Take to the High Road

Yes, I’m doing one of “those” posts, the sort that many people on social media are doing at the moment. Why? My reasons are that I am a global citizen (and a woman, at that) who is affected, even peripherally in Australia. I am also a bit of a politico and a proud social justice advocate and friend of different people. So, this stuff matters.

I was pretty pissed off about the results when I first heard. I mean – seriously? Trump as President??  O_O

I’m disappointed because of what that means.
I’m also disappointed because I liked Clinton. I didn’t agree with everything she said, but I liked her. She’d have been good. Now, America will go from two great terms of a great President, Barack Obama, to a wanker like Trump?

I’ve seen things going around on Facebook saying “If you voted for Trump, unfriend me”. I’m not doing that. In part because, looking at my feed, I don’t really have to – pretty much all the people I regularly see things from are on the same page as me. I am able to ignore any who aren’t – I have that privilege.

Unfriending and ignoring is a good strategy in the short term to avoid being swept into a pile of bad emotions. That’s my first thing: if you’re rattled by what’s going on atm, step away, as much as you can, at least for a little while. I’m doing that. Engage with people around you who share your views to build support. We will eventually need that support to unite and fight back (globally, in our different areas) against the separate-but-connected stupid sh** that’s been building in different places.

Another reason why unfriending purely on voting won’t quite work is that I recognise that this situation occurred from a mess of factors/reasons and that some people who voted Trump voted for legitimate (i.e. not sexist/racist/power-hungry/other stupid fear- & control-based) reasons. Like – the anti-establishment feelings and all that, especially in places where industry has been down and people have felt left behind or forgotten about? I get that. Unfortunately, they’re lumped in together now with the -ists mentioned above, the ones who I wouldn’t want to have on my feed in the first place. Trump et al – as I see it – have only used that anti-establishment support to shore up his ugly sexist/racist/etc. base. That challenge will have to be negotiated at some point: I don’t think your “great America” and his are the same. (For those whom it is the same, well – that’s a whole other kettle of fish.)

I am going to draw close to my “tribe” so to speak. If there’s something this has reminded me of, it’s how we can support one another. I’m also going to choose to, as my friend put it, “see the love not the hate”. Which does not, as she explained succinctly, mean ignoring hate – it means calling other people on their sh**, while “spending my life turning today’s ****storm into something worthwhile” by helping others however we can. For example, the “Take My Seat” badges initiative. I’m getting on board!

As I saw elsewhere on Facebook: “We must keep doing this, and other things, and other things, because we clearly have to take responsibility for connection and community into our own hands. No-one in power is worth a tinker’s cuss when it comes to this stuff. How people get to run the joint when they have the emotional intelligence of a kilo of lead poisoning is beyond me. But there you go. And those of us who have some, well, obviously we need to share it around.” ~ Fiona

We’re in for a bumpy ride as global citizens in the next little while (with bumpiness increasing in certain directly-hit areas). We can pull through though – and be the change we want to see. Let’s harness that – the power of kindness, rather than fear.

So cuddle your pets and hug your friends and family, arrange meet-ups and just generally affirm each other. Walk through nature and share funny/cute/etc. things – seek out joy and hope. We’ve been knocked a few times this year, but we’ll keep fighting.

You know what? Something I really hope for is that these events, this year – if they’re not the peak, then they’re the start of a crest of unpleasantness. My second hope is that the events will cause us progressives, in all forms, to unite more strongly, more globally, and see off the sh**. Maybe it’s a long shot, but sometimes, that’s the best shot. (The link is an awesome song I heard yesterday when searching for distractions.)

Thinking about this just made me remember this, too:
The important quote starts at 0:43.

Sums it up well, I reckon. There are a bunch of other quotes from different fandoms I could use, too.