Hate Or Peace…
It’s two days until my birthday but I’m not feeling excited or happy. I don’t feel I can celebrate at all and Sunday is set to be a sad day for me. I can’t celebrate my birthday, not because of the election results, but what those results are doing to people, or rather what people are doing to people…
I don’t usually speak publically about politics. Especially when it’s the politics of another nation. But what happened this week with the American elections echos the same feelings that came from the Brexit vote here in the UK. Feelings of anger and hatred for the result and people putting others down for voting what they believe in. Regardless of which side won .Hate and anger are never a solution…They just lead to more pain.
When the UK voted with a slim majority for Brexit, for Britain to leave the EU, it left me both shocked and sad. Was I happy with the decision made? No. I felt it bred more fear and hate against Eastern European immigrants, many of them my family. But when the Brexit vote happened I could have chosen to hate…to hate those that had voted Leave. I could have been angry at them, hate them, hurled insults at them; but I didn’t. I didn’t because hate wouldn’t solve anything. Me hating someone wouldn’t change their mind. In order to change someone’s mind you have to understand why someone does what they do, why someone votes the way they do. You can’t do that with hate.
The minute Donald Trump won the election to be the next president of the US I saw a surge in hate. I’ve purposefully lurked on social media for the last two days because I couldn’t deal with so much anger and hatred that people throw at each other. While many people commented on how sad and mournful the days are now that Trump will be president, others took to throwing direct insults with many, some my facebook friends, writing ‘Dear Trump Supporter’ letters which hurl not only anger but insults (some subtle some not) at those that voted for him.
Now I’m no Trump supporter. I disagree, for example, with the way he’s gone about building his golf course in Scotland, the things he’s called some of the local residents and the way he’s treated them is vile. But do I believe the man is someone to be hated?…No. While I do have my personal opinions on such matters (I enjoy debating politics until I’m blue in the face), I won’t lean either way because I have no right to state what is right or wrong in the politics of a country I’ve never lived in. Likewise when Brexit happened in this country I had no right to yell insults and hate at the people who voted Leave because I haven’t lived their lives and I know that there must be a reason behind someone’s vote.
The problem with Trump winning, as with Brexit, is that both were won by majority votes. And of all those that voted, many are well educated, intelligent people, and in the case of America, many of the voters were also women. There must have been a reason for their vote and hating and insulting those that did will not make things better. It won’t change their minds. So instead of hating maybe everyone should start asking and listening to why people voted the way they did.
There are many reasons for a person’s vote. Sometimes they may be valid points and sometimes they may not. Perhaps sometimes people like a candidate or maybe it’s a vote against something too. Those who voted for Clinton and now throw insults at Trump supporters seem to think it was because those people wanted Trump. But maybe it was an anti-Clinton vote? I’ve heard of many people stating they’d have happily voted for a different democrat candidate. But even if they had wanted Trump and Clinton had won…Would it be alright for them to hurl insults and hate towards Clinton voters?
Perhaps Trump won because the Clinton campaign wasn’t strong enough? How many regular people who now complain went out there pre-election and campaigned for Clinton? Sometimes a poor campaign can swing voters as has been suggested with Brexit. The Leave campaign was strong and had a lot of support, leafleting, stalls set up in my area alone. Where was the Remain campaign when this happened? I never saw a leaflet (bar the standard government one) or a stall or a person spouting a pro-Remain vote. Perhaps that’s why most people where I live voted for Leave.
When Brexit won in the UK it was a shock. But has anything significant happened yet? Of course anger and hatred on both sides has bred but politically little has happened yet. The same can be said of the US election. Even with Trump as president, how many of his outlandish ideas will he actually be able to carry out? Many politicians do a good job of talking, pledging all sorts of promises but how many are actually fulfilled versus those that are not? (The UK Liberal Democrats pledge on student fees comes to mind!).
It’s not my place to judge on whether the right or wrong person won the election. People have a right to believe what they believe. There will always be those on both sides feeling hurt, betrayal and anger towards the results of any vote. And believe me, I struggle with those feelings myself when I feel that the ‘wrong’ vote wins…But is hate the answer? Is it right to hate our fellow country men and women? Is it going to solve anything by insulting others, posting nasty abusive comments and unfriending people just because of their political stance? Is it going to fix our countries which are ‘broken’ by these votes?
The only way you can truly unify a country is to listen to others. To respect other people decisions and to listen to why they made them. And that doesn’t mean listening for the sake of arguing back. It means listening to understand. Only then can you start to fix something. Only then can you work on what is broken and fix it.
Nothing good ever comes from hate. But it’s hate that is ruling the world right now. And it has to stop…For all our sakes.