You know how everything is bad all the time? Well, sometimes, good things happen.
Case in point: the election that just happened in the UK, where Jeremy Corbyn—the leader of the Labour Party, that rare thing, a genuinely decent, genuinely left-wing politician—pulled off something remarkable.
The sitting Prime Minister, Theresa May, had openly demanded that the public give her and her Conservative Party a huge majority in Parliament so she could negotiate the country’s exit from the European Union with a free rein. Instead, the public took her majority away, and Labour’s vote skyrocketed.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Corbyn was supposed to be, as the British media was all too happy to declare, a Marxist, terrorist-loving wacko who could never convince anybody to vote for him. He didn’t even want to use nuclear weapons! Labour was miles behind in the polls. It was a fait accompli.
But something funny happened on the way to Corbyn’s annihilation. Labour put out the most unashamedly left-wing, socialist platform anybody could remember, and people actually liked it. Corbyn went up and down the country and spoke to huge crowds, and told them they didn’t need to suffer under crippling austerity and inequality any longer, and that their world could be better, and people liked that too. He inspired young people and people who had never voted and people who thought they’d never vote again. Meanwhile, the Conservative campaign—centered almost entirely around May’s leadership, along with promises to target the elderly and a last-minute pledge to tear up civil liberties in the wake of the successive terrorist attacks that hit the country—was a total disaster.
And in the end, Theresa May, who based her entire election on the certainty that nobody would ever vote for Jeremy Corbyn, found herself repudiated in spectacular fashion.
The Conservatives are still the largest party in the country, but they can’t govern without support from smaller parties. May has been deeply—perhaps fatally—wounded, and Corbyn has defied a political and media establishment that spent years viciously attacking him and assuring itself that nobody took him seriously.
So rejoice! A good thing happened. It turns out that when you give people something to hope for, they’re kind of into it. May the world long remember that.