The 2016 US Presidential Election – What the Heck Happened?
By the COTO Team
On November 8 2016, Donald J Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States. We at Culture on the Offensive are a transatlantic team, 50% American and 50% British. We supported Bernie Sanders. We were saddened when he was ousted out of the race. It seemed like our American contingent was left with something like a choice between hospital and airplane food.
Nonetheless, after the election result we accepted the democratic decision of the American people and understood Trump’s victory as a collective learning experience for those of us on the left. The lesson could be summed up like this: the political realm is fundamentally precarious. We get good politics, insofar as we remain vigilant in persuading others our politics are good. But this does not seem like the story about politics our fellow politicos find compelling these days. They tell a different story, one where some people are guardians of enlightenment, whose job is to protect our freedoms and rights from barbarians. The barbarians are everyone’s enemies, and we defeat them either by shaming them into silence, or by marginalising them, when humiliation is ineffective.
Donald Trump is the candidate of the barbarians. Clinton is the candidate of the guardians of enlightenment.
We are uncomfortable with this perspective.
Although we too are disturbed by the way some Trump supporters casually express racist and sexist attitudes, we are also uncomfortable with how all Trump supporters are routinely called neo-fascists and spoken about like they are some kind of deadly virus. We feel that this is substituting one kind of bigotry and hatred for another. It’s as if Trump supporters are rabid dogs in need of a cage, rather than flesh and blood human beings who dissent from the orthodoxies of right on thinking. They are portrayed as ruthless and disgusting, a violent tattooed, white skinned mob, accompanying their candidate with regular racially motivated beatings at his various rallies; violence Trump has encouraged, rather than condemned.
How can people be so horrible? How can scum like this emerge from the sewers and walk the streets, shouting slurs, and grabbing pussies all the way to the voting booth? How dare they not declare themselves to pollsters? How dare they challenge what it means to be racist today? How dare they want to try for peace with Putin? How dare they act like those working class, UK rapscallions who had the audacity to Brexit?
The answer to these questions, as you might have guessed, is that they are the wrong questions.
So in the hope of asking the right questions, here are 25 YouTube clips that go a little deeper than the more shallow sentiments of this important historical moment. The majority of these clips are Vlogs, but some of them are montages, interview segments, and even examples of televised news reporting. You can flick through them as you wish when you have a bit of spare time.
What they all have in common is they are iconic representations of issues we either didn’t see in the mainstream media, or issues we felt should have been covered much more, in that same media. Our hope is ultimately that these clips will challenge a simple and easy understanding of what has transpired in American society, on the eighth day of November, 2016.
Of course, we don’t endorse all the claims made in these clips. However, we still think they are claims worthy of thinking about, even if, at the end of the day, you decide they are bullshit. This is because even if you decide they are bullshit, you will have at least thought about why they are bullshit. And any reflection on why something is bullshit is always a step on the path to true enlightenment.
So sit back, grab your favourite drink, and enjoy re-thinking an issue your friends probably want you to see in stark, black and white terms. Enjoy “The Art of Thinking” because life is always filled with greys, human life is always complicated, and no matter where you are in your own life, you don’t have to think like everybody else.
Clip 1: Russell Brand: Trump. Right. Okay. The World’s Gone Nuts
CLIP 2: Jonathan Pie: President Trump: How and Why
Clip 3: Karen Straughan: How could this have Happened?
Clip 4: Mundane Matt: Why Hillary Lost
Clip 5: The Young Turks: Wikileaks Proves DNC Conspired Against Bernie Sanders!
Clip 6: H.A. Goodman: WikiLeaks DNC Emails Show Hillary Clinton Stole Democratic Nomination from Bernie Sanders
Clip 7: Obama Reminds Us of Hilary Clinton’s Track Record
Clip 8: Slavoj Zizek: How Political Correctness Elected Donald Trump
Clip 9: Top Trending: 10 Things You Didn’t Know about Hillary Clinton
Clip 10: Secular Talk: Trump Thinks the US Has Too Much Free Speech
Clip 11: Donald Trump’s Hazy Stance on Abortion ‘Punishment.’ Hardball. MSNBC
Clip 12: The Humanist Report: Donald Trump Foundation Equally Corrupt as the Clinton Foundation
Clip 13: Redacted Tonight: New PROOF Bernie Sanders Actually Won the Primary (Probably)
Clip 14: Scott Hunt: Hillary Clinton’s Election Fraud Finally Exposed. California stolen from Bernie Sanders!
Clip 15: Project Veritas Action: Rigging the Election – Video 1: Clinton Campaign and DNC Incite Violence at Trump Rallies
Clip 16: The Young Turks: Trump Doesn’t Care if Torture Doesn’t Work: “They Deserve It Anyway.”
Clip 17: The Real News: Trump Could Kill Key Global Agreements and Domestic Regulations on Climate Change.
Clip 18: Black Pigeon: This 10 Minute Video Should End Hillary’s Campaign for President
Clip 19: Janet Bloomfield: A Vote for Trump is a Vote for Men
Clip 20: Muslims Speak Out in Support of Trump
Clip: 21: Millenniel Millie: Latinos and Hispanics Side With Trump on Border
Clip 22: Crypt101: Black People Explain Why Donald Trump is Not Racist
Clip 23: Paul Joseph Watson: The Truth about Trump Protests
Clip 24: Sargon of Akkad: The State of the Media After Trump
Clip 25: Shoe on Head: Dear LGBT People
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COTO is a platform for expressing and exploring fresh, maybe controversial, but definitely thought provoking ideas that allow people to understand contemporary culture in new ways.