What a disappointing spectacle to see people taking to the streets in violent protest after Donald Trump became President-elect. What is amazing – although perhaps not really, given the present political climate – is that in America, a Western country among many who claim to have such moral superiority over other less ‘culturally advanced’ societies, a subset of people are behaving in backward ways that are worse than any of the criticisms they charge Trump with.
Why do protests pose a big threat to democracy? Because fearful governments cater to causes that gather a momentum regardless of the merits, if not doing so leads them to be perceived as meanies.
It is just so typical of a certain class of people to take issues they have with Trump and, with the help of the media and the power of the Clinton machine, grossly exaggerate these issues, flinging all sorts of identitarian political slurs at him: racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist, trans-phobic, and the rest. Trump, not being a professional at political deception, is prone to announcing his views in ways which our culturally sensitive society cannot tolerate. Our society is so sensitive to ideas that it takes offence at the discussion of any issues that aren’t part of our pre-approved topics of discussion, which results in contemporary forms of propaganda: hate speech, offense taking, equality, inclusiveness etc., all of which are important when legitimate, but are often over-inflated.
Some people make a vital mistake in assuming that we can reduce these labels (such as xenophobe, homophobe) to merely one: bad. Donald Trump is bad, he is a bad person. In asserting such apparently self-evident truths, they have succumbed to their proclaimed enemy: hate. Hate is hate, whether it is directed towards someone you approve of or disapprove of. It isn’t merely correctly directed hatred.
Holding all details aside until future discussions, let’s just crudely generalise for the moment, and assign the protests to people of the left. These people are united by a particular political ideology which favours political correctness, state-sanctioned restrictions on freedom dressed up as “rights”, and intolerance of opinion dressed up as tolerance of everything else that you could think of.
Let’s look at who is protesting. You can’t label it as most people, because a majority has installed Trump as the President. I don’t care what your definition of majority is, millions of people voted for Donald Trump. If any people who did not vote decided to take to the streets and protest – they would have been protesting an issue which they voluntarily chose not to contribute to changing. In essence one would assume you could discount non-voters from the protestors; why would you protest something you chose to ignore when you had a choice to make your wishes known.
So the people have been essentially protesting an actual democratic decision, which happens so rarely, once every four years for presidential elections. In contrast, every decision made between each election is by nature, decided wholly by those in power (those elected) – those privileged few are trying to blend the voices of the many (those they represent) into their own conception of justice. Protesters are in essence angry at the fact that people actually got to contribute directly albeit partially, to choosing a leader. This anger is because democracy lead to an outcome they didn’t want.
It is understandable that during an election campaign, people – Trump, Clinton, and supporters from each side – will use all manners of persuasion under the sun to try and present an unfavourable view of their opponent, but when all is said and done, the “loud minority”, or minority fundamentalists, as they have been called by former Prime Minister John Howard, amongst others1, 2, should be accepting of the outcome of the democratic process they claim to hold dearly. But they don’t. They are masters of inventing arguments out of thin air, basically: it was decided as per usual democratic practice, but all of a sudden that practice is no good. Apparently democracy is undemocratic. Alas, as Andrew Bolt has repeatedly said, with the left, it’s not the principle that matters, but the side.
Some people consider it undemocratic simply because Trump won. If the rules had suddenly changed in a significant way since the last election and there was a compelling argument for why things were so unjust, one might be able to entertain such an idea, but no such thing is true. Was the democratic process a failure when it resulted in Barack Obama being elected and then re-elected? There is a certain relativistic element inherent in any critique of democracy.
Political systems will eternally be subjected to ridicule; this is normal, and healthy. In a free society, people should be able to express their opinions, even if they are misguided – and even if they are Donald Trump. What should be avoided is any opinion being expressed dogmatically as absolute moral truths, with dissenting views punished by being ostracized and silenced. That’s what has gone rotten with this Donald Trump business the whole time: not that his views are right, but that they are his views, and if he wishes to express them, and his Party nominates him for Presidency, and the people elect him, then people should have a bit of a grumble if they wish and then let Trump and everyone else get on with their business. But no, we return to this primitive tribalism-like movement.
In regards to the democratic process as practiced in America, the perspective which resonates with me, basically states that the Electoral College system provides some sort of buffer, or reduction in ‘tyranny of the majority’. The assumption is that were it to be purely based on who gets the most votes in the country, candidates would only have to travel to the most populous areas to gain the most votes. This presents not just an inaccuracy of the will of all people, but also an injustice: how could it be fair that certain states are ignored or paid less attention just because less people live there. So the people vote for their Electoral College, who then represents those voters. At first glance this might seem like excessive bureaucracy. It is bureaucracy, but before deciding it is excessive consider the alternative; the most powerful members of a country would merely have to employ mass persuasion in order to win. But in reality, different people in different areas think differently. And they should be listened to and represented in proportion. There are plenty of credible resources available online for this perspective. For a primer, see the video at Prager University.3
One can think of it as being similar to the Winston Churchill quote:
“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”4
Yet all the minority fundamentalists of today do is become outraged at the system and demand change when there is an outcome they didn’t want.
Why do they do this? Perhaps it stems from people’s desire to feel good, and so they fantasise that there is such a thing as a political system which perfectly encapsulates a pure form of justice, and that such a system is the one they happen to endorse. This is fine, and probably describes to some extent what every human being feels in their heart, but this movement of censorship and silencing may force Western democracies toward totalitarianism, which are democratic only the surface: we punish people for speaking out, in the form of culture. By this, I mean that journalists, media, other politicians, universities, schools, curriculum planners. Powerful cultural forces result in certain views being ignored, people fired/not hired, ostracised, and in general, a gradual shrinking of the public discourse which is, in a certain sense, voluntary. And we allow it at first, then come to demand it once we have been indoctrinated.
This contemporary censorship and propaganda even infects children. A primary school student spoke to me recently about how Trump is a ‘sexist’ who ‘abused his daughter’. This is even discussed in schools and in some there is a consensus of these facts; I was told how one student held up a newspaper whilst another showing in what I assume is retaliation to this perceived villain, punched through Donald Trump’s face. I am for discussions even against my own opinions, but when you see primary school students becoming violent and defending opinions they can only understand one-dimensionally and on the basis of what they perceive to be pure fact, I become worried.
Regardless of your political persuasion, or whether you like either of the personalities, if you are in favour of a free society (taking democracy’s imperfections into account) then the election of Trump should restore at least some faith in the rule of the people. I say this because when you look at the coverage of the election campaign over many months, the cards were stacked against Trump the whole time; one only has to look the widespread lack of journalistic integrity and profound bias. An example illustrates this, a study on American journalists, finding that 96 percent of donations went to Clinton.5 But honestly, no person with any perceptive ability at all would need results from an investigation to be able to see the clear bias in the media, almost unanimously in favour of Clinton.
You may argue if you want, that his particular behaviours make him unfit to be President, and I have no objection to someone making such a claim. However, as illustrated in the media, although Trump’s character is extensively reported on, there is no comparable coverage of outrage over Hillary Clinton performing acts which some have argued (not just Donald Trump) do make it questionable as to whether it would have been right for her to be President. There is only one side portrayed in the media.
I’m not professing to be a champion for Donald Trump. But I do represent what he seems to stand for. Not necessarily all his policies, but his daring to even raise them when all everyone else can do is spout politically correct catch-phrases: global warming, being green, equality, women’s rights, LGBTIQSHPEISIDZES rights (for those that Senator Bernadi has called the alphabet mafia6), trans-rights, cisgender rights, right to not be offended, hurt, insulted, intimidated, scared – or think for yourself.
The human right I am principally concerned with at the moment is the right to actually hear a balance of opinions, and I’m worried, because the only ones that seem to make their way to my ear without lengthy searching are ones geared towards the minority fundamentalists of the 21st century left-wing. I wish to leave everyone with a quote which I hope people, no matter where they are from, will think over very carefully. This is a problem all Western societies must deal with.
“America is in jeopardy. Not from external enemies, but from elites in the media, academia and Hollywood who hold America in contempt. Can we win this war of ideas? Yes, but it won’t be easy.”7
Please comment, share, and join me in the war of ideas.
- Kelly, P. (2009, February 27). Former PM John Howard admits: we need to do better. The Australian. Retrieved from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/paul-kelly/former-pm-john-howard-admits-we-need-to-do-better/news-story/f73c4a826edd28f07ddfb70d40b1b971
- Kurti, P. (2016) The Democratic Deficit: How Minority Fundamentalism Threatens Liberty in Australia. Retrieved from https://www.cis.org.au/app/uploads/2016/07/rr16.pdf
- (2016, ). Do You Understand the Electoral College? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6s7jB6-GoU
- The International Churchill Society (n.d.) The Worst Form of Government. Retrieved from http://www.winstonchurchill.org/resources/quotations/the-worst-form-of-government
- Levinthal, D. (2016). Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash. Retrieved from https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/10/17/20330/journalists-shower-hillary-clinton-campaign-cash
- Bernadi, C. (2016, September 24). Homosexual Militants’ Agenda Being Exposed [Web log post]. Retrieved Novermber 14, 2016, from http://www.corybernardi.com/homosexual_militants_agenda_being_exposed
- (2016, Nov 8). Dennis Prager on Fighting for America (2016 PragerU Dinner) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7x0TzZQMmo