The last two years have epitomised the tempestuous and unpredictable political climate of the contemporary western world. The United Kingdom made an unprecedented decision to leave the European Union; Donald Trump was elected President of the USA; France witnessed the current irrelevance of mainstream politics as neither the Parti Socialiste nor Les Républicains found themselves in the final stage of the presidential election; and the UK held a snap election which backfired almost detrimentally for the Conservative Party. The fervour for change is undeniable and yet we never expect it, why?
The right-wing of politics is an arduous place to be, particularly for young people who find themselves continually spat on as they walk beneath the ubiquitous current of the moral high ground. The left is known to be the vanguard of civil rights, freedom of speech and expression, liberality and acceptance; yet it appears to conceal a silent clause, under which such policies are only applicable to those of synonymous political alignment.
The new generation of Corbynites have mutated and become venomously bigoted in their politics. They have decided that anyone with a differing view is deplorable; that they’re evil, stupid, racist, sexist … the list goes on. Politics is no longer discussed or debated, it is hurled as an insult and vehemently protested. People no longer engage with one another’s ideas and make headway on common ground; instead, we interpret a difference of opinion as simply unacceptable and largely not even worth considering. As a result, a generation of the silent right are being bred and they’re winning.
The rise of politicised social media has cemented a platform from which the, ironically, fascist rhetoric of this new left can be directed at those who oppose the prevailing winds of belligerent self-righteousness. So-called celebrity endorsements by those desperate to rekindle some shred of public relevance, pontificate their views with consummate arrogance — as if the combined political acumen of Lily Allen and Stormzy merits any credibility.
The mob mentality of the youthful left has conquered social media, undoubtedly, and made it an unsavoury place to be on the right. As a result there is a universal miscommunication; the left are so loud that they are deafening themselves, while the insulted and ridiculed right remain silently resolute in their convictions because it simply isn’t worth being demonised. Instead, the right take their opinions, only solidified by their hostile reception, and they vote.
Common opinion and countless polls had it that President Trump could not win the White House and that Brexit would never happen, largely because people are too afraid to admit, when asked, what they think for fear of being branded.
Trump is notoriously considered to be derogatory towards women and thus his supporters are accused of being primarily sexist (among other things), and pro-Brexiters are continuously tarnished with the same brush; racist. It couldn’t be that someone simply didn’t like the ‘public or private persona’ of insincere Hillary Clinton, who provided absolutely no impetus for change and whose only election plan was to diabolise her opponent. Nor could it be that people believed the EU to be a backwards organisation in which we would be economically, politically and socially better off as external partners.
Whether one is pro-Trump or loathes him, whether one is pro-Brexit or pro-EU, the fundamental problem is that insults and abuse have taken centre stage in modern politics and healthy debate has ceased to exist. The polls are wrong, public opinion is wrong and democratic debate is dead. As a generation infatuated with social media, we are in danger of winning the keyboard battle but losing the cultural war.