There is a dubious mindset that winning is all, to the victor come all the spoils, that it doesn’t matter how you win so long as you do and all the world loves a winner. That way lies madness. A certain billionaire has just found to his cost that while money can buy prestige and position and incitement to hatred can win votes it can only bring a Pyrrhic victory. One billionaire is much the same as another in my book and you can’t force people to love and respect you in this life but I have to confess to feeling just a little bit sorry for this one. I’m sure it wasn’t what he was promised by his backers nor did he expect such a huge reaction against his victory. Here is a man who wants to be adored by millions and yet the streets are empty for his biggest ever moment and full of pussy power demonstrators the day after.

I am also saddened by the way some people I thought I knew have embraced a philosophy of hating those who disagree. Of course those people are not presently marching in protest. I don’t know if they would be marching had the outcome been different and I don’t think they will ever understand why millions are. To call everyone who disagrees with his method of winning or with the madness of hatred a “loser” or a “dangerous leftist” and maintain that you despise “leftists” loses sight of the fact that many of these people are not adherents of the left wing at all. They may be disillusioned conservatives, some are even Republicans; they may be Democrats who feel that what amounts to an act of treason robbed their own candidate of victory; finally, they might even be centrists appalled by unholy alliances of religion and politics on both sides.

That’s right, many of them are centrists like me; conservatives with a little “c”, liberals with a small “l”. In my country the word liberal is not yet an insult although I will happily wear the insult “Libtard” as a badge of honour because it means I reject the politics of hatred and division. We have a fine liberal tradition in Britain dating back centuries and we are justifiably proud of it. We are also proud that we have stood up to hatred and racism in the past – as the underdogs and on our own for several years I might add – and we don’t want to see the sacrifices of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents forgotten. Many of them suffered or even died to maintain Europe’s freedom from a Third Reich that thrived on hatred. We honour them for it. That does not make us “leftists” or “losers”.

I think there are so many emotionally charged issues that any incumbent lawmaker needs to address and for any one political party to lay claim to personal moral viewpoints is simply WRONG. It doesn’t happen here. Maybe it would if we were a nation of proselytising evangelicals, but we are not. We respect freedom; we do not take arms up against people whose morals we might find lacking or whose religion is different from ours. We do not take away choice from desperate women – whatever our personal views – because we know the alternative to choice is something far worse for society; criminal behaviour, neglect, death and people in abject poverty. There are a lot of things wrong in this world, but they will not be changed by screaming abuse or sanctioning violence and exclusion of whole groups of people different from ourselves in some way.

I could go on and on but I won’t because it saddens me too much to see people sinking to such depths of anger. All I ask is that we just pause for a minute and think about the refugee crisis and terrorism. Where does the money come from for terrorists? Where do the arms come from that they buy with this money? Who suffers most in any war? Who profits most from war and division? Why are there so many refugees? Why are civilians consistently being bombed? Who stirred up a hornet’s nest by declaring a war on terrorism in the first place? What is that one word that is at the root of the West’s obsession with the Middle East? Can we actually do without it? If not, why not?

I want to finish by directing you to an article written April 29th 2013 by Janice Harper Ph.D. in Psychology Today:

The Fertility and Futility of Hatred – When hatred fills our hearts, it grows, but to what end?

Please read it, whichever side of the divide you stand on. It might persuade you to drop that hot stone before it burns your hand badly…

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The election of a new President shouldn’t be divisive nor does it normally throw the whole world into a state of panic. There is something terrible going on. Comments from friends on Facebook have me convinced that if we aren’t exactly going to Hell in a hand basket there must be something hallucinogenic in the water at the very least.

From his position as President Elect Donald Trump must be wondering why everyone except the party faithful is against him. Perhaps he thought of all those blockbuster movies in which deep voiced heroes say “Mr President” and he is offered universal love and acclaim – except for a few terrorists who always come to a sticky end. Not so, he is compared to the worst dictator of all time, a position not corrected by his appointment of a white supremacist to his cabinet.

Meanwhile the world inside and outside the USA is divided it seems into two camps who will never be reconciled. Those two camps being those who fear the democratic process itself must have been undermined and those who believe the entire world except Breitbart and Wikileaks (ironically enough) is on the side of communism. I find myself increasingly confused at this attitude. Sensible older people who I had previously regarded as rational are screaming conspiracy at every turn. Hillary Clinton, an experienced politician and public servant who is loved and highly respected on this side of the pond, is continually berated as a criminal at best and a satanist at worst.

The language of the pro-Trump lobby gets more and more hysterical by the day, there is a lot of foul language from people wrapping themselves up in the flag or, even more more bizarrely, the altar cloth. This is puzzling to British Christians I know who don’t think Trump is that nice a guy and that somehow this ruthless businessman, perhaps by virtue of his appearance on reality television and the popularity of the billionaire romance genre, has become almost a martyr in their eyes. Shrieks of “lock her up” grow again by the day as Jill Stein tries to unravel the mess created by rumour and an apparently lax electoral system. Anything about Trump that is not good is denounced as communist propaganda when, bizarrely, the communists helped him get elected. He is almost holy in his supporters’ eyes and can do no wrong it seems.

Personally I find this all very confusing and ultimately frightening. I like Americans, I have many American friends of all political persuasions, I have always thought of it as the country of the free but now it seems some of them want the clock turned back – and turned back all the way past Franklin D. Roosevelt I fear. What are we to do as the deluded children of Europe who can’t forget the lessons of the past? The only answer is to wait and see. If the recounts do show electoral fraud, the Trumpers and Trumpettes will never accept that is actually true. If on the other hand they don’t it should give him legitimacy as President but I don’t see the Republicans tolerating him for long unless he reins it in and starts to play by the rules.

There is one thing certain, we simply can’t go back to the 1930s. The jobs in industries that are not environmentally friendly either no longer exist or will poison the world for generations to come, perhaps cause our extinction. As one elected popularist found in the 1930s, millions of new jobs can be created – but only in the army… All I can do is pray that the desire for peace wins in the end and, if it doesn’t , just “Duck and Cover”.

Who are the silent majority? The clue is that they are not all vocal and they are not all voters. They do not campaign or even vote for any particular candidate although some of them do protest the outcome of elections. I have to declare an interest in this as I have been a parliamentary candidate in the past and attempts to win the silent non-voting majority are often met with wails of:

“Politicians are all the same.”
“You’re all in it for yourselves.”
“It doesn’t matter who gets in, nobody cares about us.”

All of these moans are actually self fulfilling prophecies of course. If those who do not vote will not vote, how can they change a thing? Those who win elections usually jump on the running board of the most politically aware, financially able and electoral favourite political party. They are often, but not always, carpet baggers. Who will win? Let’s join that group. Do I believe in their policies? No, but once in I can tweak them a bit. (The one thing that they all share is, however much flak they might get from non-voters, they have earned the right to complain when things go wrong).

So, what we usually end up with at election time is a kind of charade where potential candidates try to hitch a ride on the nearest swimming shark, those who have most to lose attach themselves to the alpha male, and yes, silent non-voting majority, you’re right, nobody cares about you because you fail to exercise the most basic democratic right that your ancestors shed blood to win for you. So if for you politics appears to be some sort of game show played out on enormously expensive sets by rich people ask yourselves who is to blame. Is it the system, or the people who fail to use it?

Now the dust is beginning to settle after the most vicious US election campaign I think I have ever witnessed, I wanted to put a few words to paper to lay this particular ghost. You’re right, I am British so Mr Trump is not my President and Mrs Clinton would not have been my President either but the world has watched in horror as this whole Greek tragedy unveiled before our eyes and now in the shadow of Hillary’s dignified concession speech (in which she wore purple to express unity) we have hoards of frightened people protesting against the winner. Why on earth should that be so? The reason is fear.

Here we see parallels of the 1930s where a group of ordinary people felt marginalised and chose to ignore the rights of minorities in casting their vote for a strong alpha male who they thought would act in their best interest. It is better to have the alpha male on your side than to be against him, right? (That assumes that the alpha male is on anyone’s side other than his own of course). Many people also voted for him out of disillusionment. He was the non-politician (rubbish, anyone in big business is a politician). I have friends who wanted to vote Democrat for Bernie and chose to punish Hillary Clinton by voting for Trump. They believed the toxic drip feed from Breitbart and Wikileaks – pseudo-news networks with an agenda – and now they are, some of them, regretting that protest vote. Now they have sent their message to the Democrats, depriving Bernie as well as Hillary of any future part in US politics. It is called cutting your nose off to spite your face and believing the likes of Julian Assange? Incredible!

Time will only tell if Mr Trump is the bogeyman so many people believe him to be or just a privileged man who went along for the ride and deprived America of something truly historic, its first woman President. My investment in this? I live in a part of Lincolnshire that is rich in aviation traditions. I live within one mile of an active air base surrounded by several others. An air blast over Lincoln Cathedral is something I wouldn’t even have time to think about – one puff of smoke and everything I know and love will be gone. On election night when it became apparent Hillary was not doing well, I lay in bed shaking at the thought of this bumptious man set loose with nuclear codes and a macho foreign policy agenda. I can now only pray that my fears are not grounded.

Spare a thought for those in minorities who do feel threatened; for immigrants, both legal and otherwise, who fear deportation, for the LGBT community who now feel under threat as never before, for women who have been raped or otherwise harmed by sexual predators; spare a thought for LGBT Christians who squirm under that gloated “God, Faith and Country” rhetoric that the victors spout. This President is not godly, nor is persecution for belief, gender, race or sexual orientation. It is not what Jesus Christ stood for and these statements that claim God for a hateful political agenda always fill me with absolute disgust.

Our horizons are diminished by the election of hateful politicians, but we are responsible for their election – by voting, not voting, tactical voting, protest voting – the decisions are made democratically and the consequences are borne by everyone. To quote British Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron:

“We cannot allow hateful politicians to keep on winning” and “Liberal values of moderation, freedom, respect for the rule of law, openness and concern for one another can no longer be taken for granted. Never in my lifetime have those liberal values been so under threat, and never have they been more relevant and necessary.”

Only time will tell but civil disorder in the streets of the USA will not change a thing. Let’s be clear, the only way to change anything is at the ballot box and it is time to stop voting against people and start voting for policies.