I proclaimed a few days ago that I am not going to shut up about Trump. It’s true. I’m not going to shut up. My efforts to undo some of the awfulness he and his campaign and the GOP are spewing into the world are not going to stop.
It’s hard work though.
I’m already tired from the trauma of Brexit. Exhausted from knowing and reading and hearing reasonable, fact based, rational, logical arguments about the dangers of the UK’s exiting the EU, only to know that these points would fall on deaf ears. That these were not concerns that were of interest – that were even within the realm of the real – for so many of the people who thought ‘Leave’ would help their plight.
‘Leave’ won’t help their plight. ‘Leave’ didn’t even have a plan to ‘leave’, let alone to help anyone out.
But, there you go.
Rational arguments, facts, fair points get lost when people are tired and worried and, frankly, scared.
And our governments have been doing quite a good job of scaring us for quite a long time.
For those of us on the lucky side – and, believe me, I well know that I sit comfortably in that camp – it’s all a bit frustrating.
It’s all just so bloody obvious, isn’t it.
Nigel Farage was a despicable front man and tool for a certain element of the Conservative Party to claim power. Those people had no real interest in leaving the EU; therefore, they had no plan. Therefore, we’re now stuck with a Prime Minister who has been at the heart of stoking the racist fire for years.
Likewise, Trump is a dangerous demagogue with neither a hope of nor an interest in ‘making America great again’.
Being the champagne socialists we are, we can see this oh so clearly.
But, here’s the thing, champagne socialists are fairly few and far between.
And fairly useless too – if we don’t get off our happy asses and actually get to know some of these people who just can’t understand.
‘Oh, why can’t they just see what’s happening?’, we lament.
We are such fucking snobs.
You know why ‘they’ can’t see? Because society, the economy, the educational system, health care, housing, the job market, and just basic life are too time consuming. Too exhausting. Too hard.
Do we really care?
Do we really want to see humanitarian approaches to running our countries?
Because if we do, we’re going to have to actually do something.
We’re going to have to admit that maybe those people we avoid so completely are facing real and genuine challenges that we just don’t understand.
There are certain words and phrases I deplore. Words and phrases that are hurtful, divisive, unnecessary. Words that we accept and use even when we have cleansed our vocabularies of hideous and disgraceful racial slurs.
I hate racism. I mean I hate it. On this point, all my tolerant ways disappear. I am completely intolerant of racists.
I also firmly believe that if I – or you, or we, or anyone – truly hates racism and xenophobia and homophobia and Islamophobia and all the other ‘phobias’ out there right now, we’re going to have use another phrase I deplore.
We’re going to have to ‘reach out’ to those people who make us so uncomfortable and figure out a way to get through this.
Change doesn’t happen by chatting over the dinner table with people who agree with you.