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Make Sunderland Great Again

As I sat through the mud-slinging and petty name calling, I couldn’t help but think that the issues facing America’s voters are relatively similar to the ones faced by Sunderland fans.

The UK Reacts To News That Donald Trump Is The New President Of The United States Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

Trump 2016. Aye.

I live in America - Florida to be precise - and the 2016 Presidential election has been nothing short of a nightmare, if truth be told. Inadequate candidates with shoddy plans for the nation’s future; the Yanks were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t, and before you ask, I wasn’t allowed to vote, although I do have draft papers. Work that one out.

The total lack of an honest, accountable candidate meant that voters had to resort to personality over policy, and ultimately the Americans liked the guy with the bigger mouth and better haircut.

Furthermore, the shortage of clear, accessible information from either candidate regarding their economic and social policies aimed at growing the stuttering superpower has left people confused as to what they’re voting for. Donald’s lure of a change from the conniving world of politics was seemingly enough to persuade people to install him as their leader, however frightening that may seem.

Yet it’s not just the Americans who have been given a bum deal. Sunderland fans, too, have suffered from a series of leaders who have held back information required to ease our fears. In turn, we are trapped in a vacuum of anxiety, never quite knowing who or what to believe.

As the American people voted for an incongruous firebrand with a rather checkered past to say the least, Sunderland fans have readily accepted a variety of managers, coaches, directors and board members in an attempt at redefining who we are. From firebrands of our own in Di Canio and De Fanti, through to the conservative elder statesmen in Advocaat and Allardyce, I think it’s safe to say that this continuous gamble hasn’t played out very well thus far. At least the Trump will have four years to implement some kind of plan: does David Moyes?

Not only has the revolving door of staff hurt our chances of stability and success, but so too has the withholding of information from the powers that be.

Much in the same way that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump removed the focus from policy to personality, Ellis Short has also starved his ensnared supporters of vital information about the manner in which he intends to steer our ship. This lack of info has left us the fans to become unsettled and even vitriolic at times as we turn from media outlet to media outlet searching for answers to our woes; in turn, further fueling the fires of discontent. I watched and read along helplessly as Americans turned on one another, finger pointing and berating anyone who didn’t agree with their views. I fear a return to losing ways could push the fans into similar acts of vitriol as the look for someone to blame.

If Ellis Short and our football club learn anything from the recent U.S. election it is that clarity and honesty are always the best policies. To allow a population to become so disenfranchised with their leaders that they look to instill change via any means necessary must surely be an alarming prospect for Mr. Short.

Coherence and communication are the two ideals that America failed to embrace during this bitter debacle of an election, and ultimately it has led the disenfranchised U.S. population into voting with their feet. Hillary was a figurehead for everything the people deemed wrong with American politics, and subsequently failed at becoming president.

Ellis Short would do well to analyze this bloody battle and take heed from its overt warning that people who are taken for granted and kept in the dark can only remain inactive for so long before they become radical in their lust for change.