By Robyn Collins
R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and Mike Mills recently shared their thoughts on the election of Donald Trump during an event at the London Borderline.
Mills said, “There are several reasons for what happened, most of them dreadful, and I truly fear for our country for the next four years. But maybe it’ll be galvanizing event that makes people realize that inaction can be the cause of great evil, so we’ll see if we can get some transformative event to come out of what happened,”
“Clearly it was a protest vote against the establishment,” Michael Stipe added. “Hillary Clinton represented the establishment very well, so rather than people voting for a racist, xenophobic agenda, an intolerant agenda, I think they were just trying to smash the machine. We’ve all been reeling from the news from America and we’ve seen it happen in other parts of the world, like here, and we’ve seen the ripple effect of that in other parts of the world like Turkey, Australia and France. I don’t think anyone’s terribly happy about where this is going, I think we need to remain vigilant, get over the grief and get on with it. I campaigned hard for Bernie Sanders, I thought he was a good candidate and someone who might have actually elevated the office of President. I was not a giant fan of Hillary Clinton but clearly, between the two, she’s accountable. I don’t think Donald Trump is accountable.”
Mills added, “Middle America has been completely hollowed out by Democrats and Republicans for the last – pick a number – 34 years, a lot of people had been marginalized and forgotten. One thing Trump was right about is that Washington is a completely corrupt place, as are most centers of power. If anything good comes out of this, perhaps there will be some lessening of the completely insular behavior that occurs in Washington. They really don’t think about anything outside of their little bubble, and maybe this will cause people to listen to a formerly ignored group of people. There used to be a very large middle class in America and due to a whole lot of factors it doesn’t exist anymore, so the people that had hope and optimism and reason to think that their children would have a better life than they, all of a sudden don’t have a reason to think that. So they voted like this to send this message and hopefully it’ll be heard.”