(Note: I’m writing this after the election. So with an imminent President Trump glowing on the horizon now it’s more difficult to be as empathetic and self effacing as I was during the election. But I still give it a go.)
You know those gotcha comedy pieces that satirical and (let’s be honest) lefty news teams do while reporting at political events? You know, the kind of undergrad humour of tricking innocent people into saying or believing ridiculous things so they can edit the worst bits together on camera? You know, those dickheads whose contribution to the political discourse is about the same as the Da Vinci Code to art history?
If we are honest, sometimes seeing those video pieces reporting on a serious election is kind of like seeing Russell Brand write a forward to The Bible. Sure, more people will pay attention, but at the end of the day you know deep down that something has gone very very wrong.
Well, as the Chaser newbie I tried one out at a rally.
What started as a less-than-honest attempt to make fun of people without them knowing pretty soon (d?)evolved into having some fairly serious chats with people about their beliefs and reasons for voting Trump. In fact, I often I got so wrapped up in the conversations that I kept forgetting to be funny.
Here is what happened next:
I’ve said it in a blog before, but as much as I’m disgusted by Donald Trump, his beliefs and (more importantly) his actions, I find it really difficult to hate most of the people who support him.
I can’t blame them for hating politicians. I can’t blame them for being scared like they they are. Or angry. I can’t judge them for losing Hope. And to be honest I can see why they see that Hope given an all-American shot in the arse by a figure like Trump.
Ah, but there’s another layer to this too. Because if I was to be really honest, it’s also incredibly condescending towards Trump supporters to nod and smile, shaking my head wistfully at their silly beliefs because they don’t know any better, the poor dears.
And on top of this, it’s definitely easy for me to accept and dismiss Trump supporters as simply silly or misunderstood, because my life will be affected basically in no way by a Trump presidency. I’m not American, for one. But if I was, I wouldn’t fear deportation. I don’t fear being bashed on the street. I won’t have to register my name in some database of Muslims. I will never have to search for an illegal abortion.
Being politically neutral is easy when the flag flies in your colour and you can stand in its shade.
What can we expect from a Trump presidency?