Content/ trigger warning: Orlando shooting, homophobia
Donald Trump’s win of U.S Presidency is the latest of a string of backlashes progressives have received globally. There is a push back on political correctness and moralisers, who often also appear hypocritical. For example, celebrities like actor Leonardo Dicaprio giving speeches on global warming, yet flying in a private jet and politicians and other institutions who condemn homophobia, while supporting countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar– countries well – known for executing or imprisoning gay people.
Hypocrisy aside, another reason for the backlash is the sense of people – particularly middle – class or working class people in rural areas being largely forgotten. Back in Australia, one of the key issues that One Nation’s Pauline Hanson frequently brings up is the hardships suffered by farmers and how they’ve been neglected by governments, while a lot of them see their livelihoods go up in flames.
In the U.S. the 2008 Global Financial Crisis had a devastating affect on industries and people’s livelihoods. The collapse of Detroit’s automotive industry in 2008 – 2010 is an example. To Trump’s credit, many of his speeches were dedicated to building a strong economy and lower tax rates to boost business. Left – leaning governments, on the other hand, have played major roles in the collapse of industries, one of the recent examples is Hazelwood on Victoria, in which over 1,000 jobs were lost either, according to the ABC. Should we compromise on environment protection? No. But making over 1000 people lose their jobs without a plan B to get them back on their feet isn’t a good idea, either.
Back to social issues. One of the accusations against Trump is his stance on LGBTQ rights – specifically same – sex marriage and the anti – discrimination protections placed by Obama to protect the LGBTQ community. According to Snopes, only half of the allegation is true. In regard to marriage, Trump openly opposed the Obergefell vs. Hodges ruling by the Supreme Court that made gay marriage legal nationwide. However, the site rejected the claim that Trump specifically said that he’d overturn the ruling. To be honest, I hope their right – that Trump won’t overthrow gay marriage because before the ruling – especially in the states were DOMA (Defence of the Marriage Act), were in place, there were a large number of legal rights not forwarded to same – sex couples, something like over 100 (I’m not completely sure). I believe you can’t have that in a democratic country where “every man is created equal”. So, I hope for the sake of many in the American LGBTQ community that this remains in place. However, I do fear about the backlash the LGBTQ community have received, especially in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting in June this year. Hate preachers also joined in.
Down here in Australia, same – sex marriage has taken much of the Government’s time and much of the media’s time. This is creating resentment as well. Now, I don’t like the fact that the LGBTQ community have been treated as political pawns for much of this year. The so – called “debate” soured on both sides, with both sides being threatened with violence (I wrote about these here and here. Even openly LGBT opponents of same – sex marriage have been belittled. In the U.S. it got even worse for LGBT Trump supporters. Gay couple, Dewy Lainhart and Cody Moore reportedly received abuse and death threats when a video of them at a Trump supporters rally in Ohio went viral. These are examples of hypocrisy that progressives I believe have to abandon lest they lose support of the general public. I’m not saying don’t stand up for LGBT protections and same – sex marriage, but I believe that such vitriolic and in some cases, disrespectful and moralistic approaches will only backfire. That was Hillary Clinton’s major mistake when she demonised all Trump supporters.
Yes, she ended up admitting that she went too far, but that ended up being a mark against her name. People should never be falsely labelled any of such things.
Lastly, the FBI investigations into Clinton’s e – mails and the suspicions over the Clinton Foundation were the straws that broke the camel’s back. People are appalled by corruption and deceit, especially politicians. Unclaimed expenses (wine, helicopter rides intrastate, etc), saw the downfall of politicians and a Madam Speaker here. If we don’t have integrity, we have nothing. No amount of slamming opposition or taking a moralistic stance on an issue is going to make up for dishonesty and/ or corrupt behaviour. People aren’t willing to turn a blind – eye anymore. The liberal/ Left side of the media didn’t do themselves much credibility for largely ignoring the Clinton scandals either. Even the look of impropriety (the FBI didn’t lay any charges over the e – mail scandal), is enough to destroy someone’s reputation. If we don’t have integrity and aren’t willing to be honest, then we have nothing, and people will turn on us. Also, memo to the mainstream media, don’t turn a blind eye to what’s going on.
These are just a few of the things I can think of. Progressives have lost touch with the mainstream and they’ve been exposed for their hypocrisy. If we want to continue to stand and fight for causes and have people follow our lead, I believe tactics must change.