Picture the scene. It’s 2016, and the US and the UK are having a friendly competition to see who can self-destruct as a nation in the most spectacular way. The UK votes for Brexit, and the US seems defeated. Little does the UK know, the US has a Trump card.
The United States of America has chosen Donald J. Trump to be its 45th president elect, and now begins one of the most divided times in US history, with protests breaking out across the nation against The Donald. His campaign started out as a perceived joke, with some outrageous claims such as building a wall across the south border of the country, yet 513 days later, he is the now the next president of the US. How did he get there? For that answer, we need to look at two things:
The internet played a massive part in The Donald’s exposure. Popular website Reddit’s homepage was flooded with posts from his subreddit daily, which even resulted in the admins for the site having to change the algorithm as to how posts reach the front page. It didn’t work. The subreddit’s popularity received a massive boost of users from 4chan’s “politically incorrect” board, which is the discussion hub for politics on the controversial website. The majority of 4chan’s users are supporters of Donald Trump, and would create posts promoting his presidency, often with internet memes.
Pepe, an internet meme which became associated with Trump
His popularity on the internet could lead some to say that he is the first person to have memed his way into the white house. The Trump presidency isn’t 4chan’s only influence on the world, for example in 2009 they sent so many votes to Time’s “Most Influential Person” list to get the website’s founder “moot” to the top of the list. They are also known for pulling off internet pranks on video games and other webpages, for example their infamous habbo hotel raids and their rigging of the “Dub The Dew” campaign. Their most notable political creation however is Anonymous, a leaderless collective that founded in 2003 on the websites /b/ board*. Anonymous, as a collective, have achieved numerous victories in their political activism, for example hacking numerous terrorist accounts on twitter and shutting them down, or posting pro LGBT artwork to them. The evolution of 4chan pranks from annoying people on habbo hotel in 2008 to electing Trump president in 2016 just shows their influence on the world.
When talking about the internet, we also need to talk about Wikileaks, a website that releases confidential information from many countries to the public every day. Wikileaks released numerous information about Mrs Clinton and the DNC pertaining to the suspected rigging of the primary against Bernie Sanders and the E-Mail scandals. Due to the leaks, some reddit users even accused Clinton of witchcraft**.
The US has just had to choose between this:
Overall, the vote came down to choosing between a sexist, racist and ableist man, and a potentially treasonous and criminal woman. America chose the former.
The reasoning behind the vote primarily came from people who were tired of the establishment politics and used their vote as a protest vote. Sound familiar? Many people are calling this brexit 2.0, but in reality its more like brexit * 100.
Hillary Clinton represented everything that people disliked against the establishment. Primary Rigging? Check. Accepting controversial donations? Check. Having fingers in the pies of big businesses? Check. When it comes down to it, Trump only won because his opponent was Clinton. Polls show that Bernie Sanders has a higher approval rating than Donald Trump among the electorate, and the DNC preferred Clinton as their running candidate. People also viewed her as unfit for the presidential seat, being 69 years of age and having health problems during her campaign, which she also attempted to hide from the public as passing a fainting off as “having a stumble”. Finally, the big run-killer for her was the email controversy, where she had used her family’s private email server for communications during her campaign opposed to state run federal servers. The big kicker was that she deleted 31000 of these emails “accidentally”, some of which were recovered by wikileaks and were shown to have contained information relating to ties to Saudi Arabia and ISIS.
In conclusion, the vote mirrored the Brexit vote in the UK, and it shows that the large silent right wing groups in countries are growing, and that the world is slowly leaning towards the right on the political spectrum. Either that, or maybe no-one is turning up to vote. In the end, America sifted through 19 candidates for the presidency and decided that they wanted either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to run their country. Literally between a rock and a hard place. Personally, I think even this guy would have been better.
Trump has already outlined what he plans to do in his first 100 days in office, which include imposing term limits on members of Congress, reducing lobbying by previous political officials, labelling China (pronounced Gy-na, of course) as a currency manipulator, reducing fossil fuel restrictions, cancelling US payments to climate change efforts, and undoing many things which Obama implemented in his two terms as president. Might I also add, he was serious about the wall.
End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.
2016, you did it. You got crazier than we ever thought you would.
*Sorry for breaking rules 1 and 2 of the internet. If you’re not sure what they are, google is your ally.
**Yes that’s right, in 2016 a woman was accused of witchcraft.