Anger is only useful if it fuels action.
Yesterday’s anti-Brexit march felt useful. I wasn’t on it as I was working, but just seeing the pictures gave me a sense of solidarity, a sense of hope; this madness will stop.
If it doesn’t, those of us who wish to remain in the EU will continue to campaign to return. Please don’t talk to me about the will of the people, or democratic process. When the referendum was held in the early 1970s and people voted to stay in the EU, or Common Market as it was then known, the leave campaign sprang into action immediately. To paraphrase a meateater’s saying, what’s sauce for the lentils is sauce for the butter beans.
Democracy is about argument, not things set in stone.
My outrage meter was just returning to somewhere above normal after POTUS’ announcement that he would reverse his inhumane decision to separate children from their parents and then blame the Democrats, when I realised it doesn’t apply to those families already separated. The trauma those children have undergone for this Trumplestiltskin to make a point, beggars belief. I cannot begin to imagine how this is going to affect them in their adult lives. The insecurity, the realisation at a much too young age that their parents cannot always defend them will leave an indelible mark. And all because this man likes to think he’s strong, and that this is the sort of thing strong men do. The truth is he’s weak, and the weak never know how hard they are hitting you.
It gets worse. Home from work tonight and I read Jonathan Freedland’s article in yesterday’s Guardian from which I learned that the children separated from their parents were not properly registered, meaning the chance of their being reunited is so slim it’ll be a miracle if it happens.
My jaw hits the ground so frequently these days it’s a wonder I have any teeth left. What happened to decency, the parable of the Good Samaritan as a reminder that we need to look after everyone, not just those we know or who are like us? What happened to humility, to Never Again, to lessons learned from the Third Reich about the horrible things humans are capable of doing when they embrace an ideology?
The self-deception of people filmed in interviews by Channel 4 News, people saying they supported Trump, that he has a good heart, that he loves children, the woman in tears because ‘he tries so hard and people are so hard on him’, people who looked decent, ordinary, people you’d smile at if you met them in the street.
I just don’t understand how people can listen to Trump, Farage, Le Pen, Salvini, Erdogan, Duterte, and so many others, and think they offer any hope of a future.
At least one person has seen sense, thanks to radio presenter James O’Brien. @JasonT341 tweeted:
I was as stereotypical as they came. Believed every word of #dailymail…got angry over silly things…bloody foreigners…bloody this…bloody that. Then I started to listen to @mrjamesob. He taught me to think rather than just blindly accept. Best lesson I ever learned.
People can change. Informed, reasoned debate does matter. The wheel will turn.