I am a South African and not a political or economic expert. That should preclude me from having an opinion on the President of the United States of America. The problem with that is that in a globalised society, he can have profound impacts on the rest of the world by his actions and as such, I feel the need to talk about it.
You can find a lot of content online about what a trash-fire of a human being this man is. It is well documented and I am not going to go into that, you can find it elsewhere. What I want to discuss is what his appearance as the “Leader of the Free World” means about democracy in the modern world.
The first thing that worries me is the “Cult of Celebrity” that allowed him to enter the conversation for the position in the first place. He has no experience in politics or diplomacy. The only thing he could be said to have is experience being a (debatably) successful businessman. There are a lot of those, and we don’t see them running for President. The reason he got into the conversation was his celebrity. He is a “Reality TV Star” and as such is a well known name. The democratic process has long been compared to a popularity contest, but always in the past a candidate has been (I would like to think) judged on their qualifications and aptitude rather than sheer notoriety – or in this case infamy. What’s next? Presidential Candidate Bieber? *Shudder*
The second thing that troubles me is why he won the election. Yes, I know he didn’t get the popular vote, but that is not the point… that your country chooses to count votes in arcane fashion doesn’t absolve the populace for having elected him. He ran a campaign based on hatred, fear and greed… and won. The modern world is frightening for many people, especially if technological and global economic changes put jobs at risk, but had hoped that we had moved past these racist, homo-phobic, Neanderthal methods of thinking. This precedent more than anything is what worries me.
It seems that the closer we get to a truly global society, the louder and more aggressive the resistance gets. I would prefer a world where everyone worked together regardless of gender, race or creed…. I hope I am not the only one.