Donald Trump is President

Unless you’re living under a rock, chances are that you’ve heard the news that Donald Trump has somehow won the 2016 US election and is going to be the next President. Whatever your political slant (personally, I wasn’t a fan of Hilary Clinton, but wouldn’t have voted for Mr Trump either), the reality is that this man is going to be getting a lot more power and influence in January 2017. I’m not normally one to jump straight in with an opinion, which is why I’ve waiting a day before making a comment on this latest global news story.

For the sake of my own sanity, I won’t bother rehashing all the terrible stories from the election cycle; truth be told, I think it was an absolute farce of an election and wish the world would stop putting overly condescending or utterly incompetent candidates forward for high office. As my grandmother often likes to remind me, life isn’t a dress rehearsal, and we should stop acting like it.

In the last 24 hours, I’ve seen people breaking down in tears at the thought of a Trump Presidency, I’ve listened to friends sneer at those that voted for him and I’ve listened to more than a handful of tasteless remarks from people who I thought knew better. There is a growing disconnect within society across a whole range of religions, races, income levels and social tastes. The ability of people to comprehend people ‘other’ than them seems to have collapsed.

The vote here in the UK to leave Europe, the election (and subsequent re-election) of Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Opposition, Donald Trump’s successful campaign – they’re all symptomatic of a growing anger and disconnect in an increasingly heartless and intellectually snobbish society. On one side, we have wealthy, traditionally educated citizens whose lifestyles would have seemed utterly alien just a few generations ago. On the other, we have a stagnant ‘underclass’ (for want of a better word), who are being pushed further and further behind in society, told what to think and ridiculed for holding values which the first group see as ‘enlightened’.

I count myself fortunate to have a good education; to have good friends, and good teachers. I count myself fortunate to be in good health, in a warm home and with food to eat. But I also recognise that not everyone is that fortunate, and that rather than sneering at those without, believe it to be my duty to help them. I find it incredibly distasteful that a growingly vocal cohort of my peers find it acceptable to heap scorn on those who don’t hold the same views as them; that think it acceptable to belittle, and sneer and chastise anyone that might dare to differ in their opinions.

No matter what values you hold, no matter what your politics, no matter where you come from or what has happened to you, BE KIND. I won’t pretend that I manage to live up to that hope every day, but above every other value I hold, it is kindness which I hold most dear. I hope that most of you reading this blog will feel the same way; that you will remember your humanity first and all other labels second.

I read an article this morning encouraging all Democrats to revolt against a Trump Presidency. To rise and obstruct his politics in every way possible. To return tenfold the pain which they assume he will cause to others. To fight, tooth and nail until he and all his supporters are cast out and utterly broken.

Whether Liberal or Conservative, British, American or from elsewhere, just take a moment to consider what values you believe you hold, and how you believe the world should be. Do you not think there is enough anger and pain in the world? Do you think your primary purpose on this planet is to spread more?

I won’t pretend to know what a Trump Presidency holds for America, or the rest of the world; I’m not arrogant enough to assume I can predict the future. Likewise, I don’t know for sure what effect Brexit will have on the UK or Europe. All I do know is that as long as I’m breathing, I’ll try to find a way to make things work as best I can; to look after people with less; learn from those with more and do the best I can to encourage those around me to do the same.

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