Spoiler alert – I am not pledging my allegiance to Trump! I don’t agree with his policies and his racist, sexist slurs during his campaign often left me shocked. Moreover, I’m upset Britain is actually leaving the EU. From what I can see, many people decided to vote leave due to views that seemed to come more from fear-mongering and racist tendencies than any solid political viewpoints. The economy has suffered as a result and Britain’s power in the world is in danger of substantially weakening.
So, why is it a good thing that Trump has come to power and Brexit is happening? Well, people are talking. People are protesting. People are engaging in political debate. People are realising that their combined voice can create a powerful force. It’s not that this hasn’t been realised before, a quick glance to the sixties and other eras will help you realise that. Moreover, there have obviously been many people engaged in political debate throughout the centuries. However, it is hard not to notice that many more people have become actively involved in political debate in the last year due to the recent seemingly unlikely events. Whereas before people, myself included, may have just reclined to their private spheres and claimed how awful the world is, they are now reading articles, having discussions and engaging in debates. Just look at the marches across the globe for women’s rights this Saturday. People turned up in their millions to peacefully march against the sexist and racial slurs that Trump uttered in his election campaign. Women and men came together to show the world that they don’t agree with Trump’s views. This won’t be the last of these protests and it will put even more pressure on Trump’s administration to approach their policies with due diligence and care.
It’s not just marches. You can’t go on Facebook or Twitter without reading a speech, meme or 140 character sentiment outlining someone’s own impassioned political sentiment. More and more people are sharing newspaper articles and getting in heated debates over the state of world politics. This isn’t to say that social media is the best medium for political debate, but it can certainly get people thinking rather than aimlessly scrolling through their feeds.
Aside from the pressure people are now putting on governments to do right by their people, this increased interest in politics will have other significant effects. For one, when voting a party or leader into power, many people do this off the back of an election campaign. This is of course valuable information for any voter, but being involved in politics all year around will surely result in more informed voters. If people have better knowledge of a candidate’s merits and failings in the past, they can then give a vote that reflects their true opinion on subject matters.
Getting involved in politics is so much more that casting a vote every four or five years and electing your favourite politician into power. It can be discussing your views with a neighbour, attending protests and getting involved with your local communities to bring about change. I’ve been guilty in the past of avoiding politics, being happier to get on with my own life and citing the old excuse that little changes at the top. However, Trump and Brexit have proved why people need to actively commit and engage with politics. The outcry from people upset with recent decisions has been unlike anything I’ve seen before. Indeed, even those people defending their votes for Trump and Brexit have produced well nuanced answers that evoke a different and significant political viewpoint. After Trump and Brexit, people are becoming more involved with politics than they have in recent times. They are not content to simply let others change the world around them, surely this can only be a good thing.