What if all of our progress in the last decades regarding human rights, racism, gender equality and homophobia was a big filthy lie. Why do I say this? Well it occurs to me that maybe it is. I always considered myself as a guy who sees the glass half full, which always saw our race in constant progress for the better. That may be right, but on a very superficial level.
Real change is not made on what we see, and express. Real change is something more complicated, is not measurable by statistics made by NGOs or private or governmental entities. Real progress is something intangible.. Real progress is only measurable in our own consciousness, is our inner voice who tells us what is right or wrong. It is what we truly believe, is that inner voice that really makes us accept or love a person of a different race, gender or sexual preference no matter what, because they are a human being just like yourself.
This is why our progress is superficial in a big degree. I don’t say that real progress hasn’t been made, of course it has. But certain events show us the degree of shallowness. These events show us how we only changed the ethics on our societies, the code of ethics that says what is right or wrong on a superficial level. If you are racist, people will look down on you, if you hit your wife or you sexually harass your secretary you will go to jail for it. But that is not real change, the mindsets are not changed, only the idea of what is right or wrong for society changed, and that is the big issue.
So Donald Trump won. Yes a racist, misogynist, homophobic, and probably a guy with lack of critical thinking because of denying climate change. Not only this, the Brexit happened, the neo nazi party entered the parliament in Greece and in Austria, and Le Pen is the favourite candidate on France. These events happened because of the geniality of the people behind them that understood what I explained before and used that in their advantage. They attacked the big crowds which only changed and progressed on a superficial level in their minds. This people made the unethical, ethical again.
All the people who believed in something but couldn’t express it because of our superficial progress, could rise their voice again thanks to this characters. So racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia and xenophobia flooded our societies and streets again.
My mother once told me that there is a famous phrase which says “ People get the government leaders they deserve”; but she corrected it and told me “People get the government leaders they look alike”. And she was right. Brexit and Donald Trump showed us that a big percentage of our current societies never stopped discriminating and is still full of hatred towards others. All this events shows us how nationalism is still a great way to win elections, how hate is such a powerful tool to move big crowds.
Another issue that feeds the idea of far right extremists having such an amount of power all around the globe is the apolitical crowd. For example, in the US 43℅ of the voting population decided not to vote. In the UK 28℅ of voters also chose not to vote. This can be analyzed as having a huge amount of adults not caring about their country’s future. The huge differential of 15℅ between the UK and the US it’s because as it is said the US suffered the phenomenon of voting “between the lesser of two evils”, making a bigger margin of non voters. So how can this happen in the 21st century? Where we have internet and information at our fingertips, we can easily search which candidate aligns better with our interests and model of thought. We can see their statements, their political agenda, their political team, even what they have stated 10 years ago and how they changed their point of view and why.
It is known as a fact by many statistics entities that the rates of discrimination at schools, and messages of hate towards muslim and LGBT communities peaked during Trump’s campaign. Yes, during the campaign, before he won. This shows the great impact a candidate and even more a president has with his speech over the population. The economic instability and recession takes some political leaders to create escape goats. This escape goats are an illusion, an imaginary answer to very complicated problems. This is not monday’s new’s, populist speakers around the twentieth century generated hate in many countries creating imaginary enemies which the people could hate to forget about other real problems. Hitler had the jews, Chavez had the US. So why Trump couldn’t have muslims, mexicans and China? Who wouldn’t love that all of our most complicated problems would be solved by these easy solutions these populist speakers bring to the table? But the world doesn’t work that way sadly.
Only 492,306 from 3,806,471 of people between 18 and 24 years old voted for the EU referendum for the Brexit. That’s only a 36%! Ideas are crucial for making a real change, but execution is the key aspect. People between 18 and 29 cover a 20% of all the amount of votes, that’s a big number in the spectrum. We should definitely use our power to vote. We were raised in a more advanced society, with less xenophobia, racism and homophobia. Youngsters need to understand how they can make a change by only showing up. So why lose this big 20% who can fight against all these negative aspects, we just can’t keep sitting around.
So are we doomed? Should we surrender our ideals of real progress, and embrace this wave of hate that is crashing in to our foreheads? Absolutely not. This is the best moment, more than ever before, to remind ourselves of a key thought. No presidential candidate, no newspaper, no anti immigration law, no far right extremist party can really determine the way we live our lives. They do not represent us as a whole, these are just laws and people who got voted, on a fraudulent system, that in no matter of years will change. We live in a representative way of government which is often confused with the real democratic system which was stated 2500 years ago in ancient greece, but that will be a subject for another time. This Hate is only reflected on our daily lives if we let it pass through, if we choose to neglect it when it’s around us. So remember you can always chose, to embrace what is thrown to us, or to fight it with empathy.
It is now more than ever that we should push our minds for a real conscious change in order to achieve real progress. We should fight against this past of facism and hate that is coming to haunts us once again. I think that human history is not cyclical as many may think, and this wave of hate can be left behind as old news well buried, for a more prosperous and bright future. A famous psychologist, Steven Pinker, wrote a book called “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”. This book studies that the greatest variable that marked our success as a race was collaboration between ourselves. The human mind found out thousands of years ago, that it was easier to understand, to collaborate, to love than to hate and discriminate. So… why bother ourselves in this nonsense?