The Election

Statue of LibertyA lot of people have compared the US elections with 1930s Germany, and there are indeed parallels. But do you know what it reminds me of?

The years leading up to “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland.

No historical parallel is exact, of course, but look at the similarities. An electorate that’s become polarised along tribal lines? The idea that the winners’ ability to completely screw over the losers is the legitimate spoils of victory? The use of gerrymandering and other electoral trickery to entrench the rule of one tribe?

Eventually in Northern Ireland, the centre couldn’t hold and things spilled over into open violence, a low-intensity civil war that lasted decades and cost thousands of lives.

Let us hope this is not America’s fate, and whoever wins tonight will govern on behalf of the whole nation rather than just their own tribe.

One of the two candidates almost certainly lacks the empathy or the wisdom to do that, and I don’t need to say which one that is.

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One Response to The Election

  1. Synthetase says:

    The New Nationalism reminds me of the labour movements of the industrial revolution.

    In both cases there’s a considerable set of people who feel they’ve been exploited and overlooked by the ruling elites, and that the fruits of the brave new world of Big Commerce haven’t been shared. In both cases, this class has been dismissed and ignored (usually via lazy de-humanising labels) right up until they suddenly start having an impact on real politics.