That is, if saying that a Trump victory as “a means of disrupting the American center-left consensus” is your “desperate, very desperate” hope from this year’s election.
No, this desperate optimism from the left isn’t the kind of endorsement Trump will be tweeting about over the next two days. A brief video of the Slovenian philosopher’s interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News on Friday:
Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek says he would opt for Donald Trump as the apparently less dangerous choice in the US election. pic.twitter.com/3kuC1Ytf2j
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) November 3, 2016
“If Trump wins,” Zizek argued, “both big parties, Republicans and Democrats, would have to return to basics, rethink themselves and maybe some things can happen there.”
But it shouldn’t take a Trump victory for that to happen.
My “desperate, very desperate hope” is that those who Bernie Sanders energized will already begin that rethinking process and actually begin doing something about it –other than wining for a few months every four years.
A Trump victory might speed up those philosophical discussions that Zizek’s “desperate, very desperate hope” envisions, and maybe even make them a little more honest. It could and should force core Democrats out of their bubbles a little bit faster so they can begin an honest reassessment about why people who were Democrats or their supporters 30 to 40 years ago are now supporting a candidate as inept and out of his depth as Trump.
But in the meantime, that Trump victory will also be much more damaging.
I’ve never been under the illusion that my vote in a system limited to two candidates from two parties who are, in Chomsky’s words, “acceptable to corporate elites”, should, would or could somehow reflect my values. For that matter, I’ve also never been under the illusion that participatory democracy is something that happens in a voting booth for a few minutes every four years.