The U.S. — The downtrodden and the wanna-haves, the disillusioned and the government haters, were on the warpath again. Which means that political ads were on television again. One charlatan Republican spoke directly to the disenfranchised among us. “Europe and China are fucking us on jobs and trade, and immigrants are invading the country! Vote for me, and I’ll give Europe the heave-ho, save our jobs, and lock down the borders!”
The U.K. — The downtrodden and the wanna-haves, the disillusioned and the government haters, were on the warpath again. Which meant that the alarm clock went off that morning. A political group wanting to increase its influence in Parliament spoke directly to the disgusted masses. “The European Union is fucking us on trade and jobs, and immigrants are storming the gates! Vote to leave the EU, and we’ll bounce those buggers on their arse, and lock down the borders!”
The U.S. — The Donald Trump campaign was treated with the same gravitas as a condom at Plato’s Retreat. Because Trump’s campaign was such a craven marketing ploy for self enrichment, it was not taken seriously, even though he easily topped the rest of the field, but with a minority. The media was willing to ride the merry-go-round of bulk time filler until the music stopped, and they had to cover serious issues again.
The U.K. — The Brexit campaign was such a craven attempt to exploit the gullible for votes that it was given the gravitas of a “no punch ups” sign at a football match. because it was thought that people understood the nearly impossible complexities of leaving the E, it was disregarded despite its nagging strong yet still minority popularity in the polls. The media was willing to ride the helter skelter of bulk time filler until they had to hang up the burlap sacks and cover serious issues again.
The U.S. — With Trump clearly the nominee, but trailing badly in the general election polls, the Trump campaign turned to Cambridge Analytica, a shady UK based statistical gathering and strategy company with rumored links to Russian intelligence. Instead of engaging in mass advertising campaigns to sway the public, micro targeting is used to both try to increase turnout in certain, highly defined demographics, as well as to depress the turnout in opposite, highly specific demographics. Russian interference is suspected, and investigated by the government.
The U.K. — With Brexit on the ballot for a national referendum, but lagging badly in the polls, the Brexit organizers turn to Cambridge Analytica as well. And just as in the US, social media ads suddenly begin targeting traditionally non voting groups whipping up enthusiasm for the Brexit vote with isolationist and divisive ads, while also trying to suppress traditional, pro EU voters with ads meant to minimize the necessity or effectiveness of their votes.There is suspicion of Russian involvement, and the government investigates.
The U.S. — Defying all expectations and political odds, Donald Trump wins the Presidency via the electoral college. But there’s a problem. Nobody actually expected Trump to win, he didn’t even write a victory speech. Donald Trump was a concept, not a strategy or a plan, and when he won, they had absolutely no idea of what to do with him. And every time they tried to create a plan to move forward, the surprising ignorance and unpredictability of Trump himself made their plan unworkable. They found themselves bound to a failed idea, with no way to make it functional, and no way to divorce themselves from it.
The U.K. — Defying expectations and all political odds, Brexit passes, and the United Kingdom is committed to leave the European Union. problem. Nobody actually expected Brexit to win. Brexit was a concept, not an actual plan or strategy. They didn’t even bother to come up with a basic framework on how their divorce from the EU would be executed. The creators of Brexit found themselves not only without the political power to pull off a plan that they didn’t have, they had angered the very majority whose help they would need to devise a plan and carry it through. As a result, the entire country ended up with a completely imbecilic concept, wth no way to actually carry out the mandate, and with no way to divorce themselves from it.
So, there you have it. And while there are many major differences, you have to admit, the similarities are almost eerie. The main tones being using nationalism, bigotry and dissatisfaction to create a concept with no defined parameters, and most strikingly, the connecting point of Cambridge Analytica, and possible Russian interference into another sovereign countries affairs to sow discord and disunity in the west. Oh, and don’t forget, Donald Trump took to Brexit like a $10 tip left on the table for somebody else.
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