I’m feeling very cynical about democracy and electoral politics in general these days. The more I think about it, the more I come to believe that democracy just isn’t a viable system of government at all. I mean in all honesty, is anyone ever really happy with what they get? Just take our situation here in Ireland for example. Is anybody, even the people who voted for Fine Gael or Fianna Fail actually happy with the current government? How about the previous Fine Gael/Labour coalition? Was anyone pleased with that government? Or the Fianna Fail led one before that, etc.? Honestly, I can’t think of anyone who feels that any recent democratically elected Irish government actually represents the interests of the Irish people. But yet, we keep voting every single election, expecting things to be different next time, and we keep getting let down.
This conclusion is reflected when I look elsewhere. Take Britain for example. The yes side in the Brexit campaign won by a very slim majority. The 48% who voted against it are furious and have been restless in their attempts to get the result overturned in their favour. The political establishment is almost entirely anti-Brexit in its leanings and seems to be on the side of the losing minority, rather than the winning majority. No matter what happens, the end result is going to leave roughly half the country feeling screwed over. Either the large minority who only just barely lost, will resent being removed from the EU, or somehow by hook or by crook, the political establishment will find a way to overturn it eventually, thus screwing over the small majority who won.
In America, I look at the situation between Trump and Hillary. We had one candidate who was in favour of mass immigration, destructive freed trade deals, escalating conflicts around the world, etc., and then we had one candidate who opposed this. The candidate who opposed this won by the rules of their electoral system, but lost the popular vote, therefore undermining his legitimacy right away. To make matters worse, after a few good months were he seemed to be sticking to his promises, he suddenly, roughly a little over a month ago has started doing a U-Turn. No sign of the Mexican border wall. No desire anymore to pull out of the destructive NAFTA agreement. Attacking Syria and therefore making their relationship with Russia worse, after having promised to leave Syria alone and work on improving their relationship with Russia.
Smug, anti-Trump types will sneer at Trump voters for being “stupid enough to vote for him”. But realistically, what else could they do? Trump was saying he would stop illegal immigration and immigration from incompatible cultures, stop getting into pointless wars, move away from free trade agreements etc. Hillary said the exact opposite. If people wanted to see these policies implemented then obviously they’re going to vote for the person who said that they’ll do them, not the one who said they won’t. Sneering at disillusioned Trump voters for doing a U-Turn is basically victim-blaming. They had no way of knowing that he would betray them, but they did know for certain that Hillary would implement policies they didn’t want (well unless she too was to do a U-Turn, but that of course would have necessitated a betrayal of HER voters), so unless his supporters had psychic powers of some kind, and could see the future, they aren’t to blame. The democratic system, which allows people to lie their way into power with fake promises, and then doesn’t hold them to account when they break these promises is to blame.
However, it is France specifically that I want to draw my attention to. Yesterday, they had their presidential election. For the past few years they’ve been led by Francois Hollande, a “leader” so pathetic that by the end of his run, he literally only had a 4% approval rate. During his presidency, they’ve had terrorist attacks occur every few months (and that’s not even counting the many attempted ones that were successfully prevented before-hand), and they’ve had near constant riots in Paris, orchestrated primarily by people of Middle Eastern and African descent.
So you would think the French would be pretty angry about what has been happening, and indeed they sure seem to be. You would also think that after the failures of both Sarkozy and Hollande, that they would want someone different from the usual political establishment. In the end, they were left with two possible candidates to choose from. They could go with either Marine Le Pen, the candidate who seemed to want to put an end to the these problems, by giving the French people a referendum on EU membership, and putting an end to mass immigration (which of course, makes her a racist). Or they could go with Emmanuel Macron… a man who worked as an investment banker for a Rothschild bank no less (even his Wikipedia page openly mentions this), a man who seems to have a vast history of corruption, a man who supports the Islamisation of Europe, a man who has an offshore bank account to facilitate tax evasion, and a man who said this…
… about his own country. Just on the surface, the idea of saying that there is no such thing as French culture, sounds laughable, because we all have a natural vision of what symbolises France and “French” in our minds. However, it’s a lot more sinister than it sounds. As I’ve mentioned before, under the UN’s own definition, what is happening in Europe right now, fits the criteria of genocide.
By making the claim that French culture doesn’t even exist, then technically speaking there is no French culture to protect and preserve. How can he be accused of destroying French culture and by extension, the French people, if there is no such thing? This is essentially how a genocide begins. The first step is to dehumanise the target. In the case of a concept like culture, the first step is to deny it even exists. Then when that is done, you undermine and eliminate it. It’s no big deal of course, because you’re just undermining and eliminating something that doesn’t even exist.
I was hoping that the French people would be able to see what’s going on and vote for Le Pen. Just to be clear, I doubt Le Pen would have actually done anything that she promised. This is democracy after all. Most likely, if she had gotten into power, she would have ended up going back on her promises, just like Trump did. However, having her in power would have served two purposes. One, it would serve as a symbol that the people are fed up with globalisation and the disastrous consequences of multiculturalism, which could have energised even more people to stand up against it. Two, when she inevitably did a U-Turn, it would have served as yet another example of what a sham democracy really is, and brought us closer to having people wake up to the fact that it doesn’t really exist. By not voting for Le Pen, they’ve basically said that they’re ok with constant terrorism (which Macron admits will be a part of their daily lives for years to come), and when he does inevitably fuck up, there will still be people buying into the idea that electoral politics could have still solved the problems facing us, “if only we had voted for Le Pen when we had the chance”.
The fact is, democracy is ridiculous. Nobody seems to get what they really want. I can’t think of any examples of a democratic society in which a large majority of the people actually approve of their leader, beyond the short time after the initial victory, because they always let the people down eventually. Even a leader who was supposedly very popular like Obama, had approval rates that tended to fluctuate within the 40s and 50s percent range for most of his time in office. As I already mentioned, Francois Hollande had a 4% approval rating in the end. Justin Trudeau’s party in Canada are currently on around a 36% approval rate. Angela Merkel is still somehow the most popular leader in Germany, but even she has seen her approval decline to just 43%, which of course means that 57% don’t approve of her.
Then on the other hand I look at the leaders that the west demonises, the so called “dictators” and “undemocratic” leaders. Vladimir Putin has an approval rate of about 86%, and this is even after Russia has had its economy devastated by Western sanctions. The Russian people don’t care about the economic hardship they’re experiencing. If anything, because they know the west are responsible, it just causes them to support him even more. Assad, a man who the West claim is a brutal dictator who kills his own citizens for no reason, won a contested election in 2014, with 88.7% of the vote, and there is no indication that his popularity is declining. Duterte in the Philippines, a man who has essentially made murder legal (as long as you claim that the person you killed was a drug dealer or addict), enjoys an approval rating of 83%, down from the 91% he once enjoyed, but still far higher than any Western leader.
So when you really think about that, how insane does it all sound? Here in the West, where we have democracy and electoral politics, we don’t approve of our leaders. Meanwhile, in countries that the West condemns for their alleged lack of democracy, the leaders enjoy far more popularity than any Western leader that you can think of. The difference of course is that in these countries, the leaders actually represent the will of their people. In the west, where we’re supposedly free to choose the leaders that we want to represent us, they don’t represent us at all. Having our will represented is what we really want.
So if that’s the case, then what is the point of democracy? Yes, in theory I like the idea of being able to choose who will lead my country, but if they don’t implement policies that I support, then in practice, it’s useless anyway. We may as well just have a dictator in power. On the other hand, if we were to be represented by a strong decisive leader, who does implement the will of the people, then it really wouldn’t matter if I chose him or not. All that would matter to me is that he’s implementing policies that I approve of.
And that’s the point I want to end on. Does democracy really matter? If the choice is between an elected leader who doesn’t implement the policies that I want, and an unelected leader who does implement them, then the better choice seems obvious to me.