A beauty pageant contestant is the latest person to complain that “Trump is dividing us:”
A contestant in this year’s Miss America contest slammed President Donald Trump during her onstage interview on Friday, according to the Associated Press.
“Donald Trump is the biggest issue our country faces,” Miss West Virginia Madeline Collins told the judges. “Unfortunately, he has caused a lot of division in our country.”
Meanwhile, in Sweden, an upstart right-leaning populist party is set to win elections, and are being slimed as Nazis, with figures in the country’s media calling for violence against the party leader:
The party’s tough positions have also earned them the ire of Islamists, far-left extremists, and even members of the media, with SD leader Jimmie Åkesson being personally targetted last year when his home was attacked.
TV4 sports journalist Christoffer Eriksson victim-blamed Åkesson after the attack, saying: “For you see, Jimmie is a Nazi. He, Kent, Linus, Andrew and others, they are Nazis. And the Nazis have no place in rooms with us,” he declared.
Åkesson has also been threatened by radical Islamists as recently as this week, when alleged Islamic State sources made threats to kill him and his four-year-old son if he did not step down from campaigning.
The political chaos engulfing the United States is part of a global trend given how interlinked most countries are now due to modern methods of travel, the internet, and trade ties. What is happening Sweden is reflective of what is happening in the rest of Europe and the United States
The issues facing the Western world have their genesis in the 2008 economic crisis. Unlike previous recessions, we have never fully recovered from it due to the immense damage inflicted on the financial system by both the crash and the “solutions” which followed, solutions which involved global central banks flooding the financial system with liquidity to prop up the banks.
While the central banks managed to avert a gigantic economic collapse in the short term, they were unable to address the core problems present in most developed economies, most of which are outside their purview:
- Aging populations and shrinking tax bases
- Too much debt and too much spending
- Decades of wage stagnation
- A political elite increasingly disconnected from reality, unable to relate to normal people, and unable to solve any major problems. The elite have also developed a partial or in some cases full immunity from the law, furthering the divide between them and average Americans
- Governments which have grown larger and less accountable, and have become riven with graft and corruption.
- A political and media culture in the country which has become ultra-toxic, and obsessed with non-issues and non-problems such as social justice, environmentalism, and transgender bathrooms. The political culture is completely disconnected from serious issues.
- Crime, violence, and drug abuse has exploded in the wake of a massive wave of illegal immigration
All of these problems are interlinked and are feeding off each other, creating a general crisis that has gripped the Western world. While there are differing local flavors, all of these problems are essentially the same in the US and Europe, and many of them are also gripping Japan and Brazil.
Ultimately, it is the job of the leadership in each of these countries, as well as the leadership of the multilateral institutions to which these countries belong, to actually solve these problems. The leadership has instead repeatedly kicked the can down the road, preferring to spend their time on non-issues such as social justice.
Because most developed nations are democracies, the response of the governed has been a series of escalating efforts to resolve problems first through petitioning the government, and when that failed, through means of the ballot box. In the US, this started in 2005 and 2006 with backlashes against some of Bush’s liberal policies, escalated into the Palin phenomenon in 2008, escalated still further into the Tea Party movement of 2010, and peaked with the election of Trump.
The pattern of developments outside the US has been similar. The populations of Europe and Brazil have tried in vain to get their corrupt leadership to listen to them, and finally have begun replacing them electorally. The new populists have taken over or made huge gains in Britain (through the mechanism of Brexit), Germany, Hungary, Austria, and now Sweden. Jail Bolsonaro, the “Trump of Brazil,” has a very good chance of winning the upcoming Brazilian elections.
After twelve years of political chaos, you would expect the elite to respond to the voters in a positive way and seek to redress the problems. Instead, they have hardened their positions and circled the wagons.
Breitbart has a long article here on the various noteworthy people who have smeared Trump and his voters as Nazis, and advocated for violence against them. Marco Rubio has openly come out in support of antifa violence in the past, and Ted Cruz went further and blamed peaceful Trump supporters when antifa attacked them in 2016.
In a sane world, the elites would have backed off and worked with Trump to resolve the nation’s problems after the repeated beatings they took at the ballot box. However, our nation’s toxic political culture has turned many of the tenets of liberalism into a religion. The reaction by many of our rulers to their defeats has been a descent into religious hysteria, with the media presenting Trump as essentially Hitler (the liberal version of Satan). Additionally, Glenn Reynolds has speculated they suffer from “status anxiety,” a fear of losing their privileges and power to someone else.
The immigration crisis, another facet of the larger crisis facing the West, is a result of what’s been happening at the ballot box for the last several years as well as a misguided effort to solve the problem of our shrinking tax base. The Democrats hope to create a permanent majority and essentially render elections meaningless by flooding the country with illegal immigrants dependent on welfare handouts from the party; the Republicans hope to crush wages further downward and increase the tax base to pay for the retiring boomers.
Instead of trying to resolve the problems which have led to ballot box rebellions, the response of the elites has been to try to import new voters to render elections meaningless, smear populists through media which are little more than mouthpieces of the state, and call for violence against their opponents.
So that circles back to the question of the piece: Who is dividing us? It’s pretty obviously our inept and corrupt leadership, which has failed repeatedly to respond to unfavorable election results and started a “cold war” against its own people, while attempting to undemocratically remove Donald Trump from office and overturn the results of the 2016 elections.
No one forced the elites to double and triple down. Had they accepted the will of the voters and worked with Trump to resolve the nation’s problems, they wouldn’t be in a political knife fight to the death. At this point, I feel they have committed themselves to an all or nothing struggle and won’t back down, leaving total defeat and removal of them as the only remaining option.