A Letter to the Left

Dear Left Wing,

Today is not a bad day. Today is not the day to lament the rise of Trump. Today is not the day to mourn the failure of Bernie Sanders. Today is not the day to say “what if”. Today is not the day to navel gaze. Today is not a bad day. Today is an opportunity.

The polarisation of the US electorate is a global warning shot to the “way we always done things”. It tells everyone who believes the best way to emerge from the stagnation and austerity of the last decade is more of the same, is not going to be accepted by the electorate. The politics of sameness has been well and truly battered.

The battle lines for the future are made more clear by Trumps election victory than they would have been if Hillary had won. The onus is now on those who stand for progressive and inclusive policies to challenge the politics of protectionism and isolationism.

This is an opportunity for the Left to coalesce, put aside internal spats and adopt a united front that will stand against the politics of regression.

Today’s outcome has given authenticity to some of the most base and repugnant of human views. Fear pervades the victorious narrative and the only reason fear won is because those who stand for progress allowed it to stifle their own message.

Let’s not blame the media. In fact, let’s not waste any time in blame-throwing. Grasp the nettle and take this chance. In Ireland the political landscape is more fractured than the Burren. The opinion polls show a steady flip flop between the “Fianna Gael” parties and a conglomerate of infighting Left Wing Parties.

There’s a large part of the Irish electorate (Right and Left) that are delighted with the Trump election. The Left must move towards these people, find out why they feel disenfranchised and offer them a vision for a brighter future. The Left must show this cohort that the alternative to the politics of fear is nothing to be feared.

There’s a large part of the Irish electorate (Left and Right) that are horrified with the Trump election. The Left must reach out to these people, show them how this is the opportunity we need for change. Ask them to help deliver a brighter future. The Left must use these new battle lines in the war of ideas to create a politics that can be taken seriously.

I’m an optimist. These political fractures are only superficial. The fact that it has happened in the US, shows the world that disillusionment and anger can shake the world. Imagine what healing enlightenment and cooperation could bring. Today is an opportunity for this process to start.

Opportunity knocks. Will you open the door or hide away?

Tony Groves – November 2016 Image result for opportunity knocks cartoon


3 thoughts on “A Letter to the Left

  1. Normally I find myself in complete agreement with what you post. This time I will point something out.

    I believe that TRUMP’s election has in fact done the opposite of what you suggest. It has blurred the lines.

    Why? Because part of TRUMP’s appeal was that he – by any measure one of the 1% himself – chose to champion the cause of Middle America, from the upper working classes to the upper middle classes – ALL of whom have seen their income stagnate in the last 10 years and more.

    Only the top 10% benefited under Obama. The rest survived – some less well than others.

    TRUMP’s isolationism and anti-refugee, anti-Mexican stance spoke to the fears of men who, in their advanced middle years, are having to take three jobs and work themselves to death to pay for their kids to go to college “to get a better life” – the essence of the Middle Class American Dream.

    TRUMP’s misogynistic utterances speak to the concerns of the make population – put women back in the home, keep them as objects of sexual desire, child-bearers and home-makers – do not let them out into the marketplace to compete with these under-waged and disenfranchised men (as they see it).

    The families affected by Austerity have been described on social media as being “1 serious medical emergency away from bankruptcy”. This is clearly a fact. America’s Health System is the most expensive on the planet and does not have superlative results to show for it.

    Cuba puts America to shame in this regard, because it puts its people first, not the doctors and certainly not the lawyers who make millions from medical claims each year, lining their pockets while rocketing the cost of care to everyone.

    Thus, far from appealing to the wannabee Republican Elite, TRUMP was speaking to Everyman who, in this time of increased Austerity, cannot make ends meet. This, I believe, is the core of his strong appeal.

    And if people have trouble believing in the worsening discrepancy in wealth between the 0.001% and the rest of the demographic classes in America, they should please view this video – it will open their eyes.

    It certainly opened mine.

    Wealth Inequality in America

    1. Thanks Michael,
      While I agree with you and admit my piece is an oversimplification of today’s events. It’s a reactionary post that chooses to make the best of the situation. The wealth divide was one of the main drivers of this result. The electorate had suffered a decade of stagnation and austerity and Trump ran against a candidate (in Hillary) who was part of the system that produced the stagnation. While Corporate Profits went up 143% since 2009! People see this and they voted against this system.
      I think this result will shock political classes to the fact that “business as usual” is no longer acceptable.And that has to be welcomed.

  2. Maybe you are right, but the result is as much a result of massive indifference as it of anything else. The supposed economic improvement and improved quality of life delivered in the last 50 or so years by the politicians of the so called developed world has brought us back to the situation which was desired by the Roman rulers, give “them” bread and circuses and all will be well.

    Politicians are no longer those whom we admire for improving out lot, if they ever really were, they are despised for looking after their and their supporters interests. Trump has managed, very cleverly, to align nearly 60 million people in the USA, to the idea that all will be well if we return to the 1960s or thereabouts, when we were all happy and, if we were American, we were the greatest.

    It will take the first term and a bit to discover they were had.

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