The Angry White Men

Prince, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Johan Cruyff, Carrie Fischer, Joop Braakhekke, Muhammad Ali, Leonard Cohen and George Michael. These deaths are amongst the many terrible events 2016 has given us. The world is scared by numerous terrorist attacks and infamous political decisions. Brexit, the one thing of which so many people thought wouldn’t happen, happened. Everyone was either positively or negatively surprised that Donald Trump won the presidential elections. Populism is becoming more and more popular, with Le Pen in France, the anti-immigration party AfD in Germany, and Geert Wilders in our own country. What is going to happen in 2017?

Not very long from now, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as president of the United States. From that moment, Obamacare will probably be over and preparations for a massive wall can begin. It will be a surprise what Trump is going to do next, and it will be an even bigger surprise how it is going affect the rest of the world. However, there are speculations that Trump will become the first US president ever to be impeached. Mike Pence will then take over from him, but it is questionable if he is a better alternative.

At the end of March, the process of the United Kingdom leaving the EU is going to start. No one really knows exactly how this process is going to work, as no other country has done it so far. It is a fact that there will be many negotiations, mostly concerning trade and immigration. These new deals have to be approved by more than 30 other EU countries, some of which may held referendums for this. The effects of Brexit are hard to predict precisely, but that it will have an effect on the economy in the EU is for sure.

Both Trump and Brexit are mostly chosen by the demographic that is also called the ‘angry white men’. The people who are most afraid that things are different from the past are also screaming the loudest on social media. Expressing their opinions in the comments below news articles, sharing so-called ‘fake news’ and aggressively reacting on people with different views.

We all know that Facebook uses algorithms, that make you see the things Facebook thinks you want to see. This causes people to be trapped in their own filter bubbles. Therefore, people are only going to see posts that reassure their own opinions, making them even stronger. It then becomes less likely that they get to see posts that can give them a different view on matters. This, in combination with the fact that Facebook makes it easier to share things with others, can cause more disunity in the country. And disunity is a good breeding ground for populism, which is already more popular than ever.

We have to beware for the rise of populism in the Netherlands. The PVV is already leading in the polls with 34 seats. Is Geert Wilders, the little brother of Donald Trump, becoming the next prime minister of the Netherlands? We will have to wait and see, and hope that 2017 will be better a better year.

Denise Bryan