Quote of the day: What elites failed to recognize


From Klaus Brinkbäumer, editor-in-chief of Der Speigel, Germany’s leading news magazine, in an editorial headlined “An Absurd and Dangerous President”:

The United States has voted for a dangerously inexperienced and racist man — one who was swept into the White House by an army of disenfranchised white working- and middle class Americans. It’s a movement that now threatens democracy around the world.

>snip<

Trump had no ideas, but he sensed that the left-behinds yearn for strength. After Barack Obama’s victories, the pundits said that demographic change meant that no US election could be won again without the Latino vote. But Trump gave the Latinos a big fuck you, insinuating that the left-behinds are superior. His words were as crude as those spoken in Germany 80 years ago.

One hesitates to put these thoughts to paper, because they have slowly become clichés, but here it goes. For one, the media should be delving far deeper into social problems and not writing about superficial things. In other words, it needs to stop focusing on lies and angry outbursts, which only serves to inflate the importance of false entertainers. And despite Clinton’s defeat, politicians and anyone involved in education should try to reestablish ties to those who feel left behind and strive to achieve true equal opportunity.

This election was about the impotent and about power. Trump, be it strategically or accidentally, understood that the army of the powerless was so enormous that it could become a movement and carry him into the White House. He knew well what he was risking — the possibility that, in their rage, they would set fires, break all rules and, as a result, could destroy democracy. In America. And, following the election of this absurd president, potentially around the world.

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