I don’t usually post on politics but I had to comment on the headlines from this year that will be in history books for years to come- Brexit and Trump presidency. Both have some parallels:
- a vote that seems anti establishment
- Shows a strong city versus the rest divide
- Can also be perceived as blue collar versus white collar divide
- Age demographics show young old divide
- All odds, opinion polls, and pundit predictions are wrong
- A departure from globalization to a more inward looking view
- Immigration backlash
The point I want to bring out is this is a shock because we live in a bubble and tend to surround ourselves with people who share our views- this include the media. As an immigrant who has always lived in big cities, my views have been liberal- I want to see a female president and I would have voted remain. So do most people I know and work with. I read New York Times, follow MSNBC and CNN- both liberal mouthpieces. What we miss is every poll has sampling bias and most channels were looking at self -fulfilling prophecies- people who support their theories.
In the case of Trump, they spent a lot of time ridiculing his over the top comments, which he gave us a lot of. But they should have spent some time understanding who were the people voting for him. The media lumped and labeled all of them as stupid, less educated racists and sexists. I am not debating if they are or not, the point is without listening to why they support Trump and taking an elitist view of them being less intelligent was a huge blunder.
I think Hillary made that mistake too- she called Bernie supporters the losers living in parent’s basements and Trump supporters deplorable. Clearly they tapped into some real discontentment with the economy and they voted to the person who heard them.
This is the exact parallel to Brexit, with London voting remain and rest of the country voting exit. No one saw it coming, every poll expected a large win for remain. Even the exit lobbyists were not expecting to win!
It is easy to label those who don’t share our views as stupid, but trying to understand why they voted is crucial to uniting a divided country. And a big role for the liberal media is to spend some time with both sides of the divide, otherwise they will risk never getting it right!