When one pictures Donald Trump at the helm, the next ejaculation could render us all with venereal disease. Sounds amusing? It shouldn’t be, as there is a deal of truth behind this statement: repeatedly, throughout history, Britain and the U.S. have crossed ties, whilst maintaining the outward appearance of unity – tussling over issues of the Revolutionary War, the Irish Question, Indian independence – we’ve depended upon America numerous times in the past, in the case of rearmament and support during the Second World War, yet no matter the circumstance, the U.S. has emerged on top, the “power player”. Whilst the British Empire has dwindled – a shrinking tea stain within a pool of freshly roasted American coffee – the U.S. has been spreading its feelers, sticking its toe repeatedly into the swirling maelstrom of the Middle East.
I won’t defend Britain’s position in this respect – didn’t the U.K face enough problems during World War Two, within the immediate area of Europe, to even contemplate marching into Iraq once again? We’ve produced our fair share of atrocities regarding this region, carving out sections with chilling brutality and moulding it into the shape of our own desires, in classic Imperialistic style. However – who supposedly instigated or failed to prevent the atrocity of 9/11, in order to establish the War on Terror as a cover, whilst they pummelled the Middle East of its oil? It was the honourable Bush Jr. and the rest of his venerable administration, who, in order to advance geostrategic interests, may have allowed the initial occurrence as a clear excuse for an invasion. Sounds insane? Perhaps; however, it has been said that all legends have a basis in fact; similarly, all possible theories have a basis in truth. And as a result of such neglect, we were dragged in, in accordance with the demands of a military alliance: the debacle of the 2003 Iraq invasion is an illustration of such.
Is it ever possible to relinquish responsibility or involvement over a populace with whom you share an immense, bloody, twisted history? Clearly, neither the U.K nor the U.S. is against such an idea; both intend to free themselves from a bloodied entanglement with the Middle East and the Muslim community: with ISIS broadening its impact, one cannot question the logic behind tightened security and border control; however, it is the other reasons behind such measures that I intend to attack. Certainly, as John Bew, professor of War Studies at King’s College, London, states: “No matter who is in the White House, the US relationship with the UK is going to look slightly different.” Indeed, as current public opinion within the U.S. has revealed, Americans have grown tired of us “freeloading on U.S. security”.
Speaking as a member of Generation Z, I have – I will confess – been inclined to view past historical atrocities as part of the distant past; indeed, those of previous generations have exhibited a tendency to do the same. Such thinking is undoubtedly dangerous. Indeed, currently, we are all witness to a close reincarnation of Adolf Hitler’s ascension into power: Trump is tapping into the existing pool of dissatisfaction within society, just as Hitler utilised the festering pool of resentment with Weimar Germany, exacerbated by the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles. As well as heaping blame upon the government, which in both cases is justified; the scape-goat tends to be the immigrant population. In the case of the demolition of Weimar and Hitler’s ascension – the finger was pointed at the Jews. In the case of Trump – Muslims and Mexicans are placed under the radar. This is, as some may argue, far more understandable than Hitler’s anti-Semitism, which stemmed from a mixture of anti-Marxism, an insane belief in the Jewish ‘take-over’ of the world, a festering resentment of the affluent population due to a lifetime of economic hardship – however, this resentment didn’t appear to prevent him from kissing up to the German elite and accepting funding for Nazi campaigns. After all, Trump has ISIS to point the finger at, which is a predictable yet effective tactic – ISIS poses a definite threat, but many seem unable to separate the diaspora, the 1980s immigrant settler, and the rabid terrorist.
However, both don’t hesitate to reinforce the concept of the ‘alien population’ – and again, we are faced with the issue of history repeating itself. Let’s draw a comparison between 21st century London and 1930s Berlin: a significant portion of the population – our minorities – have become a sizeable chunk of the electorate, the children of the first-wave immigrants and their offspring have contributed to the economy; loyal taxpayers, contributors to the community, who have anglicised themselves effectively through the adoption of the Christian religion. On the other hand, according to members of the older British population, we have the “scum” or, in Hitler’s terms, the “outsiders”, “pouring across our borders unabated” according to Trump. Indeed, Trump’s stance is giving the older British populace the final nudge towards Brexit – however, in this situation, Britain is not responding with a half-hearted policy of appeasement.
The actions of our current hopefuls aren’t enough to prevent the onslaught of Trump support, and the subsequent wins scored at each primary. As of today, the delegate count for Trump is at 996, with 1,237 required for nomination; those Republicans who hoped for Ted Cruz as a stop-gap for Trump’s ascension will certainly be disappointed. Cruz holds 565 delegates so far, which may seem promising; however, he has failed to grasp the majority within the key, influential states: Ohio, Iowa and New Hampshire. Trump grasped the majority in the wake of the Super Tuesday flood; however, Democrat “Red Queen” Hillary Clinton scored a fair amount – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia – both have been thrust to the forefront as their party’s hopefuls.
So, what’s the common consensus regarding the Red Queen? There are those who view her as the only likely candidate with the capability of defeating Trump: after winning every county in Alabama, and gaining close to 75% within most states, it’s fair to say that she’s proving herself a worthy contender. According to Simon Burns, Conservative MP for Chelmsford, Essex, Clinton is the “front runner” – whereas Bernie Sanders, the youth advocate, is a “third rate candidate, elected as a Socialist, not a Democrat”. Parallels between this “extremely interesting phenomenon” – according to Noan Chomsky – and Jeremy Corbyn have been drawn often enough; both securing the support of the youth, with a core group of devotees – both, also, unelectable. Both are, in a similar manner to Trump, tapping into an existing core of dissatisfaction with the public – however, unlike Trump, Sander cannot inspire confidence among those with financial leanings. His attacks on Wall Street, whilst justifiable, are not a viable method of resistance – policy attacks on Wall Street need to aim to hold issues to account, not simply state the presence of a deficiency. His way cannot inspire a shift in confidence in him that will have a long term effect on his candidacy. Ultimately, it seems as if Sanders will have to rely on the surging and ever fluctuating tide of the youth vote whilst Trump and Clinton will continue to be beholden to the whims of their chosen electorate. I wouldn’t give up on Sanders just yet; president or no, he’s managed to successfully mobilise the youth vote against the background of the US presidential elections. This will last, and propel the youth initiative further into the laps of Congress.