10 Nov 2016


Some Thoughts on Our New Age

I could put this off for another day. After I’ve become more used to the idea of living in a new fascist age. But that’s just the thing isn’t it? We all get used to it. We scroll through our feeds. We’re all so busy. (Those camps are nothing like those camps.)

Yesterday, when the news started to turn for the worse, I closed all news sites and went for a walk. There was just no way he could win, so I didn’t want to agonise over fluctuating results trickling in. Better to just see her victory speech at the end.

In a park, I sat by a pond and watched the water. Heinz, a close friend, messaged to ask if I was okay. He told me it was all over. People were still walking hand-in-hand, laughing, taking selfies, scrolling through their feeds. I watched the pond and cried.

When something this horrible happens, the progressive left usually respond with calls for compassion and perseverance. “If we all work together…” etc. There is a stubborn optimism (the same stubborn optimism that said he could never win). But I just feel heartbroken. The US president-elect is a psychopath, and there is a very real possibility that he will destroy everyone we know and love within his years in office. Let that sink in.

But then there’s the heartbreak at the banal cruelty of humanity. That people allowed such bottomless hatred to govern them. When you see a stranger, you need to believe that that person shares the same interior humanity as you — this person, like you, could not identify their support with a monster. Yesterday we all lost that.

I keep wondering what it was like when this happened in Germany. When their chancellor was appointed did people use the word “evil” to describe him, or did that only come after? Now it is after. We have hindsight.

Like me, you probably don’t want to hear how we can fix this in four years. Maybe you want to hear someone else say, “I understand, this is really, truly horrible.”

Good luck.