ALAN AVERILL’S VIEW FROM THE ONLINE BUNKER: TO TRUMP OR NOT TO TRUMP?
With very few exceptions, every issue of Zero Tolerance over the past 6 – 7 years has featured Alan ‘Nemtheamga’ Averill’s column (yes, that loud mouth from Primordial, Dread Sovereign and other degenerate bands); from recounting the weird and sometimes hilarious experiences of his globe-trotting as he tours the world with his bands – to social commentary, the man at the front has something to say about, well, just about everything. Some of it you might like, some you might hate – some might go right over your head or give you an involuntary facepalm, we don’t really think he cares – but we’re sharing it here anyway.
“I can’t not Trump really can I? Like trying to ignore a gaping head wound when you should be in A&E. I can’t avoid it but have to say I saw it coming a mile off. I’d been telling people this would happen for most of 2016. The pendulum was swinging that way, eight years of Obama swept away the bad taste of Bush, who in turn was the right antidote to the Clinton years. It’s not the end of the world and it’s most definitely not unprecedented. Reagan – let us not forget – was a movie star, Arnold has governated. The pendulum has swung, in fact it might have even broken off the dial such was the untapped anger among regular people with the political establishment. Not to mention an anger at being constantly told how stupid they were, but I’ll get to that. What is unprecedented, however, is that someone from outside of the political class has broken ranks and played the campaign for President like a reality TV show and won. However, the end of the world it is not, so hold your horses.
College kids have only ever known Obama. They’ve only ever had his calming cool hand at the helm. During his time in office we’ve witnessed social networking take on the role of the surveillance state and the Twitterstasi march through college campuses in the Western world with a new found militancy. We’ve witnessed the birth of the New Left, emboldened by the belief that they won the cultural war setting about their pogroms with appetite. Shouting down anyone who disagrees with them as a racist, or a homophobe, a xenophobe, a fascist… no transgenderism… no lookism. Joyously no-platforming, safe-spacing, trigger warning and shutting down dissent. Demanding the end of the West and all its patriarchy from their smart phones. Yet under their feet something seismic has happened. There are many reasons Trump got elected, most likely too many to mention but let’s try and get our hands dirty.
“…let me begin by saying that the old left I understand and see myself in – I am an old-school libertarian – I see myself also in the concerns like healthcare, housing and education and the environment.”
I mean I do lay much of the blame for Trump at the hands of the New Left (not entirely and I’ll no doubt get to the rest in another article before you tar me with the brush of the alt-right) but – and let me begin by saying that the old left I understand and see myself in – I am an old-school libertarian – I see myself also in the concerns like healthcare, housing and education and the environment. Yet the shrill voice of the New Left is one of intolerance; a voice that tries to shut down the debate, and this is the single greatest mistake. By decrying the middle ground as the right they systemically destroy the centre and push average folk into the arms of the right out of sheer frustration, and also simple anger. Let’s be real here, you keep screaming at people telling them they are stupid and what do you think they might do at the polling station? So utterly convinced of their moral victory in the cultural wars was the New Left that it never really dawned on them that maybe continuing to keep poking the dog with the stick wasn’t the best idea. Society has taught them that individual liberty at all costs is more important than civic responsibility and community. The endgame of ‘the century of the self’ as film maker Adam Curtis calls it. I had a conversation with two American girls in a bar after the election. It’s clear they were mad, mad at anyone but we got into it. “Have you ever been to any of the states that voted for Trump?” I asked, they sensed where I was going with this. “Not exactly, but why would we go to places full of fucking stupid racists…” It kinda typified the arguments in the days after Trump (DAT – trademark). People have to get it into their heads, not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist… in fact many Sanders supporters moved to Trump rather than vote for Clinton…
“Listen I’ve been in nearly 30 states of America, I’ve been in Pennsylvania in the town with the biggest trailer park in North America, full of poor white people and meth…” and I had indeed seen entire towns with huge white meth problems, along with cities that had had no infrastructure since the ‘70s and only drug problems and unemployment for both white and black communities. These people felt powerless, who was listening to them? The two girls at the bar certainly weren’t ready to hear some logic about why they voted for Trump. “What about all the disgusting shit he says about women and minorities?” I get it, you are right…it is disgusting, but you know what, the truth of the matter is that for people living in the run-down rust belt of middle America, they really couldn’t care less about Twitter or your gender studies degree; if someone comes along and says I’m gonna try and fix it, they figure ‘fuck it, how bad could it be considering where we are right now’. The bubble of social protection that exists intellectually on either coast has no currency there.
I’m dismissed as ‘mansplaining’. An empty word designed by the New Left and a section of modern feminism to shut down debate and put the white male in his place if he disagrees, has an ideal or opinion they find threatening, or in reality, have no answer to as in this case – or can’t be bothered to debate. Of course, saying something like that to me is a red rag to a bull, but again typifies the attitude of the New Left. As I said to them that night in the pub, and I would say again to anyone else: This is politics, do modern feminists speak for all women? The truth is no and let’s be clear, what did they think would happen if they continued to call-out every white man as either stupid, sexist, part of the problem or shut him down for mansplaining? Claiming the moral high ground isn’t going to win in politics, and it’s one of the things again the New Left has to learn. Did people just expect your average white working class male to just go ‘yeah you are right, OK take my vote, and sorry for slavery as well’. The world doesn’t work like that, and the New Left just got a severe dose of reality, and how long will they keep realising that the vote won’t go their way if they don’t engage in debate?
In this sense, what we are also witnessing is the moral, social and cultural endgame of social networking. We live in one vast echo chamber, where we only speak to those we agree with or share the same tin-hat theories. When we do cross over it seems only to scream over each other from behind the barricades. yet what is becoming clearer and clearer is that on some level, activism is now having the opposite effect on people. The more the arguments veer into nonsense from either side the more people in the middle decide to say ‘fuck you’. Don’t underestimate the power of the ‘fuck you vote’; normal folk who were tired of hearing about transgender rights on the radio while they queued up for their welfare cheques. Tired of hearing about college students with their safe-spaces, halloween costume riots and counselling over the trauma of being taught history while they worked hard to put food on the table for their kids. They just served you. They just extended one middle finger and said, what’s the worst that can happen? Can’t be any worse around here and don’t fucking tell me I’m stupid.
This is one of the greatest disconnects. The socialism of the old left was born of the working class but the New Left does not speak for them anymore. the disconnect is massive. The old Democratic heartland may have been utterly poisoned by crooked Hillary but the cultural disconnect is massive. Trump went out and campaigned in these areas while Clinton chose to court celebrity endorsements. Seems Jay Z and Hollywood B listers didn’t have much influence over working class votes. I can see this disconnect also in the UK and Europe; Brexit areas once Labour socialist strongholds found themselves aligned with Conservative Euro sceptics. The collegiate voice and their concerns couldn’t seem to be more at odds with the working class in American 2016. We heard again and again the argument of white privilege, yet when I was in Kentucky I didn’t see many signs of it. What I saw was mainly poor folk sitting on the side of the road outside the pawn shops and vast areas of meth addicts. None of it added up entirely, the arguments were filled with buzzwords and empty rhetoric.
If you don’t believe anything I’ve written and haven’t stepped foot on a college campus in years do yourself a favour and watch on YouTube the exchanges between Jordan Peterson, professor of psychology at Toronto state university and other so-called academics on the subject of Canada’s new proposed laws on gender pronouns. Bill C-16 is an attempt to make it illegal to not call people by their preferred gender, which includes identifying as an animal among dozens of other things. It resembles, in many respects, a Stalinist show trial and true to form, not a single academic jumps to his defense. That he even has to bat away claims that there is no biological difference between men and women is incredible, but this is what’s been happening in our colleges while you were out there working, or sleeping or living in the real world. Science itself is being hamstrung by SJW culture. The argument has been aired that colleges are now the breeding ground of a new aristocracy. Removed from the concerns and lives of the actual working class, and when they are campaigning for the right to identify your gender with an animal it’s hard to disagree.
I digress….however. With all this said I haven’t even come to Clinton, and maybe I will in another column, but how little effort did the democrats really go to? It shows an almost reckless disregard for the public that they just figured Clinton would get in solely on being a woman, and that it was more or less her ‘turn’. A career politician so up to her neck in tyrants, dictators, dodgy money and scandal how could she represent any kind of change? She didn’t. She represented the same old, not to mention her very obvious hunger for confrontation, it may not suit the Twitterati feminists, but it might just be possible we stepped down from the brink of genuine Middle Eastern conflict with Putin and Russia. Sure sure I hear you, that’s a typical thing her detractors say, but all the emails would seem to be pointing in that direction and the Clinton Foundation did accept millions from the House of Saud. Yet so awful a candidate was she that it was less a Trump victory than one she lost as the Democratic vote fell to pieces.
“Just like the South Park episode on class election, the only choices are a giant douche and a shit sandwich. Yet who knows, maybe this will cause the system to reform. It has to…”
Believe me, I’m appalled that it came to this. That a cartoon wrestling announcer, a narcissistic demagogue has won the White House, but it shows how broken the political system is if these are the final two choices. Just like the South Park episode on class election, the only choices are a giant douche and a shit sandwich. Yet who knows, maybe this will cause the system to reform. It has to, but we have to step outside our echo chambers, stop click-baiting the advertising algorithms that are bound in our confirmation bias and talk to some people we disagree with – and reclaim the art of debating from the shrill voice of the minority mob and wrestle back the political middle-ground from either side of the spin doctors. It’s time for the moderate voice of common sense to mobilise. Or else we truly are doomed.
Photograph by Gareth Averill
The views and opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily shared by the magazine or Obdurate Ltd. This column appears in the current issue of Zero Tolerance Magazine, #076 – onsale now…