I feel the need to write. I have no idea what to say, but I need to say something. Maybe something about this increasingly narrow, right-wing world in which we live, in which we are raising our future generations. Maybe something about tolerance and acceptance and diversity all rapidly being replaced with hatred and fear, suspicion and repression. Or maybe something about how a misogynistic, racist and homophobic moron is now one of the most powerful and influential men in the world? Oh go on then.
Seriously how has this happened?! This man, this role-model, this leader, has repeatedly and publicly offended and degraded women, openly expressed his anti-gay views and has spoken about how he will appoint Supreme Court judges who will overturn the marriage equality laws in the US…
I started this post a week ago. I was incredulous at the news that Donald Trump had been voted to be the next President of the US and my faith in the people of this world had been broken again. The increasing intolerance of those who are different displayed across social media, the rise of the far right across Britain and Europe, Brexit, and now this. This vile, bigoted, intolerant moron holding arguably the most powerful position in the world. Having watched the votes being counted from 4.30am (this was thanks to The Princess waking at 3.30 from a nightmare, being consoled by The Husband but then spying the perfect opportunity for a chat and some playtime, being left by The Husband to go back to sleep while he went to make coffee downstairs after announcing to me that a Trump victory was looking likely, me believing him to be joking, checking social media, checking again, checking the news sites, swearing loudly and realising I would wake up Pea with my expletives, and eventually joining him downstairs for coffee and disbelief), fuelled by strong coffee, emotional with sleep-deprivation I could not shake the deep sense that the world is turning in on itself, and a hope for the future of tolerance and acceptance has finally been lost for good. My faith in people was broken, my heart broken all over again, just as it was after this country decided to leave the European Union based on xenophobia and intolerance and arrogance.
One week on, however, things aren’t looking quite so bleak. There are strong voices everywhere declaring their refusal to accept this man as the voice of their nation, protests against his hateful views, people speaking out everywhere that they will not accept their rights being attacked. And this has filled me with hope again. Every time I see pictures of people protesting, marching, speaking out, my faith is restored a little more. Donald Trump is a man with narrow and hateful views on almost all members of society, of our global community, but he does not speak for everyone. He is not the voice of America, he is not the voice of white people, he is not the voice of all men, and he is no role model. The people making themselves heard at the protest marches, they are the voices of society, they are our role models, they are the people I want to point out to my children and tell them this is the society we want. Both The Princess and The Pea were downstairs and watching the news along with us by 5.30am last Wednesday. They know we were devastated by the outcome of the vote, they know we believe Mr Trump to have narrow and divisive opinions, opinions we do not share nor understand in our family. They know we are about freedom of rights and equality and the freedom to be yourself without judgement or fear. I am trying to instil in my 4 and 6 year old children acceptance and tolerance and kindness , and I am hopeful that many others are doing the same, so that their future is one of liberalism, liberty, and the lasting knowledge that Donald Trump looks a bit like a rabbit, courtesy of this newspaper from last year, a quote my daughter hasn’t forgotten since the day she read it almost a year ago.