Don’t focus on Trump, focus on his voters
November 9th, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorized
In my post last Saturday (Stay focused and mind the gap) I talked about the chasm exposed by Brexit and how Theresa May understands Brexit is a means to deliver change and not the end in itself.
The people angry enough to vote for Donald Trump, regardless of all he has said and done in the past, see him as a means to an end too.
The similarities between Brexit and Trump is that they exposed the chasm – they didn’t create it. The way I picture it, as I said in my last post, is that all the people who voted for him and Brexit are on the other side, screaming to be noticed and pointing to the chasm which everyone can now finally see.
After Brexit in the UK, Theresa May understood quickly and built a bridge to the other side: “Brexit means Brexit”. Or if you like, Theresa is the bridge. In my view, the rest of us in the UK have either to walk over Theresa’s bridge or build our own to get there. Until we’re all on the other side, and can see what life is like there, “expert” solutions won’t get a hearing because people need to be convinced first that the experts have understood them and the problem as they experience it.
In the US, Donald Trump was on the other side of the chasm already with the people who voted for him, but he’s not built a sturdy enough bridge yet for others to follow him. Trump voters knew that when they voted for him – but he was all they had, and as time went on more on more people became convinced this was the only chance they were going to get to be taken seriously.
I doubt any of them believes he’ll build a 2,000 mile wall to keep the Mexicans out and get them to pay for it. They are not stupid and that’s not what they really want. What they want, is to be taken seriously. And that’s what the Donald did. They believed that by voting for him the rest of America would finally take them seriously too. He’s their means to an end. He helped them blow everything up and now everyone else can see them on the other side of the chasm too.
What they and Trump now need is for experienced, clever people to build some sturdier bridges to help him make change happen so life feels more fair. They need a few Theresas of their own. That’s why the plea in his acceptance speech was so important and must draw a constructive response:
“For those of you who haven’t supported me…. I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country”.
I’m not saying all this is easy and everything is going to be honky dory just like that. There are people who voted for Hillary who are worried and need reassurance too. I get that, and the signs are that Donald gets that too.
But smart people – politicians, businessmen, journalists – need to get over the chasm and find out what’s going on. Understand and listen to the people who are there. It’s only by seeing the world through the eyes of the people who live there that “experts” can earn the right and respect to be heard and we stand a chance of uniting the western world.
I said on Saturday that we’ll find out on Tuesday if Obama and Hillary have been focussing on the right thing. They weren’t. Look what’s happened to them.
Doing nothing is not an option. Being upset that the US has elected Donald Trump to the White House is not only pointless (he’s there) it’s dangerous. Because rejecting him would feel to his voters that they have been rejected too.
Stop focusing on Donald and focus instead on his voters. He took them seriously. That’s all. And look what together they achieved.
Donald Trump and his voters didn’t create the chasm, they exposed it and, in doing so, have created the opportunity for everyone to do something about it.