Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Honesty and Confessions

Refreshing Candour

Heather Du Plessis is a main-stream media star in New Zealand.  On virtually any and every social and political issue one can pretty much predict what she would advocate: more state control, more rules, more regulations, more public spending, blah, blah, blah.  Nothing new here--and perfectly understandable when one's god is Man and his avatar is the State.

But every so often Du Plessis surprises.  And so it was recently.  She is the only reporter and mainstream media star in New Zealand to have come forth and put the "blame" for the US election outcome firmly upon the shoulders of the Chattering Classes, the chardonnay set, and the Commentariat--of which she is a card-carrying member.

She has recognized the elitism implicit in so much of the Chattering Classes' rejection of Donald Trump.

A few months ago I met a man from Brussels who works for the European Union. He wore a sharp suit and tie, and rarely anything less formal.  Queuing in a Washington DC food joint, he told me Donald Trump's supporters were too stupid to understand the danger they were voting for. Therefore, the man from Brussels said, they were too stupid to vote. In fact, he thought, voting was best left to people with an education, who understood political philosophy and the history of the institutions.

That man couldn't have seen Trump's win coming. Nor could politicians and media around the world, because we didn't want Trump to win. If the Don won, he would do it by breaking all our rules.  [NZ Herald]
Du Plessis then went on a canard-busting spree--in which she acknowledges her own complicity, ignorance, and prejudice:
We wrote off Trump's supporters as racist, white men, but they're not.   His victory is not about racism - 29 per cent of Latinos voted him in and 29 per cent of Asians voted him in.

It's not about putting women in their place - 45 per cent of women voted for him.

It's not stupid people voting for him - 45 per cent of college graduates gave him their vote.
It is not too far from the mark, she suggests, to argue that we have been in the midst of a peaceful revolution, and electoral revolution.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It's too early to tell whether a long-lasting political consensus can be built around and upon what Donald Trump represents.  But here is Du Plessis's take on it:
In light of Brexit and the rise of the ridiculously named Pirate Party in Iceland, it's starting to look a bit like a sort of revolution, albeit one executed with the ballot box instead of guns.  We were once were ruled by kings, tzars, emperors, feudal lords and communist cliques. We got rid of them because they told us what to do, failed to care for us adequately and kept the likes of us out of their exclusive clubs.

We replaced them with democracy. But, over time, democracy has created its own kind of rulers: the political class.  The politicians turned professional and learned how to answer our questions without telling us the truth. They started using taxpayer money to bail out reckless bankers and businessmen. But - however frustrating you might find that - the politicians could get away with it, because they played by the rules.

So, American voters elected a man who broke all the political rules, with his runaway mouth and his gaudiness and his lack of political experience.  They wanted a reality TV star. They wanted a President who hasn't served in the US military or previously held political office. They wanted anything but a politician.

And these voters were also fed up with the rest of us: the political hangers-on. If the politicians are the new kings, then the media, lobbyists, pollsters and business heads are the members of the king's court.  If this is a revolution - although that word still feels too strong - it's as much a social revolt as an economic one.  [Emphasis, ours.]
And the final mea-culpa:
The man from Brussels mightn't have seen Donald Trump coming, but he and his kind - my kind - are to blame for Donald Trump.
One suspects that "her kind" will regard the honesty and candour of Du Plessis a step too far.  She has jumped the fence.  Broken out of the corral.  She has adopted the persona of a heretic.  An inquisition beckons.

For our part, we have a hunch that she is not far from the mark.  Not at all.

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