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15th Jun 2018

Trump’s election and Brexit vote are “the comeuppance of democracy”

"You can’t trust the people."

The election of Donald Trump and decision to leave the European Union are “the comeuppance of democracy,” according to author and journalist Howard Jacobson.

Appearing on JOE’s Unfiltered with James O’Brien, Jacobson acknowledged that democracy is the “only tolerable form of government,” but said that the surprise results in the US Presidential election and Brexit referendum were the consequence of allowing everyone to have their say.

“I think we’re coming to the comeuppance of democracy,” Jacobson said. “The Americans have certainly known – anybody who thinks has known – that democracy, which is the only tolerable form of government, also has terrible problems attached to it.”

Jacobson went on to describe Donald Trump as being “pickled in television,” commenting on the way the media – pointing to social media and the spread of fake news in particular – has altered the decision-making process for voters, and the consequences thereof.

‘The great thing we have to fear, I think, now, this is a terrible thing to say, but I think it’s other people,” Jacobson said. “You can’t trust the people.

“It’s not that you can’t trust the people to get it right, it’s almost you can be certain that the people will get it wrong. They’d already done it as far as I was concerned in Brexit. And then with Trump again.

“Two such big events as that, and what did they have in common? The people given this new confidence in their own opinions, their inability to distinguish true from false.”

Howard Jacobson’s episode of Unfiltered comes out on Monday. Subscribe now to get it as soon as it drops.