Love Doesn’t Trump Hate
This feels like betrayal on a global level, like the final nail has been put into the coffin of our species’ social and emotional evolution. For a long time there’s been the opinion that humans are inherently inclined to focus more on community than the individual, that compassion supersedes greed, and that as we moved further away from the desperation of the primordial soup we’d naturally tend towards cooperation, to a world where we focused on the overwhelming majority of traits that unify us, rather than dwell on the superficial and unimportant things that make us different.
2016 has been a nightmare. The resurrection of Pauline Hanson, the re-election of the conservatives in Spain and Brexit left us doubting these ideals, and the Trumping of the world has left me with little doubt that I’ve been wrong all along.
This is not an anomaly; this is who we are. We are scared, we are mistrustful, we are selfish and we are irrational. Put them all together and we are stupid. When we give in to our baser instincts, and act en masse, we are a species of far lower intelligence than we’ve been led to believe.
Love trumps hate they insisted, and we believed it because we wanted to. Those who adhere to the politics of compassion, on the left, I guess you could say, have been poisoned by a bullying insistence on remaining “positive” above all else. Bad vibes are demonised, so instead of being confrontational and combatting dangerous ideas we’re told that everyone is entitled to their opinion and that we have to respect it, as if challenging ideas that you disagree with is tantamount to castrating their formation.
The politics of compassion have been rendered ineffectual by our own obsession with happiness-at-all-costs. We stuck our head in the sand and selfishly tried to manifest our own utopias, and in the end the bullies ran all over us.
People will now tell you to spread the love. They’ll suggest you go about your daily business because everything will be ok. Their unasked-for advice is wrong. It’s this head-in-the-sand personal happiness bullshit that got us here, and it sure isn’t going to get us out of it. We need to be angry, we need to challenge people whose ideas we find odious, we need to yell and scream and argue with idiots. We need to tell them that we think they are repugnant and wrong and don’t worry, you’re not attacking their right to an opinion, as they will have you believe.
What happens next is unknown. If Trump sticks to his pledges, we’re staring down the barrel of a dangerous age, one where a stubborn super power is reluctantly bumped from the position of most influence by pretenders whose values are alien to us. What began with the enlightenment and was spread by the British might now be on the wane; an isolationist president is bad news for all of us who rely on a strong and outward looking United States. It’s all good-and-well to hope for the dismantling of US global influence, but have you considered what will rush in and fill the void? I assure you that it won’t be in our best interests.
While we wait to see what the next moves will be we should be playing the blame game. Those whose insecurities, xenophobia and/or overactive imaginations enabled this impossible result need to be held to task. When you see someone dismiss the horror as being “better than Killary” call them out. Tell them that despite their cries to “lock her up”, they have been no more privy to information than the rest of us. That their adherence to conspiratorial thought is not the product of some heightened knowledge and privileged information, that instead they merely bought into Team Donald’s smear campaign. They unwittingly fed their puerile preconceptions about Hillary with Trumpite propaganda, and still there is nothing incriminating in all those emails, those fucking emails. Never have we cared so much about emails.
The unfortunate irony in all this is that the United States now has a president who benefits from our ignorance, so it will be up to us to search for information. It is our prerogative to educate ourselves along the lines of reason, to continue applying the critical eye to everything. We’ve never had so much information at our fingertips, and in a perverse twist we’ve never been so ignorant. It’s up to us to change that. Things are going to get far worse before they get better, but if we can stay informed, and stay angry, we might just have a chance when the dust settles. We tried love, and it didn’t work out for us. Let’s give anger a whirl, it seemed to work in Trump’s favour.
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Ex-editor of Australia’s Surfing Life, current producer and host of 50 Fiestas, Barcelona resident and drinker of all the wine, every last drop of it.