It is over
Donald J Trump is in. Some are soaring the seas about it, others have plunged to the depths to hide. No matter what the reaction, it is tough luck and it has happened. Torrents of rage have flooded social media as Clinton supporters, and others overseas let loose their outrage at the result. But I believe that Russel Brand’s message may be the best reaction for us now.
We are all on the same side, in a way
For those that are discouraged and disheartened at the new president, perhaps it is not right to scream at those that have voted him in. Much as in the aftermath of Brexit, it will hinder the nation to divide and tear one another part. It would be better to move forward as a unified community, and maybe instead of shrieking and shredding both him and half the nation: we should step back and look at our countries and world as a hole and ask what has happened to lead us here?
As Brand phrases it: “That someone can say that (Trump’s many questionable remarks), it makes no difference and people still vote for him. How disenchanted, how disillusioned, how dis-empowered can you be that this seems like a sensible alternative?”
How will it be terrible, when it’s already awful?
The media, the government, electoral candidates all employ a rhetoric of scare-mongering, of doom haemorrhaging; a device they use for shock factor, to play on the emotions of their audience in order to engage and persuade them.
But like Russell points out in this clip, that does not work anymore. It does not work to horrify people who already are scared, and desperate and wrung out completely. They feel failed by a system that has in recent years, they feel, repeatedly let them down. People are desperate for difference, to see something else happen, and like he points out, the reactions we have seen this past year should make us think to the events that have led people to this point.
The Power of Now
This should be the time that we question the system, perhaps begin to consider alternate routes. Another way that may make people feel more reassured and encouraged by the democratic society that we leave in. Right now, it is only the extreme candidates and manifestos and choices that are offering people the change they desire.
Brand for a long time has been calling for attention to be made to the despondent attitude many have in our society, he has attempted to call for change and speak for those who have become ambivalent towards the government and the media because they trust these institutions so little. Choices where people do not feel as though they are choosing between the lesser of two evils, but where they are truly voting for something they actually want and believe in.
Brand vs. Paxman
In this interview he had with Paxman a few years back, Brand was treated as an arrogant anarchist that was only offering criticism of the current system while proposing no productive resolutions. My interpretation of what he was saying, is that he was simply attempting to use his leverage as a famous face to speak out on behalf of those in society who feel crushed, unheard and uncared for.
He is not attempting to blame the government for his drug addiction in the interview, he is simply discussing the environment that many people are growing up in, describing the strains and difficulties they face, that encourages the kind of lifestyle that does lead to addiction.
The issues he poses are not so much about whether someone currently votes or not now, simply that clearly things are not working. He says it is time for someone to listen to the apathy that has been created in the public’s relation to politics. He is asking for us to not be so scared by the idea of considering something new, instead we should embrace and accept the idea that something now is clearly not working so we can attempt to create different ways to resolve the issue.
Though clearly Paxman’s defensive stance in this interview, shows many are not willing to hear this, are scared at the thought and so instead like to attack and mock those calling for change.