Yesterday (November 8), VANT played a number of protest gigs across London; this morning singer Mattie Vant woke up to the harsh reality of President Trump. Here he tells us why he finds the result "terrifying".
“I’m absolutely devastated that Trump is President; devastated and scared. It’s another step back towards the dark ages. You have to feel sorry for the American public who have been lied to and manipulated in a way similar to the EU referendum, except the consequences are potentially going to be far, far greater for all of those minorities. The percentage of male white voters, and even female white voters that voted for Trump are just terrifying, purely because a lot of Americans feel they’re becoming the minority – with predictions on the way the demographic is moving, in 50 years it’ll be a lot more equal between white, black and Hispanic communities in America. I genuinely think a lot of white people are afraid of that for no reason and Trump has preyed on that, along with all of the concerns about ISIS and the Muslim communities.
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He sold this idea of 1950s America, the age of consumerism, the idea of the American dream – a car, a house and a chicken in the oven – and he’s reselling that to people without any idea of how he’s going to achieve that. But people buy that shit, because if someone tells you you’re going to have security in a society where you’ve been struggling for 10 or 20 years because the economy has fallen on its face, then people want to believe that lie, in the same way people want to believe that there’s life after death. They want to feel that their life is being improved – whether you’re black, white or Hispanic, or whatever race or creed you are, everyone wants those basic rights and principles. It sparked the imagination of the American public, convinced them to vote for something different, and that’s the terrifying thing. Now ‘different’ is extreme right-wing politics. A protest vote used to be the quirky guy who was dressed in a hat wanting a better environment. Now the protest vote is a right-wing demagogue.
Trump force-fed America lies and preyed on conspiracy theories. The whole reason he came to prominence in politics was because he claimed that Obama wasn’t born in the US. As soon as Obama reacted to that and presented his birth certificate to the world he brought Trump into the forefront, because loads of people wanted to believe that lie, because of underlying prejudices that weren’t being covered by mainstream media. He claimed that Ted Cruz’s father was involved with Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of JFK, and that ruined his campaign to a point that Trump became the frontrunner. And obviously there was a lot of controversy around Hillary too, which Trump exploited. The nuclear issue also had a massive impact on the way Americans have voted; they fear what would have happened with Clinton in power, her strained relationship with Russia and the potential for nuclear warfare.
But let’s not ignore the fact that we’re in an X Factor age where we vote for popularity over policy. This guy was a fucking reality TV star who has preyed on a generation of people brought up to buy into this consumer-led society, weaned on these TV programs designed simply to sell products, facilitate advertising. He’s a tycoon, the face of a multi-billion corporation that lied about its income. But because he’s a ‘fun’ TV celebrity, he can somehow claim he’s one of us, a voice against the ‘elite’.
Donald Trump’s most disgusting moments from The Apprentice.
The implications are enormous. Trump has openly said he would like to join forces with Russia to defeat ISIS. So in battleground of the Middle East you have the EU and Britain supporting one side, Russia currently supporting the other side, and both of us fuelling the arms on both sides. If America joins forces with Russia we could be on the precipice of something that spills outside of the Middle East and into territories that are much closer to home, and that really terrifies me. How do we have any chance of saving our planet? Trump does not give a fuck about the environment. He wants to pull out of the treaty that the UN just signed in Paris last year. America are the worst country in the world when it comes to the impact that they’re having on the environment – the equivalent of 41 people in India use as much power as one person in the US – and Trump will tell Americans what they want to hear, that there isn’t any such thing as global warming, that we can spend our money elsewhere and give us a prosperous state of being. That’s the lie he’s sold the American public, the biggest political lie of the last 50 years.
It’s terrifying, too, to admit to ourselves that we are now the minority. The American election and the EU referendum had – relatively – an incredibly high turnout of voters on both sides, more than we’ve seen for a long time. The people who agree with us are getting out and voting, but there’s more people that disagree with us now. My way of thinking, of wanting a better society for humanity is being crushed by that fact that a lot of the population are fuelled by greed and self-preservation. It’s all very well seeing that short term gain for yourself, but the only way of having any chance as a society is making things more equal. People just can’t accept that side of politics because it involves raising taxes, or skimping on their own lives in some way. But the fact is if you gave that way of thinking time and allowed it to grow, eventually we would have a much more equal society like Switzerland, Sweden or the Netherlands. All of those countries preach equality, rights for workers and a better education for their children. Yes, it does involve higher taxes to supply the services but after a few years you would see the benefits of that. But because of the fear-mongering from these right-wing figures and the terrorist attacks that have been a constant in society for many years now… by preying on those fears, they’ve managed to turn society into the hands of people that want their personal gain more than anyone else. They want power, they want money, and they don’t give a fuck about any one of us. Control is only going to lean further towards the banks and corporations. How do we overturn that?
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One of the hottest properties in the UK right now, VANT play their huge new single “Parking Lot” LIVE to a jumping Clwb Ifor Bach at Jack Rocks Swn Festival in Cardiff. Pure energy. We tip them for big things in 2016 – watch this space…
I really don’t think Americans, or the public worldwide, can sit on their hands and, like Theresa May, just accept that this is the result and we have to develop a friendship with these people. We have to change their opinions. We need to be working with Americans closely, to try and develop the opinions of not only their President but the general public too. Yesterday we played several protest shows across London, trying to get across that fact that we spend too much of our time debating things in the digital world where our platforms are ruled by algorithms and we only see what we want to see, we don’t see the other side of the argument. If we do see the other side of the argument, we just lampoon people instead of trying to understand their reasoning. That’s something we’re completely lacking in modern society and I honestly believe that’s the cause in the EU referendum and played a huge part in the American Election as well.
The idea seems more poignant than we meant it now. Trump’s election will provoke a lot of people into responding in a way that hopefully has some impact prior to his legislations coming into effect. Because I think that’s the danger that we face – it can all be too late. If we hide our heads in the sand now, saying ‘oh it’ll be OK, it’ll be fine’… no, it fucking won’t.”