Seventeen point four million people tuned in for the final season of Games of Thrones' premiere last week. It was a series record for HBO, shattering all previous numbers. It really is a pop culture phenomenon. People that don't even like this kind of genre are tuning in to see if the Night King will win or if Daenerys will do as promised and "break the wheel". Meanwhile, another Game of Thrones is playing out in global politics, and what happened this weekend in Ukraine is yet another sign… this wheel is already broken.
Imagine for a second that the United States economy has just collapsed, a coup occurs, and then China invades California, annexing the entire Western seaboard. Now imagine that, in the absence of a George Washington resurrection, we elect Conan O'Brien to be the president to lead us out of all this mess. During the chaos, O'Brien breaks out Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and goes viral insulting the post-coup government. Eventually, he decides… screw it! Might as well run for president! He has no experience or plan for how to deal with the invading army at the gates, no experience or plan to deal with the crashed economy… nothing. But despite all that, riding the back of viral comedy sketches, the country votes en mass to make a late night comedian the president. In any sane world, this could never happen, but this is exactly what happened this weekend in Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelensky declared victory last night as he stood on a stage in front of his campaign headquarters just after the polls closed. The theme song for his late-night comedy show played in the background. His opponent, the previous Ukrainian president, had already conceded defeat before results even started coming in. There was no need. The comedian straight TROUNCED the former president, winning over 73% of the vote.
For Ukrainians, the stakes could never be higher. The Russians are quite literally at their throats. They've already annexed Crimea, and Russian backed separatists have seized nearly all of Eastern Ukraine. The media rarely talks about it, but there has been an ongoing war in Ukraine ever since 2014. Over thirteen thousand Ukrainians have died. The economy has basically collapsed… it's in shambles. Common sense would seem to dictate that an established leader or expert would be required to see the crippled country through this… but Ukraine chose the late-night comedian.
Zelensky rose to fame criticizing the sitting president through viral comedy sketches. His bits went viral on social media. He never once stated any policy or solutions. Half the time his admirers didn't know who they were watching during his campaign rallies. Was he in character for one of his sketches or was he being serious? But that didn't seem to matter. He was funny, and young people smashed that LIKE and SHARE button like crazy… so now he's president.
So what does this mean? This isn't just some crazy Eastern Europe phenomenon. For the entire world, the wheel is now… broken.
So what does this mean? This isn't just some crazy Eastern Europe phenomenon. For the entire world, the wheel is now… broken. Everyone is sick and tired of the lies, broken promises and a general feeling of being ignored. You see it literally everywhere. Donald Trump was elected because of this. The country was tired of being ignored and lied to over immigration, the economy and jobs. Look what's happening in France. The French elected an empty suit. Now their streets look like a war zone every Saturday and Sunday.
The old way is busted, and people are sick of it. Change on a scale we've never seen before is coming. Every time you hear "oh that person could never become president… all they do is post stupid comments on Instagram", remember how they said similar things about Donald Trump. Every time we mock people like Alexandria Occasional Cortex… remember the comedian from Ukraine. It's a new era, and the old way of doing things is coming to an end. The wheel is broken, and the future is anyone's guess.