Why no one should have been shocked that Trump won.

This last week has been the most fascinating week in international politics that I’ve seen. Donald Trump, the guy we all laughed about, actually won.man-with-mouth-taped-shut

The fallout has been extraordinary. Opinions and emotions run high as the western world teeters on the brink. The unthinkable has happened, and suddenly the future is unpredictable.

On the radio after the election, I heard an American assert his belief that everyone was shocked. Even the Trump supporters weren’t expecting a victory. I found myself wondering: how could this happen?

It’s not the first time. People were shocked over Brexit, and continue to be shocked over our own Australian election results. Surely these things should be predictable?

I see one key reason why they’re not: people convey different opinions in the quiet safety of the polling booth, from those they’re willing to own on the street.

The leftist ‘majority’ is consistently stunned when votes swing to the right; they’re left floundering, wondering how the results could be wrong. Well maybe they’re not wrong. Maybe those of the right-wing persuasion aren’t saying what they think, or maybe the media isn’t reporting it.

Maybe a whole portion of our society is being shut up (because they’re not P.C.) and it’s creating an illusion of consensus that just isn’t right. The thing about democracy, though, is that this silent multitude still gets to vote, and they’re shocking the world when they do.

The shock shouldn’t have happened, because, had we listened, we would’ve known it was coming.

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We’re Free to Abuse our Political Leaders (but we’re also free not to)

broken-glasses-1_2379464I live in an amazing country in which our freedom of speech extends so far as to enable us to publicly slander, poke fun at, or disrespect our political leaders. This is a right I would not be without.

Unfortunately, however, there seems to be a general consensus that not only should we have this right, but that we should exercise it.

Leading up to our recent election, social media was rife with slander and abuse; people pushing their own agendas, and openly condemning those who didn’t agree. As I drove to work each day, I saw campaign posters; the faces of those running for the right to represent our communities, disfigured by graffitists.

On election day, as the votes were counted, I waited for the inevitable. As soon as it was called, the abuse started. I saw the new leader of our country being called names that I would not allow my high school students to call each other. I saw people threatening to leave the country as if the world were coming to an end. Have some global perspective!

Maybe it’s time to grow up Australia. You have a voice. But you also have a choice in how to use it. Use your voice to vote; use it to campaign; make your opinions heard, but don’t be the high school bully. Let’s show our leaders some respect, whoever they are, because we didn’t achieve one of the best standards of living in the world by ourselves.