Why Trump might be a blessing, not an attack on left-wing values.

People worry that because of Trump, America, and possibly the world, will go to shit. They worry that their rights will suddenly evaporate. Although it is reasonable to assume this based on his past public performances and debates, it is probably misguided. The thing with presidents is, they come into office with a million restraints. They can’t just barge over everything that is laid down in the past in the form of law, culture, and popular opinion. You can’t change a country within a mere 4 years, even if you have a slight majority in the Senate. Like any switch of boards within a company, first you clean up the mess the last board left you, then you start working on your own policy. As was the case with Obama, there won’t actually be that much radical change as he promised and things are likely to meander on the way things meander. You can already tell this from Trump’s inauguration speech, where he toned down on almost every subject, and called for a united America for everyone, regardless of religion and ethnicity.

For those who have supported the Democrats through and through, Trumps election might actually prove to be a good thing for Democrats and the left-wing, not only in America, but all over the globe. By electing a controversial, risky and outspoken person as Trump for president, the Republicans, right-wing and conservatives alike, have possibly nailed their own coffin shut for good. As the American president is the world’s most known public figure, the left has been given the opportunity to unite against a common enemy represented by the right in a way unprecedented in history. Is this necessarily a good thing? Probably not. America’s political climate is already highly polarised (which is actually rather logical with a two-party system) and continues to influence the political campaigns in other nations as well.

We can already tell this by the amount of celebrities, main stream media outlets and other politicians who have branded Trump as the next Hitler. This scorn will only increase, as the left-wing opposition will try to make sense of what just happened. It will make Democrats seem even more sympathetic and likeable than is already present in the main stream media, and Republicans even more racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and bigoted (just some fine words I picked of my Facebook feed that we’re generalised towards all that voted for Trump). Republicans will never ever be able to wash away the social scorn that is being imposed upon them. Although I live in the Netherlands, I woke up this morning reading messages that for 99% consisted of people expressing that they were ‘utterly shocked’, ‘out of words’ and making apologies all over for their ‘retarded’ fellow countrymen. Many stated that the world as we know it has ended.

Kill trump
People are clearly outraged at the outcome. Not very smart to publicly send death threats to the new president. Pretty impulsive, non thinking and uncaring.

If only this outrage and energy is channelled and harnessed in a next democratic campaign where they have a good candidate such as Sanders – one that that speaks to the people, instead of being pushed in your face by her sheer political power – the leverage of the left will vastly increase, not diminish. This effect will especially be strong if Trump seems to be unable to shake off the restraints that are imposed on those who enter the white house, and can’t do the things he has promised to those who supported his candidacy. This is highly likely, as his economic and political plans are not clearly outlined, and much rests on speculation.

So yes, Trump said some truly horrendous and mind numbing stuff – many many times. It is fine to be outraged or hurt by that. Yes, he probably is better at campaigning and rallying than actually reigning the most powerful nation on the globe.

However, Trump was elected democratically, and we should all respect this if we still believe that we actually live in a democratic world. Ironically, it is the Democrats who can’t get to terms with this idea, and now demonise all that oppose their views. In itself, not very democratic.

Only time will tell whether or not the doom scenario’s will prove to be left-overs of the harsh propaganda battle that played out over the past 2 crazy political years or literal descriptions of the future reality.

According to the republicans, the world as we knew it would end. It didn't.
According to the Republicans, the world as we knew it would end. It didn’t.

All in all, 2016 truly was a crazy year for politics. But maybe that craziness, is what the political system yearned for after years of stagnation. Whether or not you want to Make America Great Again or chant for Hope and Change, to achieve both within the political climate of the status quo is horribly ineffective.

For now, we should all watch the South Park episode ‘About Last Night… ‘, and mentally swap the apocalyptic panic that the republicans experienced when Obama got elected, with that what we currently see around us – and maybe even – laugh a little, amongst the panicked frenzy, and look to the future for the next opportunities that lie ahead.


Author: Ruben Boyd

My name is Ruben Boyd, an aspiring science journalist and a graduate of the Cognitive Science Research track of the Artificial Intelligence Master at the VU - William James Graduate School. My roots lie in Psychology, and in 2014 I proudly obtained my Bachelor of Science at the VU Amsterdam.