Like many other people, I feel like it’s been a rough couple of weeks. I’ve not written for ages and I’m having to force myself to do it now just to get back into the groove.
First off, there was Trump. Is Trump. I’ve said it jokingly before – before, when the possibility of a Trump presidency seemed entirely absurd and safe to joke about – but God, it really feels like we’re living in a dystopian novel written by Margaret Atwood. (If you’ve not read anything of hers, I highly recommend that you do. Maybe ‘Oryx and Crake’ for a start).
I was absolutely floored when he won. Horrified. Not so much at the man himself, although having said that, I can’t think of a more repulsive, ignorant and hateful man, but more about the state of the world today that such a man could be elected. And I’m not naive enough or arrogant enough to believe that it’s just an American issue, that it’s because Americans are all stupid, or hateful, or racist, or just generally ugly to other people, because that’s simply not possible. Sure, some of his supporters are, we’ve seen a solid representation of them at his rallies and on the news, but I think that most of them are just so cast down, stuck, unhappy, angry, struggling and disconnected from other people that Trump, with his promises of change and his supreme confidence and bombast, seemed like the best option. Better the devil you don’t know, in this case.
And while it terrifies me to think what a Trump presidency will bring, and I can’t even imagine what it must feel like to live in America at this point in time, the main thing that I feel is sadness. I feel sad for the people who voted for Trump that they are in a situation where he seemed like the best option for their country, their futures, for their children. I feel sad that I live in a world where this man, spouting hate and making impossible, irresponsible, and frightening promises that can only be fulfilled at the expense of the freedom and happiness of other people was viewed as the best hope for positive change for some people.
The thing is, the same sort of person could very easily get elected pretty much anywhere in the world today. Hell, people like him are in positions of power all over the place as it is and they got there because the same sort of lost, unsupported, struggling people don’t see how things are ever going to get better if they stick with the status quo. Look at the Brexit mess, Pauline Hanson, Destiny Church, and our own smarmy John Key.
The worse of it all, I think, is that his unapologetically racist, homophobic, misogynist attitude and the big statements that he’s made from that perspective, give the people who hold similar views licence to act upon them. It’s been happening since the moment he got elected and it’s only going to get worse.
Anyway, it’s all been said before. I don’t think I have anything new to add but I tell you what, I’m bloody glad that my kids are too young to know anything about the whole mess so that I don’t have to try to explain it to them.