So Trump lost.
I went for a walk. The sun is shining down on the UK. Today is midway between solstice and equinox. It’s a powerful time for change. I caught up with Minnie. And Trump lost.
It’s not all suddenly going to be flowers and dancing piggies. There’s still an old rich white dude in charge of America. The UK is still rudderless, with lost children spinning the wheel aimlessly anywhere but towards Europe. But the notional leader of the free world has changed. The health of the head affects the health of the body. He seems like he might have a kindness about him that has been completely absent, this Biden. Flawed deeply, I’m sure. Part of the embedded machine, of course. But maybe he’s able to see beyond himself. Maybe.
“The way I think – it’s POPULAR,” shouts a young man on a video I watched taken on London underground as he enjoys making nasty and thoughtless utterances regarding people who don’t look much like him. “It’s POPULAR!” And he’s right. Shit thinking has been made ok because the big cheese is shit at thinking and it trickles down.
We made Trump. The Apprentice made him. And the habit that people with critical thinking have of forgetting that critical thinking is a hard won skill – that habit compounded his support. Anyone that has ever rolled their eyes at somebody being “stupid” has helped build the wall. Anyone who has dismissed somebody who connects “A” to “B” and makes “X”. Anyone that has ever described simplistic thinking as “shit thinking”, like I just did, has helped entrench fearful people who have found a pattern and just haven’t learnt the rigour yet to check themselves for confirmation bias or inherited prejudice.
Trump was the “stupid” vote. The “stupid” validation. “I get called stupid for saying the same things Trump says, and he’s president. Who’s stupid now?”
There’ll be a backlash. It wouldn’t surprise me if Trump ran again in 4 years too if he doesn’t get his civil war and he hasn’t had the wrong kind of stroke on the golf course. Biden is going to have to pick up a lot of broken pieces, and he’ll be walking into a world brought to its knees by Covid, and a White House in which Trump is probably already burning as much shit as he can, cutting the heads off roses, and smearing misspelled insults on the walls in poo. He’s got his work cut out, Biden. It isn’t going to be easy following that.
It’s not going to be easy for any of us, to try to mend. Strength within kindness. People in pain lash out. This is still all too difficult and there are going to be lots and lots of nasty words spoken and nasty deeds done. Days like this help – when the world is unseasonably warm and I can walk with my best friend down a riverbank in the sun, and see The Tate, closed but still shining for an attempt at Diwali in this bastard of an environment.