Can the UK Learn From Trump’s Chaotic End?
Posted on January 8, 2021
Donald Trump’s conciliatory back down is not his doing. Someone, somewhere, has forced him to do this with a threat of something draconian put in front of him. Prison possibly, and anyone who isn’t as mad as he is, would agree that is where he should be.
Trump has overseen four years of utter chaos, creating hate, division, and a cult following, in what was already a dangerous world. His plan was that in defeat, he would go out in a blaze of glory, smashing apart American democracy as he did so.
He knew that the deluded wack jobs that follow him, would hang on every word he said and would willingly trash Capitol Hill for him. Then, when he was switched off from digital media and it dawned on him that he had incited violence, he chucked his cultists under the bus. Like all populists and cult leaders, Trump will save his own bacon first.
Populist movements, like religious cults, have throughout history, always known where they can get their audience from. It is nearly always after a financial crisis and the targets are those who are hit the hardest and are willing to take everyone else down with them. Hitler did it and took Germany down with him, Oswald Moseley did it and failed, but only after the mainstream media (The Daily Mail) and the aristocracy, eventually withdrew their support.
What makes popular movements dangerous is that in many cases, they are not stopped in time to avoid a chaotic and bloody ending. I can remember in 2016, people thinking it was funny that Trump had been elected, coming out with all the “Say what you like about Trump…” nonsense that legitimises them. I have seen a lot of those same people saying what a disgrace he is now all this chaos has kicked in. Hypocrites, basically.
A Populist Warning
As we look across the pond at what is happening, we should see it as a warning and hope it will be a signal to people in the UK where populism can all end up, if unchecked. The UK is currently operating under a populist government that has hijacked the Conservative Party in the same way Trump hijacked the Republican Party.
The divisions are similar, with the disaffected getting pulled into the damaging Brexit cult and hanging on every word Johnson says. In a health crisis where it is far easier to list what has gone hideously wrong, than right, Johnson cultist are obsessed with saying, “He is only doing his best” and “Imagine if Corbyn was leader”. Populist whataboutery at its finest. The biggest human failing is the attachment to something where the person leading it can do no wrong; even when it is glaringly obvious.
It’s not exclusive to right wing movements either, but that is where we are at in the 21st century. The movements in the US and the UK are strikingly similar, although you could argue they are more sophisticated in the UK. However, having slightly less mad populists than the US is nothing for us to gloat about; at least they haven’t got Brexit to deal with and they have, amongst the carnage, at least rid themselves of their self-indulgent child.
We still have ours.