The mood yesterday felt a bit like America's dog died.
There was a lot of social media depression and rage, although if I'm honest with you I don't really get why people felt the need. It's social media; it's a tool for dissemination of ideas but rarely does it do well in an appeal to emotions. Maybe I'm cynical, but I felt little empathy for most of those outbursts. There appears to be some activism forming around it, which I'd encourage but we'll see where it goes. For the most part it's people doing what they always do on Facebook; let people know that they have opinions. Good for you, you should, but as I've said, those emotions are indicators. There is a lot more going on.
The biggest impact seemed to be on those who thought that they were already making a difference. People who thought there was no way an angry clown would win. People who worked in Planned Parenthood, in non profits. People who found religion to be archaic, who believed in the new healthcare system. Minorities, women, and the white knights were all howls, and maybe they should be, but I think in our shock we're missing the point.
This happened because for a very large population, this was wanted.
Don't deny that sentence. Don't suggest that it's the fault of people who voted for third parties or didn't vote at all. There is a huge part of the country that so far as we knew had been sleeping. We thought they were disinterested. Maybe in our cynicism we thought they were too uneducated or small minded to bother. We could have been too scared to reach out to them, too disgusted by the ideology to attempt to speak to it. Maybe we missed the point of the ideology; there's a population where Trump was their lesser of two evils. You don't have to be a bigot to be afraid of surveillance and economic collapse. For others, their world is small and doesn't extend far beyond their day to day and their family, and they wanted to be taken care of, or maybe left alone. There's no concept of the environment or the fact that they're acting with serious detriment to women and minorities; it's too abstract.
I don't mean that to be condescending in the slightest, by the way. This kind of goes back to the argument I made for and against vegans; for some people, you're arguing that the very way that they raised their families and tried to survive was wrong, because it hurt other people. Of course they're going to resent you for that; they're not, to their honest belief, hurting anything, they're keeping to themselves. They were painted by a liberally controlled media to be bumpkins and monsters. These people were ignored or dismissed for the exact inverse that brought them out to vote. They were spoken to, and appealed to in the way that they both believed and understood.
Anger and Grief are very powerful, but so far as monsters go, their vision is very poor, they rely on something else to give them direction. In this case, they were a body that was searching for a head.
We know through intellect, but we understand through our emotions. That's the joke we didn't take as a truth. Liberal America dismissed Trump as ridiculous, and subsequently ridiculed him. We ridiculed the people who said, "He says what he thinks," and pointed out how alarming that people could say that with support and listen to him talk about sexual assault. We joked but we weren't listening, we didn't understand the very thing we were critiquing. We were so confident in what we knew to be right that we didn't understand the opposition, which is effectively not understanding why you'd be right in the first place. These legs have been hollow the whole time.
In the rage a lot of you seem to be experiencing, you're doing the same thing. You're not listening to the people that elected him. You don't want to hear them, and now they've got the talking stick. Three of them, really. I'm interested to see where these protests go. I'll be honest with you, I have no faith in most of these attempts. For a lot of people, this was about the idea of something in which to have faith, religious or not.
I see how upset you are, but understanding why you're upset is more useful and offers a much greater sense of direction and purpose. Are you upset because an outspoken bigot gained power? What does that mean to you? More importantly, why does that sentence bother you? The obvious answer is because an outspoken bigot gained power, but you need to give that obvious answer meaning and context. What does it mean for that man to be in power, that the ideas which we find important are ostensibly a non-issue or wrong to other people? What does it mean about what you were doing before, the effect they had and how things have to change now? Being able to explain that opinion helps you with the harder part: finding the people who disagree with you and learning why.
Rage without target isn't useful. Emotion without critical thought isn't useful. For those of you who are afraid or in arms, don't forget the most useful thing you can do is question. Question your beliefs and theirs. Doubt dismantles dogma. If this is your system and it didn't work, you can't progress until you have some idea why. We have a new game to play, the consequences are incomprehensibly large.
It will be interesting to me to see how these shifts unfold. I wonder what mattered more to people, were they more interested in economic reform or were they more concerned about the social issues? We can't really know until it starts unpackaging. For now I am skeptical of the rhetoric, no one is listening that doesn't already agree with you and it won't do you any good until you figure out why. Protesting the results isn't going to change anyone's mind.
I wish I weren't so cynical, and I don't mean to make statements that sound like taking action isn't a good idea. You should be aware, you should be awake in your life and you shouldn't succumb to complacency. There is a difference between being reactive and proactive, and I am very unconvinced that most of what's going on isn't the former. My concern is we will do the same thing that breeds apathy to begin with; we will explode with ire and beat our fists into walls. We will accomplish nothing and we will be exhausted. We will have learned nothing because we weren't listening to anyone outside of our opinion. We're stuck in an echo chamber. It's the exact ignorance we pinned on other people.
I genuinely don't know what I think, I'm just inclined, for now, to wait, and more than anything, I will be listening.
Looking at how groups work as a whole rather than as individuals. Or something like that.