Dear America: Why I Won't Unfriend You
Right now it must feel like the entire world is either yelling or laughing at you… Or some weird combination of both. It’s hard, and I’m sorry if this was not the outcome you had hoped when you voted in your election. Equally, if you did vote for Trump and are celebrating, I’m not here to judge you for that either, in your case democracy feels tremendous. It’s huge. You won. However, if your vote for Trump was due to racist or misogynistic reasons or because you thought it would be funny. The nicest thing I can say to you is that I hope you never have to feel the same marginalisation that many citizens of your country have felt, do feel and will probably have to endure through a Trump Presidency. There is nothing funny I can add to that because there just literally isn’t anything funny about keeping generations of your own people down.
I’m not here to cast stones though, as these countries that laugh at you could not live in bigger glass houses. They too endured major political and social f*&k ups, some this year, some in their own last elections or the elections before. A vote in favour of BREXIT seemed inconceivable until it wasn’t, but alas each of these countries has had to deal or will deal with the repercussions of this democratic process.
We were not laughing when our own countries voted in Abbott, Harper or Cameron. Hillary voters, if this is any consolation Tony Abbott was the Prime Minister of Australia from 2013-2015, he had many ideologies that align with Trump's views including somewhat racist foreign policies, misogynistic gaffes that we’re passed off as something lighter (he called his a “daggy dad moment”) and the occasional creepy moment with his daughters (stop being weird!). All was not lost though, as you can see his reign was short lived, even though at the time it felt like an eternity, and his party kicked him out of his leadership position quick-smart. While I understand the Republican party cannot do the same, Trump does have some current litigation against him, perhaps this may be your silver lining or the final nail in Trump's coffin? Either way, at the heart of this, many people who are registered voters were disheartened with this election, raging against the political machine giving them the choice of “the lesser of two evils”… Can’t there be a better way? Honestly, I don’t know, I do know that Australian Politics has been put through the ringer ever since, with the Country losing faith in their own two major parties. If anything that major issue has united Australians in that one small way. People are tired, in your country, in ours and in many others- in some way it feels like this election has brought up the painful memories of the past like accidentally sharing the same shitty, cheating boyfriend.
Now what I’m suggesting here is that we keep our support open, I will listen to your cries, revel in your success and agree that your Presidential Freshman can be a real- I know your country doesn’t like it when we drop the c-bomb but yeah you get the picture- sometimes. I am on your side because we are friends and friends don’t leave each other just because it gets hard sometimes. Friends will hear you out even if they don’t agree with what you’ve done, but they’ll also let you know how your actions have made them feel. If you’re a friend of mine you’ll also know that I love a friend who can challenge my own perceptions because the human experience is always different, and your world is influenced for the better when we broaden our perspectives. I hate seeing on my Facebook childish responses like “unfriend me if you think blah or don’t agree with blah” because when you narrow your own human experience to that of people who are exact replicas of you, you are not living. ‘Friend’ them! ‘friend’ me if you wish, ‘friend’ the Republican who actually believes that you can have a late abortion at nine months (then perhaps let them know that’s closer to adoption than abortion), ‘friend’ the kale loving Liberal (and educate them in real flavours of food) and friend the Greenie tweeting their advocacy for #NODAPL from the comfort of their couch (great work SJW’s!).
We are meant to be different, to have diverse experiences, to share those with others… That’s how empathy for others grow. So, America, we won’t turn our backs on you, so please don’t turn your backs on each other. Get to know those who think differently to you, you may be surprised that some of them may be people who you already love and respect. Grow from that experience and then continue to hold your Government accountable. You have made your voice loud and clear in asking for more, so continue to do so. You have officially changed the way your political parties do business from here on in. Do not stop until you finally get the Government you feel you deserve and build a country that can do better for all its people… and if you happen to royally f@$k up as we all do sometimes, please ask for help!
Much love, Many other countries and people who have made mistakes but are just trying to do our best.