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After the recent British general election the pundits are pundicating on Boris’s landslide victory at the polls and prognosticating on its meaning for America 2020. And they just may be right, all of them, with their weighty thoughts and heart felt predictions of what Boris’s big win means for a Trump victory next year. But as I perused the reporting of events, morning coffee in hand, I was taken aback by one particular article on a respected news feed. The factual substance of the piece was correct, Boris did win, and it related how. But the basic conceit of the article, the timeline, the headline itself noted above, was off, way off, in my mind.
That headline should have gone like this:
Boris’s election victory, the Conservative Party tromp over the Labor Party, their vanquishing of all opponents in toto, didn’t happen in a British void. No, that victory was developmental in the sense that it mirrored past American politics, and almost all world politics currently. Nationalism, protectionism, and sectarianism are rife today in Western society;
Italy, Austria, France, et al, have virulent nationalist parties vying for attention, and in some cases power. At the same time, outright religious hatred, and sectarian violence, is flaring blatantly in places like India, Hindu/Muslim, Turkey, Turk/Kurd, Iraq, Muslim sect/Muslim sect, and in many other places; many, many other places throughout the world.
Britain is not unique.
Many people in America, and Britain, deem society flawed as “leftist”, ”elitist politicians and organizations have instituted policies of internationalism, worldwide standards, or globalization...
... on industry, trade, human rights, immigration, climate, and such, that have been deemed as destroying their local way of life.
The ensuing backlash against the decline in local living conditions, is fierce and loud. Worldwide, wherever it occurs, the reaction of the economically impacted, educationally and socially challenged citizens everywhere is:
“We ain’t gonna take it.”
So those angry, partisan, natives rebel, and they vote for those who say they can, and will, protect them from the turmoil in life they currently face. The 2016 Republican Party, Trump, slogan MAGA:
“Make America Great Again”…
… rocked. It resonated with the American disenchanted, it promised them glory in the future, a return to past stature, security, wealth and power. Lord knows that “MAGA” shit sure beat the amorphous slogan the Democrats put out for Hillary then:
“I’m With Her”.
What a lame cry that was.
Boris, and the Conservatives, did well with:
“Get Brexit done”.
It had the same resonance as “MAGA”, that same sense of purpose, and the same sense of past history, past greatness, past security and grandeur that so much of the British electorate craved; it mirrored a return to better times for some.
Boris and the Conservative Party’s push to tally forth with a Britain unbridled, to leave the Common Market, and go back to their independent ways of before, tapped into a desire of many in the British workforce. Many older Brits desire, demand even, a return to British industrial greatness, British industrial might, where a working bloke had security. I suppose the current unemployed, uneducated, disaffected textile workers in Manchester...
... think that cotton cloth manufacturing will return. Or that the similarly unhappy, similarly uneducated, disaffected coal miners in Northern England think that the coal mines will reopen if Brexit is articulated.
Trump and the Republicans played on those same British worker desires when “Maga” was launched in America in 2016. It worked here as a political ploy then too, and brilliantly.
But as industrial policy, in the real world, it didn’t work.
… as the rust belt continues to rust today, and the coal mines are not hiring new workers, or giving old ones back their jobs.
The messaging in 2016 was not an anomaly in American politics either, it was a refinement. That same messaging ploy, in one way or another, (like Ronald Regan’s 1984 “Morning in America” slogan)...
... has been the mantra of the Republican Party since the Culture Wars began. The Republican Party under El Trumpo merely messaged brilliantly.
The totally scattered and unfocused Democrats of 2016 had no unified message, "I'm with her" didn't cut it, see above. That lame phrase was no defense against the single, simple, message that the Republicans and Trump played over, and over again. There was no focused Democratic, image, or message in that campaign, or in any other recent campaign in my memory for that matter. Obama ran on doozy of a slogan:
"Change we can believe in"...
... was the campaign mantra in 2008 during the height of the Republican fueled financial meltdown. Four years on the late night comedians made a mockery of it when he ran for re-election:
"Change" is a nebulous concept; it can be good for some, and bad for others (and it was), so it wasn't a viable long term political metaphor, but "morning" is always "morning".
After 50 years plus of the Culture Wars, and single message politics on the part of the opposition, the Democrats are still flustered, fractured, and fragmented with their message, their response; and a vast segment of America looks away from them in confusion and disbelief:
Even as Impeachment roils the nation today the Democrats cannot unify on a message, a tack, a unified cry, a “raison d’être” for a political action that the masses outside of their fractured partisan base will embrace.
In 2019 Boris stole yet another play from the El Trumpo Republican playbook when he rallied his entire party on his single message. He defanged, defused, neutered if you will, all dissent within his party so they all, every Tory, ran as one, the party of “Boris”.
How 100% perfectly El Trumpo all of that.
“GET BREXIT DONE”…
… resonated, and the opponents with all of their varying, item specific to their group, positions and plans against every perceived vile, government policy in current British life had no unified defense. And with no defense, hell, with no effective offense of any merit, they were trounced.
How like American politics today where everyone attacks Trump, from all sides, on all issues, and Trump, and his Republican lackeys defend, in unison, as if from a single mouth.
Don’t let the:
“Hillary won the popular vote”…
… “Trump is a minority president”…
… rhetoric in the press fool you either. The Democratic Party in 2016 lost far more than the federal House, Senate, and Presidency then. Those three victories were just the visible tip of the Republican victory iceberg as 67% of all state legislatures and governorships went to them at the same time. And what of the local county and municipal governments that fell into line with those statewide victories?
School board control anyone?
Near his closing of his article, the author penned, and it resonated with me, deeply:
“To win, liberals have to touch people’s emotions rather than give earnest lessons. They have to cease being arid. They have to refresh and connect...”
And he went on to quote (again with great resonance for me), Steve Bannon of arch conservative media, Breitbart, fame:
“Johnson (Boris), foreshadows a big Trump win. Working-class people are tired of their ‘betters’ in New York, London, Brussels telling them how to live and what to do. Corbyn the socialist program, not Corbyn the man, got crushed. If Democrats don’t take the lesson, Trump is headed for a Reagan-like ’84 victory.”
“If Democrats don’t take the lesson, Trump is headed for a Reagan-like ’84 victory.”
The article continued with:
“For anybody contemplating the divisions of the Democratic Party as compared with the Trump movement’s fanatical singleness of purpose, now reinforced by the impeachment proceedings, this can only be worrying.”
2016 was an American Red Republican Tide of enormous magnitude giving the Republican Party political control over 98% of the American landmass. The Republicans won control by a meager plurality countywide at best, that’s true, but they won. It was the Republican Red Tide El Trumpo’s boisterous...
... ego centric campaign and victory of 2016 that gave Boris the info, the road map, the game plan if you will, he needed for his entire run-up to power of the last few years. It was American Red Tide Republican El Trumpo who wrote the play that captured the political stage, and British Boris who followed his script.
And now for 2020.
WHATEVER YOU DO, VOTE BLUE!