For whatever reason, I’ve always rejected consensus and certainty. I don’t like it, and often quite enjoy challenging it, whether I believe in the counterargument or not.
Usually, it’s just because I believe that there’s always more than one side to any story, and it’s never as simple as we want it to be.
I am sometimes susceptible to this myself – for example, on Brexit I was such an ardent Remainer that at the time I didn’t give any credit to the arguments against the EU, but over time I have realised that there’s plenty more balance in that debate than I had realised.
Recently, this has come out in the form of finding different ways to look at Donald Trump, and I’ve got a new interesting one I’d like to share with you.
From the calamitous predictions of wars, recessions and disasters which would befall the US if he won, to the dismayed interpretations of everything he has done, it certainly feels like he can do nothing right, no matter what.
Everyone I spoke to or heard from was just so unequivocally against him in every way, that it became a bit fun and also a bit interesting to find out why, and challenge those views a bit.
It seems to have been a particularly intense form of the halo effect, where because he is almost certainly the most despicable man ever to have taken high office in the US, we perceive the things he does to be equally despicable.
In my opinion, his worst traits are very human, and very social, rather than political. People are rightly repulsed by his lying, his preening, his nepotism, sexism and racism, his selfishness and his ghastliness.
While the president is an important figurehead who sets the tone for the US, who many people look up to and emulate, there is more to it than that.
Don’t forget, 70 million people voted for him. And things weren’t exactly rosy in the US when he joined. How do you think he got in in the first place!
But my point for today relates to the vaccine.
Because Trump keeps trying to point out that all these vaccines came under his watch – and maybe he’s got a point.
But it got me thinking, mainly about how vaccines actually work.
The basic principle, as I understand it, is that a small dose of something creates a physical response which is then able to repel larger doses caught in the real world.
A vaccine shocks the body into a positive response.
There are tonnes of common analogies for this – like allowing small bushfires to burn so that there’s no fuel for a big one, or parents being okay with their children getting the odd small knock or eating the odd worm. Good for the immune system!
So, given that I’ve been trying to think of Trump in a wider context of American history, what came before and what will follow, I realised that Trump himself could be exactly what the US needed.
Donald Trump is the vaccine.
Not the hero the US needed, but the one it deserved…
Let’s take one example – the election fraud he keeps claiming.
What seems clear is that by going on about it beforehand, Trump ensured some of the most carefully managed elections in recent memory. Because officials were aware of heightened scrutiny, extra measures were taken to make the process as correct as possible.
From now on, steps will be taken to really ram home the honesty, integrity and transparency of the US election process – the Biden administration won’t want this to happen again.
So by highlighting a big issue, Trump will ultimately force it to improve.
Moving on to “fake news”, this actually is a genuine issue.
Trump is right to highlight it, though he is wrong to interpret it in such a dictatorial way (everything bad about me is fake, everything flattering is true).
But in the US, here in the UK and all over the world, the media has slowly morphed into something darker and more insidious than we realise. Social media is included in this too, but all of Trump’s ranting has actually forced these social media giants to be more thoughtful about the content on their sites.
Fake news is a huge issue, and now it’s a big debate about the regulation of social media.
And in the traditional media, newspapers and tv outlets are actually just PR agencies for political agendas. Look at how Fox News has turned on Trump – Rupert Murdoch doesn’t back losers.
In Australia, there is an upsurge of anger towards the Murdoch family – one of the children (James Murdoch) quit his very senior position at Newscorp because of the hidden agendas which drove the content.
He said, “I reached the conclusion that you can venerate a contest of ideas, if you will, and we all do and that’s important. But it shouldn’t be in a way that hides agendas. A contest of ideas shouldn’t be used to legitimise disinformation. And I think it’s often taken advantage of. And I think at great news organisations, the mission really should be to introduce fact to disperse doubt — not to sow doubt, to obscure fact, if you will.”
Trump going on about fake news has made people sceptical – and quite rightly!
But by banging on about how biased the media is… he has provoked a reaction. People are more sceptical now, and organisations are doing more to regulate content.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, Trump’s stringent climate denial has led to the most aggressive pro-climate agenda in American history.
Tweets like this:
Source: Donald Trump on Twitter
Have led to this:
Source: The Joe Biden Climate Action Plan
Biden’s $2 trillion climate plan is immense, and he will commit the US to the net zero 2050 targets, as well as re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 which Trump had abandoned.
Four years of Trump’s climate denial have provoked a very positive reaction indeed.
And finally, look what happened with working class voters in this election. They went up.
It was partly by increasing vote share from working class voters, male and female, in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin which helped regular old Joe Biden win the presidency.
Trump had ridden to victory in 2016 on the back of such voters.
Hopefully, this means that politicians in the US will once again have to appeal to that segment of society, who had previously felt unspoken for and uncared for by Washington.
If so, then Trump will have delivered at least four great immune-system responses for the US.
Better run elections, more scepticism about the agendas hiding behind social and traditional media, more political interest in gaining working class votes, and a huge reaction in favour of acting to slow and stop the climate crisis.
Biden will probably try and get some laws through to prevent the extreme nepotism of the last few years happening again.
And he defeated Trump with Kamala Harris as potential VP – the first black woman on a presidential ticket.
Vaccines work by poking the bear.
The bear has woken up, and I believe that the US sorely needed it to.
Before I go, as Trump leaves the Oval Office, I can’t help but think of this incredible video, from Ricky Gervais’ unbeatably funny comedy The Office, which inspired today’s title.
And I’ll leave you with this:
Source: The Slough Branch, on Twitter
All the best for now, and have a great weekend.
Editor, UK Uncensored