Brexit and Trump seem to have stirred up a belated realisation that third-rate won’t do. Clinton was the answer to a question nobody asked, the EU is a mess and perhaps even Meryl Streep really is overrated.
One way or another we have to claw our way at least to second-rate. Trump and Brexit may not lead us there but business as usual was never a viable option. The great political illusion of a left/right spectrum has been criticised on numerous occasions, the trouble is it is just too convenient. Yet we need a far better handle on political realities than left versus right could ever muster.
It may be worthwhile to make a distinction between political and apolitical rather than flog the left/right illusion to death. That is to say our political death.
A political outlook includes traditional left and much of the modern right, both of which make a moral god of government, devalue cultural achievements and see change as the predictable consequence of decisions.
An apolitical outlook sees the power of government as limited, values cultural achievements, and accepts the evolutionary and unpredictable nature of change.
The UK has seen a steady decline in the apolitical outlook as the function of government has come to be dominated by politics over pragmatism, being more concerned with what is politically correct or politically expedient over what works. This trend seems to correlate well with a rise in the professional politician wedded to an entirely political outlook. For the apolitical pragmatist there is no natural place in UK government nor in any of the main political parties.
Yet reactions to Brexit and Trump seem to betray a covert horror that an apolitical dragon is out there and awake, hungry for soft bodies. Things may be changing. Second-rate here we come.