Anti-Trumpism as the new political playground

Anti-Trumpism as the new political playground

United States President Donald Trump is someone who is easy to mock; not only are his politics very old fashioned, but his style is also repulsive and then his hairdo is weird, his dress code is tasteless, his first lady behaves like a robot and so on and so forth. Nevertheless, he represents the lives and minds of the majority in the U.S. It is the paradox of democracy that the majority vote as they like even if their choices are shunned by many others; it is not a problem peculiar to U.S. democracy.

Nevertheless, it is another problem to try to disrepute a repulsive president by all means. The last such effort has been about his nominee for the Supreme Court. As the nominee judge is accused and trialed for sexual harassment, I cannot avoid thinking Trump’s rival has been the wife of a Democrat president, who had not only been accused but had admitted his sexual harassment.

Although Bill Clinton came close to impeachment, he got away with it and the Clintons are still the darlings of the Democrats. Perhaps it was that hypocritical aspect of Democrats that cost them the last Presidential Elections and this time, young feminists refused to be fooled by Hilary Clinton. The best joke at the time was that Hillary was a truly traditionalist women who did the same thing that women do for ages; endure a life with a terrible husband.

What is more important is that shallow anti-Trumpism turned out to be the meaning and the symbol of the opposition not only in the U.S. but elsewhere in the civilized West. Even France’s Macron is playing the card by portraying himself as Trump’s opposite; young, intellectual and fashionable. Some American and European liberals adore him for his supposedly progressive politics since he does not miss any chance to display his fashionable views concerning women, gays and minorities. The fact that he shares Trump’s views on economic policies, that he is “Jupiterian,” that he refuses the demands of workers (men and women), that he suggests immigration camps, that he snubbed an unemployed youth and that his bodyguard hit a journalist, does not disqualify him in the eyes of like-minded liberals.

Anti-Trumpism not only passes as political criticism by emptying the meaning of the term, it has also became a status symbol of being qualified as a critical mind. In fact, it is not a new thing, since under all labels of anti-conservative/nationalist politics, Democrats, liberals, progressives and left liberals have taken refuge in the playgrounds of whimsical political rhetoric for years, instead of engaging in major social and political problems.

So far, the price of pseudo-criticism has been the global rise of authoritarian political currents and figures. Now, everyone seems to acknowledge the problem. Nonetheless, the problem has not only been the liberal elite’s alienation from the majorities, as it is often assumed. The problem has been the rise of unanimous belief in the politics of neo-liberal economy and convergence of different political currents and parties on similar policies.

For long, the difference among the left and the right, the liberal and the conservative turned out to be on so-called “cultural” matters. It is not to say cultural matters are insignificant, especially when we talk about rights and freedoms of women, gays and minorities. Nevertheless, they are often meaningless if detached from socio-economic rights and individual freedoms and in that case, they sound like elite talk.

Nuray Mert,