Facebook Ignorance

I want to use the phrase ‘it is interesting’ but it’s much more disturbing than this: the way Donald Trump’s campaign in the US election has appropriated the term Brexit.

There are two obvious reasons this has been used: first, it plants the notion of a surprise result, that against many odds, Trump will in fact receive the majority vote in today’s election; second, and with justification but for the wrong rationale, it conjures up the notion that the general public – the ‘silent majority’ – are desperate for a change from the status quo which in this case is voting for a member of what is seen as the political elite, or the professional politician, embodied by Hilary Clinton.

I could analyse that second reason more thoroughly, but again, as with yesterday’s rejected posting and relatively shorter replacement, it is too late for such analysis and I want to keep comment more focused.

So for this last posting here on today’s US election, I am turning to Facebook for my content. The automated Your Memories on Facebook has proved a successful prompt for people to re-post past comments, observations and, generally I think, photos. As someone who is intrinsically nostalgic, I am a prime candidate for its use, but I actually avoid unless I genuinely want to remind others of important ideas, expressions and or photo-captures of the past.

Today’s ‘Memory’ is, however, most apt, and it comes from four years ago on this day. I haven’t re-posted on Facebook, but use it here:

I have tonight listened to Americans from the left and right speaking intelligently on Obama’s victory and what it says about America as a nation. It seems to me that both intellectually and morally there is strength and hope in this reflection of a bipartisan approach to the next four years – which will have to happen – as long as it is informed by what Obama’s victory actually represents in essence [and you know what this is]. That’s as long as the nutcases at Fox News aren’t involved. Watching this is unpalatable, but instructive – tonight, their moronic view is that Romney lost the election because of Hurricane Sandy: if the election had been before this, Romney would have won; because it wasn’t, it allowed Obama to gain the momentum. Worse, key morons on this channel advocate disaster over the next four years [for example, the total collapse of the economy] so that the Republicans can win it next time! How’s that for patriotism and a love of fellow Americans?! Courting destruction and despair as their platform for future Republican success! This is the true schism: a politically intellectual and articulate expression of hope that wipes the floor with most British politicians; and the influential if dumb pundits’ expression of a cynical nihilism.

The sentiment doesn’t require comment as I think I said it well enough then. I don’t believe its cruel irony requires comment either, as recent election events have made that brutally clear enough, and this next comment, found today as well on someone else’s Facebook posting, also demonstrates the bleak continuation of the schism I mentioned:

You are shallow minded and probably low intellect. Our country is in debt thanks to Obama and Hillary giving billions to ISIS, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood. Our jobs are being taken by foreigners with HB1 visas, violence and crime has more than doubled because of their lack of ethical practices. Maybe you are on food stamps, but I work for a living and I do not want my taxes supporting any of their evil purposes.

There are two elements to this, both worrying, but one is daft and the other is symptomatic and endemic. Firstly, the conspiratorial idea that money has been given to terrorist organisations is simply stupid. Secondly, the idea that Democrat supporters are largely unemployed and on benefits [‘food stamps’] apes so much of what seems a significant part of the Brexit vote here: those who work and still struggle find scapegoats for their dissatisfaction and suffering in foreigners and immigration/a scrounging unemployed/the political elite, so they vote for those who actively promote or appear to in any way endorse those scapegoats as realities.

Again, much could be elaborated here, but I won’t as anyone bothering to read this will have their own views already. What I will end on is the observation how the comment immediate above is so clearly an ignorant one, and thus I link this to my posting yesterday about Trump’s ignorance.

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