Some uncomfortable reflections on our collective misery

Since the results of the US election, and after several days of mourning and reflection, I have come to realise several important things.

Electing a POTUS isn’t about who is most moral, or ethical, or the best representative of the nation. Many people didn’t vote for Trump because they found him the most moral or ethical or the best representative of the USA. There is no single reason for why anyone voted for Trump. I don’t believe most people who voted for Trump are as racist or mysogynist as I think he is (based on what he has said with his own mouth and twitter).

I think all US citizens share some blame for what is to come; however, one group above all others chose Trump from a field of 17 candidates, and then voted for him in the election. They are the ones who loaded the gun, aimed right at the heart of our nation, and pulled the trigger. These people will blame the Democrats for manufacturing the gun or something, and might in the same breath claim it’s not fair to hold gun manufacturers accountable for the fatal results of their products.

The toilet is clogged, and so the Trump voters would rather burn down the house. In the UK, the response (Brexit) is to wall off the toilet and shit in UK-made pots. Neither is the way to fix our house. I really “enjoyed” this Greenwald article: Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit. It is necessary reading for everyone.

Probably the most inspiring news article I have read in a long time is this one: The white flight of Derek Black. I love it because it opens my heart, gives me a strategy, and fills me with hope.

I am incredibly priviledged to teach at one of the most diverse universities in the UK. Many students are from China and India. Probably half of my students are Muslim. Everyone knows I am from the USA. I will continue to be the best example of America I can so they will see some of us aren’t like what they see in the future POTUS.

It is absolutely critical to engage with a diversity of opinions. We cannot wall ourselves off from perspectives that make us uncomfortable. We are all in the coming shit-storm together as well, and we are going to have to work together.


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