking about this now/off the top of my head I recall a friend, who in a debate about the Burkini ban in France made the comment “quite right, get your tits out”. Now I always personally feel uncomfortable in these situations, but I understand why Trump was able to brush this off as “locker room banter”. I imagine for a lot of people this wouldn’t have even been an issue.
On Mexico (it seems me to) the rhetoric may have been extreme, but the central point that the U.S has a problem with illegal immigration and an inflow of drugs and crime from its southern border is absolutely spot on. Whether building a wall and getting the Mexicans to pay for it would solve the issue is another story. Trump was right when he stated before the election that this would not even be on the agenda had he not made it an issue. The democrats even now still won’t even admit there is a problem with immigration, so how could they possibly offer any less extreme alternatives?
This brings me neatly to what I believe is the key reason Trump won. People are sick and tired of political correctness. The left in both Britain and the U.S. have rejected nuance and intellectualism, thus being unable to offer solutions for the real issues affecting society. The left have labelled themselves “progressives” and become blinded by arrogance, with a different label for anyone who disagrees with them.
Disagree even mildly with any facet of feminism, whether it be all women short lists in the U.K., the creation of “safe spaces” (i.e. rooms where freedom of speech is inhibited and people who disagree with you are shut out), or the often one sided view of most feminists and you are labelled a sexist.
If you believe we need greater control on immigration you are labelled a racist. It is telling in Hilary Clinton’s campaign that she offered nothing but empty catchphrases. Indeed as I state above, the democrats, and actually the labour party in the U.K., have not even accepted that immigration is an issue. If the left were to offer something to control the pace of migration and help better integrate those who do chose to migrate to the west, Trump and his kin would have their thunder stolen, so to speak.
Call out Islamic extremism and bigotry in Muslim communities and you are labelled an Islamophobe (an idiotic phrase – Islam is itself an ideology and thus is open to criticism, just like any other belief system in a free society). The left’s ignorance on this issue has had the most damaging impact on Muslims who have been the biggest victims of extremism.
By using words like racist, sexist, Islamaphobe etc. with such a broad definition, the left has completely devalued them. It is no surprise then that when people like Trump in the U.S. and Nigel Farage in the U.K. come and offer solutions, they are able to talk for people who have been totally ignored in a language which resonates.
In the end you have to commend Trump for his brilliance in portraying himself as a man of the people, particularly impressive when you consider he is a billionaire who lives in a New York penthouse. The left must now look inwards and search their collective souls, they are to blame for this defeat, not the Russians, not the FBI, not the media, not the voters, the left.