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politics

UK elections a warning for US?

PunkTheFunk

This was an interesting read. I've pulled out a couple of interesting highlights below.

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Will UK provide light bulb moment for US Democrats?

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For the most part American politics exists in its own bubble with its own preoccupations. But every now and then something that happens in a foreign country intrudes. And pokes its nose in. Big time.

The 12 December 2019 UK General Election might be such a moment for the US Democratic Party - just as British politics imposed itself on the US presidential election on 23 June 2016, when the British people voted for Brexit. Coincidentally, Donald Trump arrived in Scotland the following day (not the day before as he has repeatedly claimed) and what the British people had just done was a galvanising moment in his campaign, a light bulb moment, as he prepared to face the American people five months later.

So what should Democrats learn from the misery that befell the Labour Party last Thursday night? And more particularly can they afford to have Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren as their candidate and stand a chance of defeating Donald Trump in 2020 after the shellacking meted out to Jeremy Corbyn and his brand of radical, left-wing policies?

Let me start in Sedgefield in County Durham, an old mining constituency, whose pits closed in the 1970s and 1980s. It is a largely white, working class area. It has been rock-solid Labour since the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. It is not unlike any number of towns you could find in the Appalachians in Pennsylvania.

But last Thursday night incredibly, unbelievably, ground-shakingly, Sedgefield went Conservative. Sedgefield. Conservative. It is mind-boggling.

Electoral districts that all my life have been Labour - Blyth Valley, Bolsover, Rother Valley, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Dudley, Grimsby - are now held by the Conservatives. It is hard to overstate just how seismic this is. And remember social class in the UK has always been a bigger determinant of how people vote than it has been in the US. Just like the whole class system, frankly. Some of these constituencies have never, ever flirted with the right.

Of course, there is a massive caveat that makes reading across from what happened in the UK to what might happen in the US precarious. Brexit, no deal, the European Union Withdrawal Agreement will not be on the ballot in the 2020 US presidential election. Brexit did play a big part in this general election - how could it not given the turmoil in Britain of these past three-and-a-half years?

But as Phil Wilson, the man who succeeded Tony Blair as the Labour MP in Sedgefield - and who lost his seat on Thursday night - pointed out, Brexit was nothing like as big an issue on the doorstep as Jeremy Corbyn and Labour's socialist policies.

Democrats would be wise to dig deeper into the reasons for such wholesale rejection of the UK Labour Party. If you are plotting a path to victory in 2020 that takes you through Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin - the three states that the Democrats lost in 2016 by a teeny, weeny number of votes and that guaranteed Donald Trump victory - then there are many similarities between these states and the industrial heartlands that Labour have just lost.

Michigan's Democrats swept the board in the midterms in 2018, and the newly-elected Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, is admirably straightforward about why they were able to turn around the fortunes of the Democratic Party after the shock of 2016. They didn't promise the earth, they promised to fix the roads. Kitchen table issues.

And to Democrats in the US who look at their Twitter feeds and see the "likes" and retweets mounting up as they advance this or that position, let the 2019 UK election be a warning to you. For some Labour activists the result of the election seems to have come as a massive shock, because in the echo chamber world that we all now to a greater or lesser extent live in, you come away with the impression that everyone thinks like you. Twitter is not the real world. Nowhere near.

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50785442

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PoshLife

The Biden campaign has already issued a warning similar to this. I don't know enough about UK politics to understand all the dynamics at play (Brexit, Corbyn being kind of a sh*tty person, Corbyn and Labour's actual policies, etc).

To the extent that Brexit could have been a deciding factor ("get it done with already"), then that doesn't really translate to US politics-though it could have been analogous to the ongoing negotations over USMCA if those had continued dragging on into 2020 which they haven't.

But to the extent that the election could have been a referendum on the Labour Party being too far left, then yes that would find obvious parallels within the 2020 Dem primary.

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Zander

Conservatives winning wasn’t really shocking. It was shocking to the people who feel like social media must reflect what the real world is thinking when they forget the older demographic, who are more likely to go out and vote, doesn’t use it (or much less likely to). Let’s not forget the left are also loud minority, in the case of the U.K. elections. Whereas the right are the silent majority and less likely to be so vocal on social media. Labour were too far left in these elections which is ultimately what cost them it.

Edited by Zander
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S0436

Lesson to be learned, don’t let celebrities preach who to vote for as swing voters are more likely to vote against them!

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Melech

The democrats don’t have a Corbyn running, so that’s good. 

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PoshLife
15 minutes ago, Zander said:

Conservatives winning wasn’t really shocking. It was shocking to the people who feel like social media must reflect what the real world is thinking when they forget the older demographic, who are more likely to go out and vote, doesn’t use it (or much less likely to). Let’s not forget the left are also loud minority, in the case of the U.K. elections. Whereas the right are the silent majority and less likely to be so vocal on social media. Labour were too far left in these elections which is ultimately what cost them it.

I agree and I'd say the same factor is at play (including here on GGD) regarding the US Dem primary... liberal users are amazed that Biden continues leading in national polls because all of their Internet friends are supporting Sanders or Warren so surely everyone in the country is.

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xoxo Craig

I think it was the other way around. Trump winning in 2016 started, or invoked, the far right to rise. If you look at the countries pre-Trump, everything was left-centre... but then Trump won and suddenly Marie Le Penn was gaining momentum in France, Nigel Farage had a platform and many other far right movements began to rise across the western world. 

Now, England has traditionally always been a Tory country unfortunately. Labour managed to break that mould a few times, more recently after Thratcher and Tony Blair's reign. Under Blair, he changed the Labour's position from left to more centre. And Gordon Brown followed. Then the Tories came to power and under David Cameron, he changed the Tory position from right to more centre-right and gained lots of Labour voters. The Tories have been in power for the past decade... and over that time, they and the English views have become much more right wing. This Tory government is the most right wing Tory government since Margaret Thatcher. And I believe that Trump winning in 2016 was a catalyst for the far right movement across the world to rise. 

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Gagaloo911

You really can't compare the two. UK had its own set of circumstances, including Brexit (completely irrelevant to the US) which played a major factor, and a very unpopular candidate like Corbyn,which together shaped how the electorate went. 

27 minutes ago, PoshLife said:

I agree and I'd say the same factor is at play (including here on GGD) regarding the US Dem primary... liberal users are amazed that Biden continues leading in national polls because all of their Internet friends are supporting Sanders or Warren so surely everyone in the country is.

There's really quite a lot wrong with this. Too much to go all the way into here. But if you look at polling on the big issues, majority of Americans support the policies the progressive candidates have put forth, including Medicare For All, $15 minimum wage, tuition free college, and so on.

In the case of Medicare for All this is really quite remarkable considering the lengths to which the "moderate" (read: corporatist)  Dems and establishment media have gone to fearmonger and mislead about it, who obviously don't want it to happen since many of their donors are in the Healthcare industry and have for all intents and purposes been paid off to oppose it. And still a majority of Americans support it, including a significant majority of swing voters. 

Bottom line is cable and establishment media skew to older generations who are more likely to vote, and these media are constantly giving praise and positive coverage to the establishment candidates while misleading and fear mongering about the progressive ones, especially Bernie who in some cases is hardly even being covered. These media are essentially the gatekeepers of information about candidates to these folks. So it's no wonder older people support the establishment ones, they just aren't as aware. 

Young people on the other hand don't watch cable media and get most of their news and information online where it's not as filtered through an establishment lens. They are able to see the candidates for who they really are. 

Then you have the constant falsehoods and misleading info spread by the right or corporate media, who in turn regurgitate it back to their audiences and get them to believe it.

Taking all this into account, you begin to understand why the so-called moderates are considered more "electable" and how conservatives can end up winning even when most people agree with the positions and policies on the (progressive) left. 

Edited by Gagaloo92
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KanyeWest

Democrats wont win until they have a good leader who doesn't sound or look weak & doesn't preach more immigration and bringin all the misery in the world. That's the most unpopular thing you could say right now in this climate. Im not saying it's right, Im saying you will never win if you do that. I wished the democrats knew that and kept their mouth shut about those two topics and focused on other pressin issues. It has to be strategical overall. 

I can't see democrats winning with Biden or Elizabeth & also Sanders. Too weak

Edited by kyanewest
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Gagaloo911

This election I really think will be a test of the Internet vs. the traditional gatekeepers of information. In the past, they misled or outright lied to the public about things to get them to go how they wanted. 

Now, with the Internet and people paying much more attention, we are able to get all the information and candidates are more likely to get caught for their slimy or disingenuous positions. We can see them without the corporate, establishment lens that's so biased against the things everyday people want in lieu of what the establishment and wealthy want. 

I guess we'll see who will win out at the end of the day, the traditional gatekeepers who mislead enough people as they have in the past, or whether the truth wins out and people see through all that and vote for those who actually want to change things and help regular Americans. 

 

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Qiyana
56 minutes ago, Zander said:

Conservatives winning wasn’t really shocking. It was shocking to the people who feel like social media must reflect what the real world is thinking when they forget the older demographic, who are more likely to go out and vote, doesn’t use it (or much less likely to). Let’s not forget the left are also loud minority, in the case of the U.K. elections. Whereas the right are the silent majority and less likely to be so vocal on social media. Labour were too far left in these elections which is ultimately what cost them it.

This x1000

I knew a couple weeks before they would win comfortably. People somehow are 'shocked' everytime. There's a trend and if people lifted their heads up from their phones they would have seen it coming too 

Edited by LeBlanc
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ItsTommyBitch
12 minutes ago, Gagaloo92 said:

You really can't compare the two. UK had its own set of circumstances, including Brexit (completely irrelevant to the US) which played a major factor, and a very unpopular candidate like Corbyn,which together shaped how the electorate went. 

There's really quite a lot wrong with this. Too much to go all the way into here. But if you look at polling on the big issues, majority of Americans support the policies the progressive candidates have put forth, including Medicare For All, $15 minimum wage, tuition free college, and so on.

In the case of Medicare for All this is really quite remarkable considering the lengths to which the "moderate" (read: corporatist)  Dems and establishment media have gone to fearmonger and mislead about it, who obviously don't want it to happen since many of their donors are in the Healthcare industry and have for all intents and purposes been paid off to oppose it. And still a majority of Americans support it, including a significant majority of swing voters. 

Bottom line is cable and establishment media skew to older generations who are more likely to vote, and these media are constantly giving praise and positive coverage to the establishment candidates while misleading and fear mongering about the progressive ones, especially Bernie who in some cases is hardly even being covered. These media are essentially the gatekeepers of information about candidates to these folks. So it's no wonder older people support the establishment ones, they just aren't as aware. 

Young people on the other hand don't watch cable media and get most of their news and information online where it's not as filtered through an establishment lens. They are able to see the candidates for who they really are. 

Then you have the constant falsehoods and misleading info spread by the right or corporate media, who in turn regurgitate it back to their audiences and get them to believe it.

Taking all this into account, you begin to understand why the so-called moderates are considered more "electable" and how conservatives can end up winning even when most people agree with the positions and policies on the (progressive) left. 

Thank you for such a realistic and meta perspective on the state of affairs :golfclap:

私自身もこの世の中も誰もかれもが, どんなに華やかな人生でも, どんなに悲惨な人生でも, いつかは変貌し, 破壊され、消滅してしまう. すべてがもともとこの世に存在しない一瞬の幻想なのだから
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Economy
2 hours ago, PoshLife said:

I agree and I'd say the same factor is at play (including here on GGD) regarding the US Dem primary... liberal users are amazed that Biden continues leading in national polls because all of their Internet friends are supporting Sanders or Warren so surely everyone in the country is.

Yeah... Ppl in the far ends of the spectrum (both right and left) seem to be the most vocal about their beliefs... And u especially notice it by the left on social media (because social media is heavily dominated by younger generation)

 

It does not mean that the loudest ppl represent how the majority of people feel...

 

For example if u spend all ur time on GGD or YouTube channels like Young Turks you'd think all the liberals are for either Warren or Bernie Sanders (the furthest 2 of the left) but leave these sites and look at the population as a whole and things look different

 

Whether ur a passionate loud individual or a casual voter... Either way ur vote still only counts as 1 vote. How passionate u are doesn't make ur vote count more which means how loud a certain side is can be misleading as to the total amount of support by the numbers

 

Politics is complicated and frankly I find regardless of what ones political beliefs are, most people are not very open to dialogue, reasonable debate or willing to see other perspectives and how maybe another political ideology could have some valid points. Everyone is convinced the politics they support is what's right on almost everything and the opponents are wrong on everything.

 

Makes politics just a battle field without much chance of genuine good ideas being exchanged between different political spectrums cuz people are just too stubborn and political arguments are more about calling others ignorant and stupid rather than being open minded to learn different perspectives and consider them all :madge:

 

I think politics fails so miserably because people political ideologies or parties are not like a council that works together to bring up pros and cons of different policies and consider how overall everything together might work best...

 

Politics is more like a black and white war where every politician (or voter) wants their agendas executed and the other side is just an enemy they have to fight. There's no harmony or co-operation. Politics is a constant tug of war...

 

And I think politics are like that because they reflect humanities tendency to not be co-operative and reasonable or humble. If society in general was more open dialogued, politics in turn would be also but we're not sadly :(

 

i love getting involved in social issues but find it's difficult to have any valuable exchange of ideas cuz everyone is always already convinced they know everything and that your ignorant if you support anything else. And that's sad

 

Sorry Rant over :messga:

Edited by Economy
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ItsTommyBitch
10 hours ago, Economy said:

Yeah... Ppl in the far ends of the spectrum (both right and left) seem to be the most vocal about their beliefs... And u especially notice it by the left on social media (because social media is heavily dominated by younger generation)

It does not mean that the loudest ppl represent how the majority of people feel...

For example if u spend all ur time on GGD or YouTube channels like Young Turks you'd think all the liberals are for either Warren or Bernie Sanders (the furthest 2 of the left) but leave these sites and look at the population as a whole and things look different

Whether ur a passionate loud individual or a casual voter... Either way ur vote still only counts as 1 vote. How passionate u are doesn't make ur vote count more which means how loud a certain side is can be misleading as to the total amount of support by the numbers

:messga:

I know this seems really logical, but its actually just not true. Obama said something similar - most of the country isnt just leftists on twitter.

And he's right. Most of the country are notsuggesting we give all means of production to the government :green:  Where he was wrong however is that the vast majority of Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, align economically with progressives and are susceptible to populism. It's why Trump won. By this logic, if the *majority of the country* was not in the extremes, Jeb Bush would have slid to a landslide victory in 2016, as he was the centrist, establishment candidate on the right. But obviously this can't be true, because Trump won... as an extreme. HMM. I have said it to you before, America politically is currently solidly right leaning. "Far leftist" democratic socialism is quite centrist in comparison to actual leftist ideas like flat out socialism, communism, etc. It would seem mainstream media punditry is wrong about this issue, but let's dive in shall we.

Let's take Medicare For All. Its a progressive policy, very clearly. Maybe you don't know the years of polling that has been done it, but I'll say it. Its support in the entire country is incredibly high, reaching heights of 70% Across party lines, and 81% according to people who identify as Democrats.

That is HUGE.

And it is absolutely insane to suggest that 70% of America is suddenly a progressive democrat...

Okay, but thats just one thing. I hear you.

Let's take a wealth tax.

74% of registered voters. 65% of Registered Republicans. 

Okay, but thats just another thing.

Green New Deal? 

63% of the country. 60% of registered voters for any and all parties (dem, rep, ind, etc.) Similar numbers of people want to Legalize Marijuana. It is also popular across all age ranges and demographics, white black, male female, old young middle income lower income, higher income, urban rural. Truly bipartisan. Hell, another recent poll even showed that supporting the Green New Deal in purple or even slightly red districts is a POSITIVE thing :ladyhaha: 

Okay, but thats just another thing though.

Making college tuition free/eliminating student debt?

58% of registered voters.

Okay, just another nother thing.

$15 minimum wage increase.

55% of the country. 70% of Republicans. Another 27% believe it should be raised substantially, but stop short at 15 for a slightly lower number like 12.50 or 13. (The current minimum wage is 7.25 :emma: ) This means that 80% of the country supports drastically raising the minimum wage.

Okay... but wait, at some point you realize that these things have become the bulk of the progressive's flagship policies...

But wait, isnt the country in the center? If the country is in the center... why does most of the country align economically on the progressive left?

....  maybe because Progressivism isn't leftists on twitter, its regular average Americans who know that these things would radically and materially improve their lives, and that the other proposed policies are milquetoast and change nothing for them :shrug: 

This means that any candidate, on the left or the right, would be able to run on these policies, and the support is there for people to vote for them because of their support for these policies, not in spite of them.

The "loud minority" or "vocal minority" of leftists is a misunderstanding of the political sphere. We are loud because the majority of America supports us and this is a time that we absolutely should demand these things, its a turning point in history, where even politically uninvested people have begun to see that income inequality is a serious problem in this country and is hurting them. Even Republicans, for all their talk of loving billionaires and trickle down economics, say they would support these ideas because they are simple and make sense :rip: 

It is entirely centrism's point to ignore this though, because all of these things require decreasing the influence of dark money in politics... and they want to keep that, so they don't talk about this, they lie about it on air, and they hand wave polls as suddenly all unreliable but only if they support Bernie Sanders :deadbanana: The same pollsters results are seen as amazing signs that Joe Biden is still going to win :ladyhaha: 

Edited by ItsTommyBitch
私自身もこの世の中も誰もかれもが, どんなに華やかな人生でも, どんなに悲惨な人生でも, いつかは変貌し, 破壊され、消滅してしまう. すべてがもともとこの世に存在しない一瞬の幻想なのだから
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