You may notice I have been quite quiet on the blogging front in the past few months. Why? Because the news is thoroughly depressing, for me at least. Why would you want to read the news when more war is happening, more horrible things are being said by different people, more chaos… What is the point of even having my voice out there if it can’t do anything to help the ocean of human suffering that’s already out there?
A few weeks ago, when our good friend Donald Trump instituted his travel ban I nearly blew my top. I like to think of myself as a not-hateful person who is pretty chill with everyone to a certain degree. If you disagree with me on something, to be honest I won’t really mind if your views differ from mine as long as you’re a good person. I know it’s jargon and something that every flipping person in the world says ALL THE TIME:
“We should respect all people’s beliefs! *three days later* ”
But I’ll be honest, most people don’t have control over government policy so if you disagree with me over the NHS or something I don’t really mind that much.
These last few months I really felt that the rubber was hitting the road. We have squabbled, we have had our petty little arguments, people everywhere have been belittled by someone or other. Liberals (people of a left-leaning perspective, aka Guardian readers) seem to have been in a state of shocked disbelief about the state of the world. I remember thinking that Britain could never possibly vote for Brexit. I remember thinking that Trump could never possibly get elected. Well here we are and the liberal establishment has no idea what to do.
But now the rubber hits the road. These things are actually happening. Now your money has to go where your mouth is. No one can sit back and hope everything just works out.
The important thing though, is never slip into hate. I find it increasingly difficult not to just spew venom and people saying things I disagree with. But no one is evil. Most people have good and honest intentions. Once you get into the territory of smear campaigns you become no better than a certain orange person I shan’t name.
Many of my close friends are Trump supporters. They are not stupid, they are not ignorant or hateful people. Yet I know so many people who think they are. A friend of mine went to an anti-trump rally in central London a few weeks ago and told me that many of the posters were personally attacking trump rather than his travel ban. Once we start to hate certain individuals or vague ideas of what they represent rather than what they actually do then we are becoming needlessly bitter and hateful. If you have something to be angry about, then be specific.
I have no personal vendetta against any Brexiters I know or even for the idea of Brexit itself. In all honesty I don’t know enough to have authority on the situation and I doubt anyone does really. However I do have a problem with Nigel Farage. I would be inclined to spew venom on his personality (I’m really holding myself back here) but I should not personally hate anyone. I strongly dislike his claim that the 350 million pounds that we pay to the EU every year could be rerouted into the NHS because he disowned it after the vote. So, basically, he lied. A yearning in our country to fix the wounded master piece that is the NHS was exploited by this man. People’s votes were influenced by a lie.
Certain words that I am too polite to say come to mind. However, railing at Farage because he looks like a racist frog will solve nothing. Just because I really really don’t like him as a person, it probably doesn’t mean anything will happen. If anything it’ll make it worse as I don’t be the better person.
I saw a video of our dear friend Piers Morgan who said that Trump’s Travel Ban was not a muslim ban. Personally I disagree with him and I will say this, I do not like him as a person. However I do think that the way he was treated by comedian Jim Jefferies did not help the debate.
“F–k off! Oh f–k off, it’s a f–king Muslim ban,” Jefferies exclaimed. “He said there would be a Muslim ban, there’s a Muslim ban…. This is what you do, Piers, you say, ‘He hasn’t done this, he hasn’t done that, he’s not going to do that.’ Give him a f–king chance, mate! Hitler didn’t kill the Jews on the first day; he worked up to it.”
Fair enough. Tensions were high. Morgan lends himself to being…frustrating. However Jefferies fitted directly into Morgan’s argument. He was shouting expletives, insulting him, and making Nazi comparisons. Fortunately for Jefferies he was in a crowd of like minded people but how would that argument stand up to a wider audience? Does it actually give help to refugees? Does it actually solve any problems? No. It widens the gap.
Teasing Trump for his small hands and his orange tan will do very little. I dare say accusing him of sexism will do very little either. Bless you Meryl Streep but your speech at the Golden Globes is a textbook example of someone that can be transformed into the leftie-liberal lovies that we all seem to have so much now. Good for you, you really tore into the president there, you really destroyed him. Woohoo.
The point is that our camp is no longer our facebook bubble or our place to vent about things that don’t really affect us. Things will affect you and those around you. Study up on the reasons why you believe things. Actually look at the economics behind leaving the EU, understand why people hold certain views, and understand that the members of the other camp are not all idiots.
Focus on real issues. The refugee crisis and Trump’s attempt at the Travel Ban are examples of real world things. The NHS crisis is about people’s lives. It’s got nothing to do with Trump’s small hands or Theresa May looking like Margaret Thatcher.
Once disagreement turns into animosity and once that turns into hate, rational argument is useless. Don’t be the petty one.