Seven days until the fate of the world is decided, and I feel sick.
Latest polls show that Donald Trump is behind by a mere three points and counting. I wanted to write about Berlin and the fun things I’ve been doing, but I absolutely cannot think of anything else right now. The thought that I live in a world where such an utterly, blindingly, hair-rippingly obviously evil man is inches from being elected head of the world is absolutely terrifying me, and makes me so angry I barely know how to express it.
I know Clinton is a flawed candidate, but that shouldn’t matter in the face of Trump’s raw hate. He is on camera encouraging violence at his rallies. He encouraged fans to ‘knock the crap out of’ protesters, and promised to pay the legal fees. This man is inciting violence and spreading malice across the USA and across the world, and the fact that he has millions of people shouting his name proudly from the rooftops makes me want to shoot myself. I wish I was joking.
I’ve spent my whole life striving to see the best in everyone, and I’ve always prided myself on my ability to find empathy where others may find none. But there is no empathy to be found here. There is no compassion, no consideration for the great good in this campaign, no concern for anyone but the self. Brexit was a horrible, incendiary campaign that led to the death of Jo Cox, divided the country in two, and caused a deep wound straight down the middle of my homeland that may never heal. It breaks my heart. And what’s happening in America is so, so much worse.
All my heroes through history, everyone I admire, have they all lived and fought and died for nothing? Has humanity learned absolutely nothing throughout millennia of toil and torment and anguish and fear and loathing? From Martin Luther King Jr to Emily Davison, human beings across the centuries have lost their lives in the quest for freedom, peace and equality. How many have died fighting injustice, fighting for the dream of a better, more compassionate world? And now we have a man who neither knows nor cares about any of that. Someone who believes women are secondary; someone who is cruel to the disabled; someone who attempts to place a ban on 1.5 billion Muslims, a fifth of the entire population of the fucking world for fuck sake, for the actions of an infinitely miniscule minority. This is someone who believes complex political and social issues can be solved with a fist. It makes me cry in frustration.
Until this year, I was optimistic about humanity. I genuinely believed that, year on year, our attitudes were changing and our own personal biases were being unravelled. I could see a happier time on the horizon. That’s gone now. Even if Hillary wins, and the world goes back to normal, and Donald Trump’s foul sentiments are left to rot in the sun and slither away into the sewers, I won’t feel any better. We have seen beyond the curtain now, we have seen the true face of humanity. And it isn’t what I thought it was.
Even if Trump loses, we have seen that almost half the population of the so-called Greatest Country on Earth are willing to propel this evil man to Presidency. They want him to lead them and follow through on his despicable promises. People are so afraid, so selfish and cowardly, that they are willing to sacrifice their own freedom, comfort and stability for the promise of… what? Making America Great Again. Tax cuts for the rich. Guns for all. No Muslims. No Mexicans. Women as objects. The freedom for the President, surely the most aspirational position on the planet, to call people “losers”, to claim climate change is a myth “created by the Chinese”, and to brag about sexually assaulting women – how being famous means you can “grab them by the pussy”. I hate even typing that quote.
This is the future humanity seems to want, and I can’t believe that it could be a reality in one week. Brexit made me ashamed to be English. Donald Trump makes me ashamed to be human.
I was going to end this article there, but you know what, fuck it. Here’s the thing with violence: once you start, once you okay the use of aggression against other human beings, it never, ever stops there. If you condone ‘knocking the crap’ out of someone, you’re giving a free reign for bloodshed. If you need a little reminder of where this has got us in the past, this intolerance and fear, here, take a fucking look. I’ve fished out a few highlights for you. Don’t you dare look away, because this happened, and it can happen again.
They sure knocked the crap out of Emmett Till, didn’t they!
Go on, make America great again.