In 5 years time Facebook will show you your posts from this time, as a distant memory.
Some will fill you with pride. Others might seem a little melodramatic. Hopefully. But we’ll need to change our idea of ‘hope’.
I want to share. Because I’m working this through.
So here’s how that’s going.
[for disclosure I’m not American, I don’t live in America, it’s a foreigner’s perspective.]
Firstly I’m calling this for the powerful women paradox. Which is totally fucked up. On all sides.
Secondly I’m scared. Brexit continues to upset me but it doesn’t scare me. Trumpism does scare me. I am worried for the LGBT+ community in the United States, for undocumented immigrant families, for muslims, for a women’s right to choose, in fact for anyone who feels vulnerable and powerless to do anything about it. That’s a lot of people. I don’t know what I can do. That is hurting me
I am worried for all the trans teens facing discrimination and harassment at school. I fear they will view this as the end of days. I am trans. I have been through my end of days (again, hopefully).
The worst thing, worse even than reality, is despair at the future. We all feel that. So today I feel deep despair and I know it wouldn’t take much to tip that over the edge. So I am scared for you.
So that’s the bad news. Here’s what keeps going round in my head though.
This shit does happen. It happened before. It isn’t the end of the world. It isn’t. It isn’t Kristallnacht 2.0 (thank you internet). It’s a legitimate democratic process. So, that’s how it works.
Also, there were worse possibilities. I’ve followed Trump all the way through the primaries. I love primaries. They’re fascinating. Cruz was worse. Rubio was worse. And Trump is not the only person in the Republican party that is a xenophobic, sexist, right-wing evangelist millionaire prone to loose interpretations of reality. There are probably plenty. They just don’t say it.
We object less to people who happily lie to us. Why is that? Well — it turns out that a lot of Americans have changed their mind about that.
For me, what was so upsetting is that HE SAID IT. It was like being punched. He said it all out loud, repeatedly, and he won. People voted for that message.
In our version of the world, you can win. Fine. But you can’t *say* what you think. That hurts. It hurts the whole world over.
It looks like people voted for him because a) they understood him and b) they agreed with him. And that is important. But I don’t think those americans voted for Trump because they believed him, I think they voted because he believed them.
They aren’t voting for the hatred, I think they voted because he listened, and reflected the anger and disappointment they feel in their realities.
So they voted for the candidate that represents their pain, meanwhile we are protesting against the words that he spoke. They’re different things.
The former is valid and real and should be addressed, the second is mainly carbon dioxide. I sincerely hope America does have a president who represents the concerns of his electorate, rather than the private passions of his supporters. [and here is the amazing Elizabeth Warren saying much the same thing].
He is not alone in those unpleasant views. That, obviously, is not a good thing — but let’s not pretend he’s radical. He’s mercurial, and radically unreliable. He’s mainstream and sensitive, a populist. So it is probably better not to polarise him. This is a guy who could be a unifier because that is what he would far rather be. He’d rather have 200 million fans than 100.
We can work towards that — to win any game you have to understand your opponent. If he wants your love (and he does) we need to show him we can love him. So lets stop dwelling on those words. Or, in footballing terminology: don’t look at the feet, play the ball.
Hmm, yeah, well, right. Having said that, a very very unpleasant period is beginning for those of us with a progressive world view (my friends, my america). I am scared for my friends. I am sad for HRC.
Personally I think that *all* politicians should be banned from opining without independently verified data to back up their words… but, hey, that’s me. J’accuse,… filter-bubbles
On the flip side, when these days are past, the inexorable tide of progressive social policy will prevail. Democracy, and more importantly, demographics, will see to it.
One day this *will* be a ‘memory’ on Fb, and I genuinely don’t think many Americans will be reading it from internment camps or nuclear bunkers or Canada. (Australia on the other hand is an excellent (if similarly conservative) option)
I guess I’m saying, and believe me I have solid experience in this, that you will have times when the worst day of your life is always today. I still feel like that sometimes. Maybe that’s how you feel. The only way through that is to believe that tomorrow will be better. You work towards tomorrow and you do what you can, whether that is a duvet day or a protest march. So I believe it is going to be OK. You will be OK, the planet will be OK, our kids will be OK.
Is that what I want to say? It gets better? Maybe. I hope I get to read this in 5 years time and not be sad at my optimism. But that’s what optimism is. It gets better. It does. And we are here for you. We said that before. It’s still true, even on days like today.
Love yourselves, love those around you, do what you can.
The Trans Lifeline can be reached at (877) 565–8860 in the US, and (877) 330–6366 in Canada. If you don’t want to speak, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a chat you can use to speak to someone.
[apologies if you disagree with this — i respect that completely. I’m probably not going to reply to any comments, obviously it is a brutally painful time and I’m not in America to endure it. Equally you may think Trump should totally build that wall and lock her up and make men be men — I respect your views less, but you are entitled to them.
And, hey, Congratulations!]