What can we learn from the American election?

Yes, I freely admit it. I was one of them who didn’t believe Trump would run off with the victory in this election. He was too much of a bully, a misogynist and not really consequent (except for criticizing Hillary to the detail). That there exist resistance against immigration in USA was neither shocking nor surprising. We have seen too much of the same in Europe the recent years.

Maybe the Americans are not ready for a female president yet? That was more surprising to me at first, but looking to whom she lost against, it’s a natural conclusion.

Because what is most shocking, is that one who evidently looks upon women as objects he can treat as he likes, one who is degrading women, invalids and immigrants to second rate people, still gets enough votes to embark on the position as the world’s most powerful president.

It is obvious that we are many who hasn’t understood what it is that is going on in the American population. Perhaps it is not so strange, because our impression of USA is shaped most of all by what (political) news that reach us, films and tv-series. They clearly tell us next to nothing about the average American everyday life of people in like the Mid-West. As a matter of fact we know hardly anything about the actual living conditions in the USA. Now and then we read about how people have two or three jobs to make ends meet, we read every so often about shootings and murders. But most of all are we fed with “happy” political news from the country where everything is supposedly possible, if you just dream hard enough about it, and films and tv-series where love conquers everything or where the hero always beats the bad guy. What we do know about USA is in other words very superficial.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so overly surprised about the outcome of this election. At least not if we take a closer look to our “near surroundings”. If you dear take a dive into the comments section in the internet newspapers, you’ll soon realize it’s a rather “muddy business”. Females engaged in debate are told they should be gang raped and beaten the shit out of. And what they write about is not even controversial.

There’s a strong resent against immigration in the comment sections, to put it mildly. The view on women is shocking as we write 2016. I would have thought and hoped for, that these views were thrown out the window long time ago, but evidently we are many being proved wrong about this.

The day after, we clearly see that masses of voters, previously not mobilized, this time finally left their sofas to cast their vote. Masses of voters who long have found themselves overseen and neglected. This is something we should learn from, even in little Norway. Because even if the turnout of the election is higher in Norway than in USA, there’s still plenty of people out there who feels invisible and neglected by the establishment, and the despise against politicians is blooming as the apple trees in Norwegian gardens in May.

I do hope, that also the French political establishment, takes a lesson from this as we are soon to enter into the presidential election campaign here. Marine Le Penn was the first, French politician to congratulate Trump with his victory, honouring the American people for “taking their country back”. The contrast to the rather coldly congratulations from President Holland could not have been more clear.

Le Penn has renewed her inspiration in front of the 2017 elections, and I guess it’s needless to say that I fear she will rise to power.

The European political establishment has to put a finger in the ground, or better still, get grounded. They have to open their eyes and see what is actually going on out there in their own countries. They have to remove their well-polished shoes, and stroll around in the dust trod by normal people. They need to understand why the average man and woman is angry and frustrated.

There’s no use in hanging around in their empowered offices and corridors, fiddling with their ties and wonder about what went wrong. It’s no longer enough to make some visits to construction sites or factories, shake peoples’ hands and think you earned their vote.

Let the average man and woman scream out why they are angry and frustrated, and meet them wih constructive ideas in a language they get.

The rhetoric might be nasty for some time, but at least, words kill nobody.

It would be a shame if we didn’t take any lessons from the American election, but keep shutting our eyes and ears to what concerns most people. If we insist on continuing down that path, we risk ending up with political leaders (I hope at least) the majority of us would rather not see in office.

 

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