On the Election

Normally, I don’t talk politics on this blog. I’m not qualified to talk politics, really. The Internet has enough misinformation on it without me adding to the pile, even if I did it with the best of intentions.

I’m not qualified to judge what will come next, but I’ll say this: I am afraid of this result. I’m afraid that America will get what it wanted, or rather, what nearly half of America very specifically said they didn’t want.

Today I got up early and I went to work and it felt like I shouldn’t have been able to. Surely there would be something to stop me. Even though, intellectually, I know that this isn’t a disaster like an earthquake or a meteor strike where the effects are immediate and devastating. I think the hardest part of this whole thing will be waiting to see where it goes from here. Waiting to see what the first move is, so that we can move back. Although, on the other hand, this gives everyone much-needed time to regroup and reassess, and especially to process everything. This is a shock, and people are still reeling from it. It will take time to process, but thankfully, we do have a little time.

I’m not American, so I can’t really share in the experience. But I hold out hope that there still might be something that a writer from Australia can do, even if it’s just to be someone people can come to for a talk, a vent, or a distraction from the world when they need it.

I debated for a long time whether to keep posting the NaNoWriMo series I have queued. It feels a little odd to be posting about something so trivial at a time like this. But I feel there’s something to be said for the act of continuing when things feel like they’re falling apart. We are still people, we still have goals and hobbies, and we are still creating art, even or especially when it feels like we’re burying ourselves in fiction to escape reality. So the NaNoWriMo posts will go up as planned, and I’ll continue to get overly invested in writing as usual. I don’t yet know how I’ll react going forward, what will change about this blog, if anything changes. But as soon as I have decided, you’ll know.

Stay safe, everyone.

2 thoughts on “On the Election

  1. It brings me no pleasure to see people have their optimism crushed and become forced to see the cynical world I see every day. To see the world’s boils and sores once hidden beneath the caked on make-up, exposed in all their putrescent filth. It becomes very easy, at that point, to look around at all the things, little and big, and think that it’s all coming to an end.

    To quote a character from a video-game, “Every generation thinks theirs is the last”.

    But that would be viewing history incorrectly. Progress toward a better future is like a stream cascading down a mountain; you can disturb it, you can divert it, you can even build a wall but the pressure will build until it bursts forth and continues on its way.

    Let me take you back in time. There was a guy called Hitler who thought he’d rule everything and, in this cynical world, he got pretty far toward that goal. But, in just as cynical a fashion, you must acknowledge that all people are fallible, much as he was – and although one of the greatest tragedies he left in his wake were the millions of souls taken; Jewish, disabled and otherwise, he didn’t succeed.

    The Jewish people are still here.

    The stream kept flowing.

    For as long as people have had enough resources to be capable of comfortably putting each other into metaphorical boxes, racism, sexism and the like has existed. One of the many forms this had taken was placing a father at the head of a household, and the only one capable of making familial decisions. As a consequence, and for a very long time, women haven’t had the right vote.
    In the past few decades, that has changed. Women can vote.

    The diversion rejoined the stream.

    By the same token, for just as long, it was believed that a man’s feelings were of no consequence; that they shouldn’t even be expressed. For a long time, being a man meant saying nothing when pain came your way, and, in some cases, having crimes committed against you being unpunished, because no man would admit to such victimisation and no-one believed it were possible.

    In the past decade, or so, things have been changing. In a few countries, at least, they are now legally recognising the capacity for a woman to commit rape.

    Another diversion, creeping back towards the main.

    Fairly recently you may recall a point in time when two tall towers came crashing down, crushing hopes and leaving behind the tattered wreckage of faith in a world of good. For a time, there was mourning. For a time, people forgot what hope was.

    But just like when your body is injured, those people gathered together and rebuilt those towers, stronger than before.

    The disturbance is fading.

    It is, as it has always been; like a stream down a mountain.

    Most meaningful change is generational; it’s not about what you can see right now. It’s not even about what you’ll see in your entire lifetime. It’s about what you hand to those who will take your place when your frail body ceases functioning.

    We all want the same thing, a better future. A tomorrow that is better than today. And as long as we keep wanting that, as long as we are willing to raise our hands and put at least some effort into making that a reality, as long as we pass on that drive to be better, then I promise you that there will always eventually be a tomorrow that is better than today, no matter what day of the week it is.

    • I think that people definitely need some time to process this one before we move forward. I agree with you that we are often more capable of picking up and moving on than we think we are, and I think we need to make room for optimism. It’s very hard waiting to see what happens next, because this isn’t an all-at-once disaster. With an earthquake, once the aftershocks had died down, you can walk around and start making plans – looking for lost loved ones, trying to clean up the debris, finding everyone food and shelter, and so forth. With this, we know that it’s happened, we know that it will be bad, but we don’t know how bad yet and that makes the waiting harder.

      I do sincerely hope the damage isn’t as bad as some of the projections are, but it’s very hard to tell.

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