Politics in the West has entered a new era.
Those on the left of the political spectrum sit around scratching their heads on why power they had once taken for granted, has been taken from them. Why has the left failed to engage with the same people who they champion?
From the EU Referendum and the American presidential election, there was a common theme that Leave campaigner Michael Gove put so unashamedly, “people in this country have had enough of experts.” Slogans and punchy one liners were repeated tirelessly by Donald Trump and Nigel Farage until the masses were quoting them as facts and chanting them at rallies.
Then there was the argument from the neutrals.
“Both sides have acted dishonestly.”
“Both candidates are terrible.”
“I am sick of the liberal elite.”
There is a true resentment with anyone who resembles being from this educated class. However, studying the tone from the past year, is their argument justified? I remember back to one of the first campaigning events I did with ‘Stronger In’. After an hour of handing out leaflets I went to a man in about his mid-20s and asked him if he had a positive response from passers-by.
“So many of these people are idiots,” he exploded into a rant. “Why can’t they understand that staying in the EU is the obvious choice? If they can’t see that then they are stupid!”
The public has grown tired of this condescending tone from politicians. They had the choice of agreeing with David Cameron and George Osborne or stick two fingers up to the establishment. They chose the latter.
With the rise of anti-establishment sentiment, the left romanticise with socialism.
This has seen the surge in popularity for leaders such as Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders. Despite gaining popularity with millennials, they still do not have the wide appeal to take power in the UK or the US. The left believes they have the monopoly on morality and one thing socialists should know, monopolies are trouble.
Throwing labels around like Blairites, Tory-lite, neo-nazis, alt-right and fascists adds nothing constructive to the conversation.
There are prominent figures from the left praising Fidel Castro’s accomplishments and similar minded leaders in the NUS calling for the ban on right leaning media from university campuses. The echo chambers being created as safe havens for the left, not only enforces this superior attitude but cements the belief that all other views are dangerous.
The public are not fools. They are tired of the hypocritical flip-flop. Remember back in 2013 when Labour blocked the Conservatives motion to intervene in Syria? President Bashar al-Assad was found to be carrying out the most heinous of war crimes by using chemical weapons on his own people.
Labour, too ashamed of their mistakes of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, cheered as they managed to vote down the motion.
Today, Syria continues to burn. The far-left publication of The Morning Star hailed the fall of Aleppo as a “liberation”, when countless more civilians died.
There is currently no real opposition in British politics. The Conservatives drift further to the right under a façade of nationalism. The new set of ‘British Values’ is destined to chip away at our civil liberties, demonise immigrants and set an agenda for Brexit that many did not vote for.
Enlightenment will only take you so far to appeal to these groups so it is imperative we listen to our communities. Those who voted differently in the EU referendum. Those who voted for a different party at the last General Election. Those who have different view to us. Their concerns are genuine and deserve to be heard without being dismissed.
A real alternative is desperately needed, one that is open, tolerant and united.
The original article can be found on Lib Dem Voice.