It would be easy of me or other people on the left of the political spectrum (and actually of any political belief) to seriously question the motives of Donald Trump and why people feel so compelled to vote for him. But we all know why. It’s the same reason people vote for Bernie Sanders. Everybody loves an underdog, an outlier, someone who continues to defy the political status quo. Someone who isn’t afraid to speak their mind and say the things that “everybody” is thinking.
Actually it is perfectly understandable. Why is there such an apathy towards voting in most democratic societies? People are bored. People are frustrated, and actually some people just don’t care. Everybody has this idea in their mind about what a politician looks like, talks like, walks like and after countless disappointments from our elected representatives across the Atlantic, people want something new and something fresh. Isn’t that what politics is about? Change?
This week, both Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the Republican race to become nominee for president of the United States of America, leaving only Donald Trump; the multi- billion dollar worth, business tycoon that has been filling our news outlets with controversial tales of his attitudes towards pretty much any group in society that isn’t white, heterosexual men.
So with him almost definitely securing the republican nomination, all eyes are now focused on who will oppose him. Bernie Sanders, the democratic socialist whose campaign (financed only by supporters and not corporate money) has energised people of all generations into voting for a big political change, or Hilary Clinton whose extensive experience in “progressive” politics over the years puts her in front of the race for the democratic nomination.
I am a Bernie supporter because I truly believe that how socially radical reform to both foreign and domestic policy is the answer to America’s dire social and economic problems. But I’ll be trueful, all you have to do is scroll down through my Facebook wall to see that when Hilary Clinton first announced her campaign for the presidency, I was both interested and excited by the prospect of a democratic first woman president and if it weren’t for Bernie Sanders arrival into the frame and my knowledge of Clinton’s risky past, I most likely would be supporting her campaign.
It’s quite funny, I’ve heard people saying it’s the battle between socialism and feminism (as if they are two mutually exclusive ideologies) but actually there is very little argument in that. This is a battle between change or continued slow progress and that is what I think sets apart both Trump and Sanders from their more established and accomplished rivals. They don’t stand for the establishment, their policies and ideologies do not fit the fragmented status quo, and their attitudes towards politics is that radical reform is the only saviour to America’s problems.
‘Establishment’ politicians will always tell you that extremist policies will never prevail at the polls and that those seen on both the far left and right are “unelectable” but actually what history shows is that people like uniquity, they enjoy hearing fresh ideas, not just recycled policies that do not challenge the current system, but only propose to stem from the existent one.
So this will truly be one of the most interesting couple of months in US political history certainly since I’ve been alive (sorry Obama!). It’s an exciting time but the future of America is very hazy, and could go either way – to the radical, reformist left or to the racially charged, sceptical right.