For the most part, Daisybutter is a happy, positive place full of inspiration and fantasy and everyday tales. It’s all about the smaller and thus finer things in life with meatier topics that I feel apt to share with you. But I can’t continue to Tweet about Topshop coats and how pure puppies are and not touch upon something that has really affected my week, and so today I want to voice a few words on politics. On democracy. On the news that has sent shockwaves rippling across the globe.
Now that I’ve had a handful of days to process my thoughts and emotions towards the US presidential election, I think I’m able to express some of them in this amateur article. Much like on the eve of the EU referendum here in the UK, I went to bed jittered with a few nerves but feeling somewhat confident in the goodness and kind heart of my country, that I’d wake up and the result would be Remain and we’d simply continue to make steps of progression towards something even greater. Firmly pro-Remain, I happily conversed with my peers about what I’d be voting and how this would all be over by the time the World Cup came around. (Little did I know we’d be embarrassed twice, eh?) I did not for a second believe that we’d vote to leave the EU and thus throw ourselves into utter economic, political and social strain and now did I honestly believe that the United States of America would choose to elect a narcissistic racist, sexist, misogynist as their next President. I’ve been told since the result came out that I shouldn’t worry too much because it isn’t my country, but the US has a mind-bogglingly huge influence on the entire world, don’t you know? I’ve been told not to take it to heart – certainly won’t be, my heart is wonderfully full already – and I’ve been told that it’ll probably work out.
And it might still do. I suppose all we can do, much like Brexit, is give the man a chance. Give him a haircut as well. I’m in shock and disbelief, yes, over the result and I’m absolutely appalled at some of the things I’ve read about in the US. In those protest votes (11,000 voting for a dead gorilla? Really?), a solid half of a very powerful country has managed to get a despicable excuse of a businessman in at the highest rank of it. I’d like to believe that that’s the reasoning behind supporting a man who’d like to build walls to keep minorities out, a man who believes in shock therapy to ‘cure the LGBT community’, a man that believes China lies about climate change and that is more than likely to wage war for no other reason than ‘because he can’, amongst several other reasons that I won’t mention here.
I watched the Chinese news with my Dad, late afternoon on the 8th. we are the other in so many ways in that we’re not black, nor white, nor Hispanic, we’re merely often forgotten. Lest we suddenly gain representation or come up in conversation as a dog-eating nation that cheats and makes cheap copies of things made able only in the Western world. My good friend Niran – ridiculously strong Instagram game – shared a Tweet thread the other day where he discovered that Trump supporters were encouraged by their families not to share their views. Outside of our rose gold-tinted bubbles, there are lots of people that are driven to extremes. Whilst we’re spreading wonderfully eloquent debates amongst our own community and even sharing memes, it doesn’t mean that those Trump-minded views and support isn’t there. It’s terrifying. What message do you take away from Trump’s presidential campaign, anyway? ’Make America great again.’ Even as a quiet British citizen, I can vouch for the fact that America is pretty great already. Under the applaudable guidance and hand of President Obama, the US has been moving faster than ever with brilliant acts, movements and other symbols of positive progression. I, hand-on-heart, truly believed I’d wake up to watch Hillary Clinton deliver a presidential speech, changing the landscape for women everywhere, breaking that presidential glass ceiling and bringing me to tears for making history. Instead, I shed a few belated tears as I watched her eloquent and brave concession speech.
They said that ‘love trumps hate’ – though I’m loathe to use that middle word really – but what we can mostly learn and take away from this utter mess and time of [extreme] division amongst and between nations is that you must always take time to educate yourself on the other side’s belief so as to remove the philosophy of ‘the other’ existing. In times of extreme like these, it becomes transparent that sadly citizens feel so disillusioned by their representation that the only option is to choose extreme, unknown and often dangerous change. I’ve learned that I certainly live in a social media bubble, where I can confidently voice my opinions and, due to a carefully curated space, feel that I’m in the majority vote too. It’s more important than ever that we become outspoken to any degree about our opinions and beliefs for the better. Have a friend that didn’t vote because they didn’t understand the manifestos at hand? Take them for a pint or a coffee and offer some friendly advice and tutorship. If a friend claims not to be racist ‘because they have a Chinese/(insert other race) friend’? (Yes, this refers to one of my own pals!) Don’t be afraid to call them out and tell them with no uncertainty that that IS racist and that they’re actively being racist to you. I’m done with being the token Asian. And if they don’t agree with your opinion? Kindly offer a counter argument and express your concerns about the opposing party’s views. There are so many facets to political parties’ manifestos that the bigger picture can become lost. Hell, it’s even okay to agree with parts of ‘other’ parties’ beliefs. Take time to understand why people may be rationalising their at-first odd opinions. Not every single Trump supporter is stupid, in fact I’m certain more than several have wonderfully rich lives and minds, they have their reasons for their vote. Because, of course, how can we argue against ignorance when we may not have given time to understand the entire picture available to us?
Like Barack Obama said, as I melodramatically sobbed into my 3pm tea, the sun will keep rising, day after day, and there are – I fear – very dark times ahead for us. But we can continue to band together and do our own part, no matter how small, in creating a world of acceptance, grace, solidarity and love.
- History tells us what will happen post-Brexit and Trump – The Huffington Post
- Wilfred Chan’s Tweet
- After the election – Lumiere & Lens
- The future awaits – Love from Berlin
- Fear 101 and Why Trump Won – Man Repeller