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Hate won

If love made the world go round it would be fitting if, this week, the world just ground to a halt. But it didn’t.

I’ve always been an optimist. I’m the one who – post-Brexit – wiped away the tears and downed the last pint and said ‘let’s work on this tomorrow.’ I was an optimist because I used to think that at the heart of everyone’s choices, even bad ones, there was love.

But this week hate won. And all over the world the people who hate feel stronger and more powerful than ever.

No one wants – or needs – my opinion on President-elect Donald Trump. No one wants or needs my support and sympathy although, of course, you have it. Along with my profound sadness and disgust. Like Brexit, I feel complicit because there’s this nauseous horror that I didn’t do anything, or enough. It’s a ridiculous, self-centred narcissism that comes from a place of wanting so desperately to be able to do fucking something in the face of a horror that seems insurmountable.

So I write things, because it’s all I know how to do. And because – honestly – in this tiny space that is most of my world, it would be dishonest of me to let something so cataclysmic go unremarked upon.

But my impotent fucking feelings pale into nothing in the face of what many people living in America may be feeling right now. People who are terrified of their own President – a man who openly mocked, belittled and dehumanised them. People who are equally terrified of the millions who put him where he is.

Hate won, and the world won’t grind to a halt. As it keeps turning more horror will be spat out. More fear. More hate.

Optimistic me – the one who existed before June – would probably say that love can still triumph. But I’m starting to think that she was wrong. It might be that hate genuinely does trump love – that any effort to turn the tide amounts to us pissing into the wind.

There are few things we can be certain of right now.

One is that things are bad. They will likely get worse. They may – hopefully – get better.

The other certain thing is that we’ll continue to love. We can’t stop doing it, any more than we can stop the world from turning.

I started writing this blog post on Wednesday, and thanks to illness and misery and general rage I never actually finished it. I couldn’t find a conclusion that summed up how I actually felt: the horror of understanding that so many people – SO MANY PEOPLE – were willing to vote for a man who was not just dog-whistle racist like Nigel Farage but fucking foghorn racist. Overtly bigoted on every possible axis of bigotry. A man who thinks women are essentially subhuman. A man whose platform was built on the bonfire of other people’s rights. Those feelings combined with a bittersweet joy at just how many people I love are equally angry. Plus frustration that our rage seems like so much – again – just pissing into the wind.

This blog’s been edited over and over in the hope of finding a conclusion that fits, but there isn’t one.

Hate won. But the world will keep turning.

Here are a few things that I’ve read over the last couple of days. There are many more great pieces, of course. Please feel free to add your own in the comments (links get caught in spam but I’ll do my best to approve as soon as I can).  

On Donald Trump, the ‘naysayer’ and deep space travel

What Happened On Election Day

Conspire for Change

What Is America So Afraid Of?

Here’s What I’m Telling My Brown Son About Trump’s America

If Donald Trump Implements His Proposed Policies, We’ll See Him In Court

37 Comments

  • Holly says:

    I’m a white, bisexual woman in Massachusetts. Compared to many of my friends, I may be able to slide under the radar simply because of my whiteness. The thing is, I refuse to! I really cannot believe this is the world I’m living in and raising my son in, in 2016. I don’t have a huge circle of friends but I have several who have already encountered bigotry just since Tuesday (never mind the bigotry and general assholery they’ve had to endure their entire lives)- people shouting the “n” word, alluding to their being deported, gay friends being targeted. I think what’s worse though are the friends and family in my small circle who SUPPORT Trump! Like, you do realize that he’s not going to spare your rights or some shit just because you support him, right? He still thinks we’re all pieces of shit. I read a post about white people essentially using their privilege to protect anyone being targeted and THAT is when it truly hit me, the whole white privilege thing. That post was eye-opening that it is MY duty as well as other peoples’ who have any sort of privilege to protect and serve those in need. Sorry for the rambly comment- I actually haven’t really commented on anything because it’s all pretty overwhelmingly and depressing but I felt compelled to say something here. Thank you for your wonderful post, GOTN!!!

    • Girl on the net says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Holly, and I’m so sorry – for you and your friends and for everyone. I don’t think you’re being rambly at all – thank you for contributing, and yes I think it’s down to all of us to use whatever power we may have to stand up for those who are the targets of this hate. Best of luck, and thank you xx

  • rare deeds says:

    You’re right in much of what you say, gotn.

    But there’s something else. How have so many people been taken, or forced, to a place where voting for the snakeoil blandishments of Farage & the narcissistic preening of Johnson; or the hate-fuelled madness of Trump, seems like a viable act? – what is that place like?

    What are the depths into which the old industrial towns of England’s North have been dragged which have forced them to turn against the only parties or governments that might retain a shred of compassion for them? What is the truth of the lived experience of the poverty-hammered of the rural Midwest which has convinced them to take a punt on a billionaire who is palpably only interested in further enriching himself & his kith?

    When governments, when politicians, offer nothing to these communities, we should not be surprised when their votes represent a scream of rage against the very establishments that have abandoned them.

    Clinton offered them nothing. The remainers offered them nothing. Miliband & the wretched Blairites & Owen whatsisname offered them nothing. Not only did they offer them nothing – they didn’t even try to speak to them (never mind listening to them).

    The despair that we feel after the cumulation of these three electoral traumas is *nothing* compared to the despair to which these communities have been condemned by the complacent governing elites of Washington & Westminster.

    • Girl on the net says:

      No, I’m sorry. I think this amounts to apologising for racism. Trump did not rise to power on the back of low-income groups, he rose to power overwhelmingly on the votes of white people. What’s more, there has to come a point – there *has to* – where we say ‘enough’. There is no excuse for voting for an overtly racist candidate. There is no bank balance low enough that it counts as an excuse to vote for a man who has promised to deport your neighbour. There just isn’t, I’m afraid.

      After Brexit, I listened to a lot of these arguments, particularly re: the northern industrial towns and their ‘fears’ on immigration. Yet I also saw the stats that show these fears are unfounded. Now is not the time to ‘listen to people’s genuine concerns on immigration’ – now is the time to point out that those fears are unfounded, and – yes – racist.

      • rare deeds says:

        Woah.

        *Nothing* in my comment referred to either race or immigration – obviously not explicitly, but also not implicitly.

        I was talking about *poverty* – extreme, grinding, relentless, life-denying poverty. And *I’m* sorry, but poverty affects people irrespective of colour. And poverty has, once again, become a systemic function of the economies of the US, the UK & the EU. Just as it was in the 1920s & 30s.

        Race & immigration can be used by unscrupulous politicians – but the alienation that can make people susceptible to the race-fuelled hatred of such unscrupulous demagogues begins with endemic poverty.

        (I’m sorry that you should have accused me of apologising for racism)

        • Girl on the net says:

          I don’t think you understood what I said at all. I said that poverty is no excuse for racism – you just re-stated that poverty is a factor in people’s choice to vote for a racist. These two things are not mutually exclusive – I agree that it’s a factor, it is *not* an excuse for racism.

          “the alienation that can make people susceptible to the race-fuelled hatred of such unscrupulous demagogues begins with endemic poverty.”
          See again here you’re making excuses for people – that they become ‘susceptible to the race-fuelled hatred.’ I don’t think that we should be making these excuses. We need to be calling out racism, not jumping through hoops to try and justify why people might vote for it.

          “I’m sorry that you should have accused me of apologising for racism”
          You’re sorry for something I said? Don’t be: it’s mine to own.

    • Azkyroth says:

      Their lived experience is that the people who actually did that to them keep telling them it’s the brown people’s fault and the queers’ fault and the feminists’ fault and they’re stupid enough to keep falling for it.

      They deserve what they get. The problem is, the rest of us don’t.

  • rare deeds says:

    It’s not my place to “make excuses for people”. Similarly, I don’t presume to know why people vote the way the do.

    It is both easy & pernicious to blame voters in democracy, to blame them for not voting the right way. As if democracy would be possible without conflict of opinion or position. What do you propose – deny the vote to people who vote the “wrong way”?

    Dewey claimed that the only answer to the failings of democracy is more democracy.

    At any rate – I’m out. As I’ve always done, I tried here to engage with, & respond to, your writing in good faith & with sympathy. It seems odd to accuse a correspondent of being an apologist for racism in the context of a post bemoaning the triumph of hatred.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Fair enough, but again while I realise you do always try to engage, I don’t think you have understood what I’m saying at all. I’m not saying ‘let’s not let people vote if they vote the wrong way’ I’m saying ‘we need to tackle people who are willing to side with racists.’ It’s not about ignoring democracy, it’s about making a stronger argument, rather than shrugging our shoulders and saying ‘oh well we just have to expect people to side with racists if they’re poor.’

    • Ay None says:

      Yes, I’m angry that no politicians except the far-right wankers have offered any kind of answers to the poorest out there.

      I’m also angry that politicians have deliberately pandered to the worst of us, the racists and the bigots, instead of working to solve the real problems.

      I’m angry that they still refuse to condemn the hate that they’ve deliberately stoked.

      I’m angry that fully half of the college-educated white women who voted, voted for Trump. That’s not about poverty, or ignorance. That’s people who think they’ll do okay under his rule and don’t give a shit about anyone else.

      I’m angry that those who won keep telling the rest of us to shut up, instead of reaching out. They say we need to “heal the divide” but they’re not actually interested in trying to reach out. They want us to be quiet so they can pretend the divide isn’t there.

      I am so done with all of this. But I don’t have the luxury of being done. None of us do.

  • rare deeds says:

    (by “I’m sorry” I meant “I feel sorrow”)

  • Dennis Drews says:

    Though I’ve stumbled on to your web site it’s been an interesting read. Much like the self proclaimed elitists of Hollywood here in the states you’re spewing your own self importance in molding the world and presumably that only your view of the world can be the right view. Every world leader has “clay feet”, and has had missteps in their life. Maybe you’ve always been pure in your thoughts and judgments of others, and have not had to evolve.

    The election in the states was a tough one. Neither side was what could be called upstanding or polite. Maybe being across the pond you don’t have a full appreciation for the contempt that many here have for the Clinton family and their political machine. I doubt that there has been or ever will be a more corrupt and underhanded family involved in politics. Of course that doesn’t even take into account her illegal and certainly unethical dealings as Secretary of State. Recent news articles of their daughter being groomed to also enter politics just adds another log on the fire. If the Democratic party had put up a different candidate maybe the outcome would have been different.

    Donald Trump was able to leverage voter anger to propel his win. That anger is very real. Not being able to recognize or openly discuss it was, and will continue to be the biggest challenge facing the Democratic party. Also just like all past presidents Donald Trump will be judged on his accomplishments. Those of you that have already judged him, even though he is not even in the office yet, are akin to those that prejudged Obama when he was elected. The difference being that this time here in the states it’s the liberals who are crying and whining about the sky falling. Of course Obama turned out to be a great disappointment for many, and not just middle class whites. So just as the conservatives had to wait and see how it would all actually turn out, this time around it will be the liberals who will have to hold their breath and fret about what may or may not happen. Don’t presume that you already know the outcome.

    • Girl on the net says:

      You stumbled on my website and this was the only comment you wanted to make? I do hope you don’t visit again any time soon.

    • Azkyroth says:

      We’re judging Trump on the things he’s actually said, and the things he’s actually done so far, like the entirety of his campaign, and the transition team he named. The right was judging Obama on things they’d made up about him.

      The phrase “Golden Mean Fallacy” exists for a reason, cupcake.

  • techreader says:

    Donald Trump is not a racist. The problem is that in America, being called a racist is the worst possible insult, and so the political left invariably leveled that accusation at the opposing party’s presidential candidate. And at everybody else that the left opposed.

    After an especially nasty and divisive election cycle, a great many palpably false and over-the-top accusations were leveled, and the vast majority of them were and are untrue. Homosexuals WILL NOT be stoned to death or thrown from the tops of buildings, as is customary in Iran or Iraq. Large numbers of central and south America who evaded America’s border controls will not be herded into cattle cars on trains and deported to Guatemala. “Sanctuary cities” such as San Francisco will not be occupied by Federal police, although it MAY be that these cities will lose their Federal funding as a penalty for ignoring Federal laws.

    In short, not much is going to happen.

    The Constitution of the United States actually prescribes a fairly SMALL Federal government. If a Trump administration does ANYTHING, it’s likely to reduce the size, power and scope of the Federal government. Since the USA is highly OVER-governed, this can only be a good thing.

    The problem has been greatly magnified by the “mainstream media” which was absolutely and totally supportive of Hillary Clinton, who was herself a flawed and deeply corrupt candidate. And so every news broadcast, every newspaper, most of the magazines and TV studios and movie makers have been trying, with less success than they had hoped, to paint a Trump administration as the very worst thing that could possibly happen to the United States, or to the world.

    As Douglas Adams wrote, in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, “Don’t Panic!” There is much LESS to this election than meets the eye.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Jesus fucking Christ the comments on this. Donald Trump is a textbook racist, and if you cannot see this you’re wilfully ignorant.

    • O says:

      Saying there’s much less to this election than meets the eye is as naive as saying that everything is perfectly tickety-boo in the coal mining communities of Virginia. It’s baffling how those who claimed Clinton supporters didn’t understand others display such very little understanding of others themselves. Absolutely baffling.

      • Azkyroth says:

        The Constitution of the United States, as written, prescribed that slaves be counted as 3/5s of a person for census purposes. I have no idea what you mean by “over-governed” unless it’s things like the 13th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act. Which it is, isn’t it? (Or perhaps the EPA).

        Meanwhile, here in the real world, Trump and the Republicans in congress ran on a platform that included explicit climate change denialism; a promise to curtail reproductive rights and appoint Supreme Court judges that would reverse decisions on reproductive rights, marriage equality, and other kinds of equality; and a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act which has saved thousands of lives and thousands to millions from medical bankruptcy since its passage even after being reduced to a shell of itself by compromises and right-wing intransigence.

        If you’re a straight, white man who’s not living in poverty, then it’s true that those things probably won’t harm you directly (in the first case it will, but not for some time). The fact that to you this translates to “everything’s okay” speaks volumes about what kind of human being you are.

    • SpaceCaptainSmith says:

      “If a Trump administration does ANYTHING, it’s likely to reduce the size, power and scope of the Federal government.” No it isn’t. I don’t know where you got that idea from. Trump specifically campaigned on pledges of increased government infrastructure spending. If he wants to implement even half the things he promised, he’s going to need to spend a hell of a lot more on departments like Homeland Security. A Trump government will be bigger, more expensive and more involved in controlling people’s lives. (Particularly those who aren’t white or male.)

      I don’t think concerns about the size of government should have been the main decider of anyone’s vote in this election. But even if they were, you voted for the wrong guy.

    • Lurpak marketing says:

      The best i can say is that Ignorance won.

      Also if its any consolation trump got 27% of the vote. Ditto brexit.

      Disclaimer; this is a personal opinion and does not represent the views of the Lurpak corporation. Other butters are available*

      *margarine however is the devils spunk

  • Leaving a comment which isn’t from a right-winger who takes issue with what you’ve said.

    You’ve encapsulated in this post exactly why I myself haven’t written a blog post about Donald Trump – short of minor allusions here and there, I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s impossible to describe; something else to add to the meteorite of bile that has accrued throughout 2016 and is careening faster and faster towards a crash.

    I was also to talk about Brexit after a morning of crying. Huge, racking sobs of anger and shock and fear. With Trump, it was just all the anger and shock and fear without the crying. I didn’t have the emotion to deal with it. I’m not from America, and I’ve never realistically had any intention to go, but as has been said more than once, this affects all of us.

    However, I’m not as sure as you are, GOTN, that hate won. Hate won an EU referendum and a US election. But it wasn’t hate that won us a Mayor of London who’s both a Muslim and a person of colour. It wasn’t hate that put Barack Obama in the White House eight years ago and it certainly won’t be hate that drives his final couple of months in office (we still have him for now, let’s enjoy that…). It wasn’t hate that, in the aftermath of this clusterfuck, people started to unify and speak up against that hate.

    And it wasn’t hate that made you write this post. It was righteous anger, perhaps. And you were perfectly within your right to do it.

    I wish I had your bravery, GOTN.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Thank you ILB. I don’t think I’m brave at all though, just really fucked off. Thanks for commenting – and I hope that you’re right and that we really can do something positive in the aftermath of all this awful xx

  • Frytog says:

    Donald Trump is absolutely a racist. And a sexist. And a homophobe. And a misogynist. And very much anti-disability. He is a horrible human being and I am ashamed that he will be the next president…but he will never be MY president.

  • Anon says:

    trump is an arse.

    There have sadly been racist / idiots in the White House. I’m more concerned about the international relationships trump has.

    Brexit shocked me more because people from my own community were taken in by the hate and bile.

    Since then I decided… fuck the world. Preferably in the arse.

  • SpaceCaptainSmith says:

    “Any fool with half a brain
    Can see that the whole world has gone insane
    To the extent that I don’t know
    If I’d upset the status quo
    If I poured poison in the water main…”
    – Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

    (A lot of people have been posting Leonard Cohen quotes, like “Everybody knows the bad guys won.” My mind went to a different place.)

  • This is the it summing up that can be summed it how I and the majority of people I am friends with feel it feels hard even as a women in the UK to explain this to my kids I have a daughter what do I tell her it’s ok…the sexual preditor who thinks it’s ok to grab women by the Liszt and joke is now in the top job …I also have a son…I have no words I feel ashamed of the world, despair for the future how on earth do folk in America with kids feel it’s not just daughters son’s get the message what he says is ok. Yet is the furthest from ok I have ever contemplated.
    Hugs to the fab folk commenting here and to GOTN who’s writing is inspiring xxxx

  • Gaia says:

    The disbelief is hitting some of us hard. In the UK, with Brexit, there was the sense of ‘Really?’, and again this week, watching events unfold in the USA, the same ‘can this really be happening?’. Trump projects as a repugnant, abhorrent character, and some of the votes in his direction will have been from the dangerous ‘basket of degenerates’, in the same way as some of the Brexit votes will have been from the ‘send them back’ crowd. There are multiple parameters, and none of us are blinkered enough to jump to the conclusion that all of America shares the vile soundbite-ideas that Trump has publicised. Some of the result is the apathy, “No point voting, because the government always gets in.”, some is complacency “It’s a foregone that common sense will prevail.”, some of it tactical anti-voting, some of it a desire for change.

    Whatever the combination of reasons, we have the outcome, and, immediately, we have the increasingly unpleasant backlash, with the man who was quoted as saying he would not accept the vote if it did not favour him pouting that the protests are ‘very unfair’, and then circling back, and praising the passion of the protesters. It remains to be seen how much of the US, and the world latches on to the hate, it remains to be seen how much of the campaign rhetoric was just attention-grabbing, and how much can, realistically, be played out.

    We peak, we trough, we coast, that’s our nature, we don’t flat-line, and, in the face of this terrifying trough, ‘we’ will paddle against the tide, and keep trying to do the right thing, with whatever tools we have at our disposal, that’s our nature.

  • Pilth says:

    Tweet in an echo chamber about how shit the Daily Mail is, how every single human who voted Leave is a racist (from your phone assembled by Chinese children) and share Guardian thinkpieces about how it’s probably all Corbyn’s fault somehow, for the next four years. Engagement!

    • Girl on the net says:

      Engaged you, didn’t it? You right-wing bellend.

    • Ay None says:

      But that’s not what we’re doing, is it? The streets are full of people standing up and saying “Trump is not my President. I don’t share his views and I’ll fight him every step of the way.” We’re reaching out to our friends in minority groups and saying “We’re on your side. We’ll stand with you through this.” We’re making sure the Brexit deal has to be debated in Parliament rather than just presented as a done deal. We’re doing everything we can to hold onto the fundamental rights that we know every person deserves, even the ones who don’t think they’re racist but don’t care enough to stand up and denounce the racists whose politics align with theirs.

  • test acc says:

    so temping to leave a message, but then would it change anyones view.

    people MUST put themselfs in a posistion where they allow themselfs to change their view point…

    i am right wing, i also love your blog..

    lets not divide between left and right,

    • Girl on the net says:

      “people MUST put themselfs in a posistion where they allow themselfs to change their view point…”

      All people including you? Or just people who currently disagree with you?

      OK, that was a bit facetious, but hopefully you get my point. I’d also add that I am generally the kind of person who’s up for having their mind changed, if only because I really enjoy a good debate and there are lots of topics around which I think there are important questions that warrant lots of discussion and thought.

      BUT that doesn’t apply in a case where we’re talking about racism and misogyny – two ‘points of view’ so odious that they absolutely should not be approached with an open mind. There is only so open-minded any individual can be – there must be core foundations on which we rest our certainty. And some of mine are: people are equal regardless of race and gender and should be afforded equal rights. I think they should be for you too. Feel free to ‘allow yourself to change your view point’ if this isn’t the case.

      • test acc says:

        Yes all people must be open to new information and allowing that information to change their point of view. Ones self most of all.

        But yes i got your point, i have changed my mind very much on matter and hope to continue todo so.

        Racism however i wouldn’t say is a right wing stance, many people are right wing without being racist.
        Misogyny is a bigger topic :)
        “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.”
        I am a father of a daughter and a husband, i certainly have no dislike of, contempt for but however i do have a ingrained prejudice against womens ablities.
        Men, for all our horrible qualitiies are better at many aspects. I thought perhaps that this is due to the make up of modern society, giving men an unfair advantage, but witnessing my daughter and son growing up, both of whom are treated the same, they display very different skill sets.

        • Girl on the net says:

          “Men, for all our horrible qualitiies are better at many aspects. I thought perhaps that this is due to the make up of modern society, giving men an unfair advantage, but witnessing my daughter and son growing up, both of whom are treated the same, they display very different skill sets.”

          People display different skill sets because they’re individuals. There’s also a chance that your children display different skill sets because you – who have predisposed views on what men and women are capable of – treat them differently. Your assertion that men are ‘better at many aspects’ is a classic ‘ingrained prejudice against women.’ Congratulations – you’re a misogynist.

  • The quiet one says:

    I’m not sure hate won, I think fear won. People seem so scared. They want to hide behind walls and ‘take their country back ‘

    Also I read that post – truth is word of the year. That’s just bloody scary.

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