For those of us getting more and more sick of the United States establishment what happens in the United Kingdom may not seem to matter much. But hearing the panic and exultation from the recent elections may be a hint of things to come when the population truly begins to wake up. The UK Independence Party just won sweeping victories that were not only unexpected in the media but even surprised UKIP officials:
“The UK Independence Party has made huge electoral gains and declared itself the ‘official opposition’ – largely at the expense of the Tories – as Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to win back Conservative voters who had defected. With UKIP averaging 26% of the vote in county council polls, leader Nigel Farage said he was ‘astonished’ by the party’s breakthrough, and put it down to what he described as the ‘total disconnect’ between the ‘career politics’ of Westminster and ordinary people on the streets. ‘UKIP is actually speaking the language of millions of ordinary voters,’ he told Sky News’ Boulton & Co programme.”
UKIP is the official “euroskeptic” party that wants to preserve the independence of the United Kingdom from the super-bureaucracy in Brussels that rules Europe, officially called “The European Union.” What I found most interesting was how the insults and attacks of the mainstream politicians suddenly became their own liability. Cameron had famously laughed at UKIP in 2006 as “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists.” Others in the Conservative Party had called them “clowns.” This has now all backfired.
“Asked if he stood by his ‘fruitcakes’ attack on UKIP, Mr Cameron said: ‘Well, look, it is no good insulting a political party that people have chosen to vote for. Of course they should be subject and they will be subject to proper scrutiny of their policies and their plans. But we need to show respect for people who have taken the choice to support this party and we are going to work really hard to win them back.”
As much as I disagree with Gandhi’s religious and political philosophy, he certainly got at least one thing right: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Cameron is suddenly faced with the fact that one of his captive constituencies is shaking off their chains and exiting the Mainstream Party Prison. The path of mockery and smearing will now backfire if he continues in that direction. This is a game changer.
But can the political-media establishment, so habitually practiced at such satire and mockery really change course fast enough? What happens in the US when the Liberal Left really realizes that they have reached the point where all their rhetoric will only drive more people away to the other side?
I have no idea when the calculated arrogance of writing others off as ignorant, or superstitious, or racist, will no longer work in the US. But I am sure that, when it suddenly stops being effective and instead becomes damaging to the establishment, everyone will be surprised.
What happens when John Stewart’s jokes stop working?
Hope and change are coming. People like Obama will be the last one to expect it and the most clueless about how to deal with it.