I’m amazed that I *still* hear people saying “I can’t believe Trump won!” or “How did he get all this support?!” etc.

Please. Trump’s supporters didn’t just appear out of nowhere. This level of support for a candidate who is openly bigoted, racist, misogynistic and rude is the result of longstanding political illiteracy in the west, and especially in America.

We live in the so-called “age of information” in which billions upon billions of web pages & books loaded with religious topics, philosophy, politics, and – most importantly – lessons from history are recorded. Yet people aren’t using any of the mediums that they have (be they phones, laptops etc) to access this information. They’re using the internet to  visit sites full of spurious claims & “news” that vindicates their own prejudices or misconceptions. Or, more commonly, for selfies & videos of cats.

They don’t care about the truth, nor do they want to know. So they easily buy into Trump’s lies and prejudiced rabble-rousing. Could we really not see this coming? Americans have often been asked about the world on camera. I cringe when I hear their answers. One man was asked: “Which “terrorist state” (in American-speak, Muslim country) should we invade next?” He said: “Italy”. I’m serious. When asked where a certain European nation was, another woman merely said: “I thought Europe WAS a country!” 73% of Americans can’t even find America on a map. Some think the religion of Israel is “Israeli”.

When this wilful ignorance is combined with the ubiquitous mainstream media propaganda that glorifies US aggression and vilifies Muslims/brown people/anyone different, this is the result.

Even George Bush, after being elected president of America, could answer nothing of substance whatsoever. On the day he was elected, a journalist asked him in front of the cameras: “Mr President, do you know what’s happening in Pakistan today?” Bush fired back: “Do you?” This was the man who had just been chosen by millions as their leader. Worse still, there had been a coup in Pakistan on that day. Pakistan is a crucial sphere of US influence, and the leader of the “free world” had no clue.

Why do we constantly act surprised when a western woman cares more selfies than the starving children of Africa? Why do we act incredulous when someone with easy access to information sincerely claims every single Muslim is a terrorist due to  chaos in the Muslim world, ignoring the fact that said chaos stems from the genocidal actions of his own nation? Can we not see the wilful ignorance? They choose to ignore the readily available evidence.

So please, don’t ask a question that you know the answer to.

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