I have spent the day pondering the outcome of the election in the US. Unlike many people, I do not wish to vilify Donald Trump or his supporters. A democratic process was followed and whether the outcome was something I or the majority of my friends personally agree with is neither here nor there, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
Like many people in the UK and outside of the US, I of course have questions – how was someone with no political history, able to run for and be elected to one of the most powerful political positions in the world? Is it simply a case in the US that money buys power? A frightening thought. The other thing that has struck me about this, and the EU referendum in the UK is how we have moved from a genuine political debate, allowing both sides to declare policies and evidence based discussion, to one that has employed scare tactics, lies and opposition humiliation. I have no doubt that in both recent elections, there were academics and business analysts who supported the winning sides but moreover, it seemed to be the individuals made up of the general populous who were more susceptible to this “misinformation” tactic.
I am still unsure whether Brexit is a huge mistake or the potential a real opportunity for Britain. I voted Remain, but only because there was little tangible information that would allow me to accurately understand both sides of the debate and make an informed decision that I was comfortable with. Likewise for the American election. Over in the UK, like so many, I followed the media reportage of the candidates and I struggled to hear anything other than the despicable rhetoric from both sides (yes, Clinton AND Trump), with regard to the personal attacks on each other, and particular with Trump, his wild claims, bizarre anti-environmental ideas and seemingly xenophobic policies.
The future is unclear. But I’m not going to panic and buy into the doom and gloom being predicted. Life is too short, there is always hope and love. May it shine through and may we all learn for the future.