The Problem with Democracy…
….is that you don’t always get what you want. And that seems to be a real issue with the so-called liberal elite who have lived with pretty predictable political outcomes for a few decades now. But the past few months have rocked their yacht. Those pesky plebeians have done the unthinkable – they have not done as the educated controllers wanted them to do.
In Britain, there was a majority for Brexit
In America, Trump mobilised the disaffected middle income and working class of America
In France, Marie le Pen is leading in the opinion polls helped somewhat by her main contender using public money to fund his wife’s ‘job’ – a job she claimed she did not have
In Germany, the AFD are bouncing between 12% and 15% (SPD are on 21% to 23% just for context) and their anti-immigration campaign is making the political leaders a little twitchy
In Holland Geert Wilders could be heading for government
Just a small step back from the hullabaloo and hand-wringing of the Politicians and pundits and it is quite clear what is happening. The great unwashed are disaffected, frightened, threatened, dog-tired of being patronised and angry at being ignored for too long by people who insisted they knew what was best for them yet sneer at them for being ‘uneducated’ if they disagree.
And so what does the political elite do in the face of this civil disobedience? Do they look in the mirror and say ‘we f***ed up’? Do they chastise themselves for dismissing a growing disquiet in the people they serve – yes serve? Do they admit they got it wrong in reading their constituents? And, most of all, do they accept that a democratic majority has the vote?
No. Not when it does not suit them.
Instead, as the ship of democracy sails on, they scream from the wake that we are going the wrong way, the people didn’t know what they were doing, that the decision was based on lies, that the vote was swung by despicable racism, that hell and damnation will fall upon the heads of the stupid voters who did not obey the greater understanding of the educated elite.
So what are we getting now?
Reports being announced stating that Brexiteers were less educated and more working class than the Remainers. The underlying insinuation being that if you are working class and did not go to University then you are a racist economic-ignoramus who believed the ‘lies of UKIP’. Silly people, what? Along with this are the calls for another referendum and attempts to stymy, through using Parliament, because the clear majority didn’t really know what they were voting for.
MPs voting against the will of the people and forgetting their primary role. When Chris Bryant, MP for Rhondda in South Wales announced on Question Time that he is “in a quandary” because, despite 53.7% of his constituents voting to leave the EU, he thinks they are wrong and may have to vote against invoking Clause 50, he is wilfully ignoring his rightful job – to represent the people in Parliament. That is the principle of a democracy – a fair vote to choose the woman/man who will fight your cause. If Mr Bryant thinks he is bigger and brighter than his constituents then he needs to step aside and hand over to someone who will do the right thing and abide by the will of the people.
In Europe, the infuriated political elite warn of dire punishment. Like the Dickensian masters of a public school, democratic disobedience will be met with public humiliation, retribution and beating. Woe betide the boy who assumes he has a mind and will of his own.
Marches against the president of another country and the biggest trading power in the world. Women – the very women infuriated by Trumps offensive use of the word ‘Pussy’ - taking their children on marches while brazening placards shouting ‘Trump the C***t’. What a wonderful example for our kids. And what would the BBC be saying if Americans marched against Theresa May, screaming and waving abuse, demanding she should be banned from the shores of the USA?
Nasty cartoons, sent round by women, of Theresa May being berated by the Queen with that ‘C’ word again. Sad isn’t it that women will use against another woman a term which, for centuries, has been the epitome of male debasement of our gender?
Bleating in the USA that Trump didn’t really win due to the popular vote count - something that also happened in 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000 so it hasn’t exactly crept up on anyone who is, now what’s the word I am looking for – ah yes “educated”. So why have they kept to and accepted the electoral college system since 1787? Or is it only wrong when they don’t get the woman they thought was a shoe-in to keeping the status quo?
This article is not to extoll the virtues of Trump and Brexit. Both are worrying in their own ways. However, we choose to live in a democratic system, believing it to be a better option than despotism. We look in rightful horror at North Korea and the culture of fear; Zimbabwe – once the bread basket of Africa now the agricultural basket case of Africa - brought into despair and deprivation; China and the infiltration of the State into every part of life where women are forced to abort their second baby; The Philippines where 4,000 people have been exterminated by a police force given carte blanche to shoot to settle a score, under the guise of a war on drugs; Russia which is amassing troops and weaponry on the borders of the NATO countries, running practice evacuations for nuclear strikes and where men who leak secrets are found dead in the back of their car; Turkey living in terror of invasion by ISIS – the epitome of religious terror. Where are the protests? Where are the placards? Where is the righteous indignation?
If we chose democracy we need to live by it – even when it does not give you what you want. Illiberal liberals have to accept that they are not in the ascendancy.
The other day, I overheard a politician describing Trump and Brexit as ‘the tail wagging the dog’. No, Sir. This is the public – your paymaster – pulling the choke chain and bringing you to heel. Walk on!
Until next time.....Stay Sassy