The past couple years have been tough. Having to endure an election where particularly incendiary rhetoric and actions get documented on a seemingly daily basis takes its toll. Before the election, I could tell myself it would be over soon. I don’t have that luxury anymore.
To be clear, this isn’t a post where I critique one side or another. The events of the past few days have made it clear that what we’re doing as a country is engaging in some sort of race to the bottom, where each side tries to cajole its adherents into a state of abject fear. What I’m getting at is that the way we disseminate information nowadays, it’s geared to get reactions instead of thought. If one needs evidence of this, one only needs to look at the characterizations of an election as good versus evil.
Already the postmortem of the previous election is spreading narratives and spin for what “really happened.” M. Merveilleux over at his blog provided the link to this article at the Guardian by Gloria Steinem. That article promotes a narrative that white men reasserted themselves to elect Trump (not entirely true, since a majority of white women voted for Trump as well). What it also does is establish an enemy for others to fight.
I mention this because it’s all too common to continue making the same mistake that got us here in the first place: confusing policy positions with championing a virtuous cause. The reality of it is that people of all walks of life are scared. And they’re scared for many different reasons.
And right now, our system is doing nothing to productively allay those fears.
Despite this, we do have a choice at what happens next. Personally, I choose to examine things more closely, and to positively affect what is within my power to affect. Information, knowledge, wisdom, and preparation are critical to self-government and removing fear. These are what I must focus on, and not give in to being afraid of what might happen.
I invite others to do the same. It might not be much, but it will be the best anyone can do.