Brace Yourself America, Trumpism is not going anywhere
Let’s say he loses. Let’s say he tweets about it for a bit and eventually, reluctantly, starts packing. Let’s say that it all goes by pretty smoothly, that the fear of violent riots will not come true. Some Democrats might feel like the process is complete. They might see Biden’s presidency as a turning point for the whole nation. Some may claim that ‘blind’ Trump supporters came to their senses and saw the light. They would be wrong. Trump might be gone from the White House, but Trumpism would still be very much alive.
Every large public movement, especially a political one, is similar to a volcano. Underneath the surface, major changes are occurring. Rocks melt and change into boiling magma. For months, and years, the heat grows. It builds up and climbs up until eventually, it erupts. Trumpism has been years in the making, but most didn’t realize it until the eruption occurred; Some didn’t realize it even after.
There’s a scene in the movie “Brexit: The Uncivil War” that resonated with me. It happens when PM David Cameron’s advisers are conducting a roundtable survey, asking different people on their view regarding the relationship with the European Union. At a specific moment, hearing how emotional people get when talking about the EU, and how deep their negative view of it is, one advisor looks at his colleague in total shock. “It’s a campaign that has been building for 40 years”, he says, in this key moment of pure realization.
Trump called himself Mr. Brexit and caused a lot of confusion, I think the comparison is clear. Back in 2016, Trump surprised the world. It was later claimed that Democrats underestimated Trump, However, it just might be that not Trump was underestimated but rather the seismic movement that got him elected. Same as with Brexit, Trump was carried upon a movement that was building up for decades. Back in 2016, Rachael, a 34-year-old small business owner from Indiana explained her supporting Trump in the following way:
“I want to change America to serve the people instead of a political system that wants to serve itself. I will have more hope that my government is trying to make our country strong instead of pandering to its own liberal interests… I’m so tired of the media…It’s pretty sad when all you hear is gloom and doom on the news, which I thought was supposed to be a balanced representation of the two sides. Surprise! There is a whole other part to this country outside of your newsroom walls that actually thinks differently from the mostly liberal ideas that most news outlets put out there”.
These kinds of sentiments don’t grow overnight, and they won’t just go away overnight too. Trumpism is much deeper and wider than just supporting Trump. It’s a whole state-of-mind full of mistrust in the government, authorities, and the media. It’s a far-reaching, international phenomenon affecting the UK, Brazil, and Hungary, to name a few. It’s bigger than one man, even if he thinks he’s the biggest man alive.
Losing the election won’t make Trumpism go away, ignoring it surely won’t either. In 1975, the UK voted against leaving the EU. It took years, but the Brexit movement only grew stronger. They didn’t give up until they won.
Trumpism is a movement motivated by a sentiment that needs addressing. Biden winning the election is not enough. On the one hand, white supremacists who raised their heads in recent years, feeling that a protest-vote against liberal values and government meant that they were being supported, would have to be dealt with. They might not continue shouting “Jews will not replace us” in the streets, but they will still be there. Holding private gatherings, building up anger, frustration, and hate. They will be growing, under the surface, waiting for the chance to erupt. They need to be dealt with, by means of law and education.
And as to the good, honest, Americans who joined the Trumpism movement after unsuccessfully seeking a place that understands and represents them; They would have to be included in the conversation and decision-making process under a Democrat government. It won’t be easy, but that is the only way to make sure that Trumpism is truly over. America needs healing.
Political differences are natural. People don’t have to see eye-to-eye in every matter in order to be a part of the same larger society. The problem with Trumpism is that it made a purpose in destroying order and tear society apart. Aside from the obvious criticism, it’s a movement that has some valid roots that need to be taken into account.
The day after Trump, whether it’ll be tomorrow or four years from now, will definitely be a lot more boring. This boredom is dangerous, it might give a sense of false security that Trumpism is no longer an issue. It is and will be. Much more than merely winning the elections, fixing the problems fueling mistrust and frustration is a much harder job to get done. The day after Trump, America’s real challenge will only begin.