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).