Throwback Thursday is a piece I wrote at the end of January 2016. Back then I was extremely jaded about the political situation in Britain and beginning to feel the same about the rest of the world.
I thought that Trump’s terrible ‘jokes’ – like his vile Bernie Sanders in a gas chamber retweet – would be his undoing. I thought Brexit would be laughed out of town. Gay marriage had just been made legal in the states. It was feeling hopeful.
And Trump felt like a joke. Incomprehensible really. Ben Carson was clearly delusional and Ted Cruz looked uncannily like Count Von Count from Sesame Street. The entire situation seemed amusing…until that tweet.
That tweet made me incandescent with rage. I had to write about ‘big politics’ – by which I mean a world view. Not just causes or single issues. I had to be more ambitious and I found it quite intimidating. I don’t consider myself a very ‘serious’ kind of person. In fact I think I’m kind of lightweight. Middlebrow on a good day.
It turned out that I wasn’t that bad at it – and the early imbecility of the US election helped me to warm up. In that respect I should thank Trump. But I won’t. Ever. That one tweet damned him to hell for me.
Anyway, here goes…oh, I have left the one bit of levity for you at the end. Enjoy! And never tell me that I look like Sarah Palin. Never.
“Enough. I never talk about about politics but enough is enough.
I hate the term ‘leader of the free world’. In fact, I’m not going to capitalise it – because it’s not actually a job title. It’s self indulgent political grandstanding. It’s also ridiculous. I vote for my own leader, thank you. Since I can’t vote for the ‘leader of the free world’, it’s moot and irrelevant. But, please, if you do believe in it (*rolls eyes*), have a think about who the rest of the free world wants to lead it.
Consider the women who make up more than 60% of democratically elected politicians in Rwanda. Consider Turkey – a country with a predominantly Muslim population and an economy that has, so far, held out against the global downtown.Consider your neighbours to the north – they are quietly busy doing lots of things better than the rest of us are.
Those are three examples. They’re the overlooked people. They’re doing things well. They’re doing some things very well. They’re the people who the ‘leader of the free world’ might want to talk to one day. Well, really, has to talk to. We all do – because we’re living in the same ‘free’ world.
You know why I never talk about politics? It’s simple – I think the current system is rubbish. I hate the politicians – I’m not partisan. I have a vote and I always use it but last year I spoiled my ballot paper and I am unapologetic. The parties are beneath me. They are beneath you. They do not merit my respect and they do not merit anything as precious as my vote. They’re (mainly) ridiculous boys who trade in slights and innuendo. They make hay by insulting shoes and wives’ hairstyles.
All the while the ones who have power compromise themselves and poison their principles for the sake of ‘the bigger picture’. Stop! Stand for something. Anything! Seriously – find some integrity. Stop appealing to the lowest common denominator. Invite the cynical, jaded people to the table. We’re only like this because we’ve had all our hopes pulled out from under our feet.
Look at Trump and stand up. Don’t sigh. You’re better than that. I would say march but that’s got overtones that are sinister all over again – especially since he reposted this doozie on Twitter… Really? I mean, really? How is this not raising red flags everywhere?
We are the only people who can clean up politics, but we’re tired. We’re struggling under debt – because ‘experts’ don’t have ethics; worrying about schools – because teachers get no support; digging out things to donate to refugees – who have had to leave their homes – because our leaders decided to arm bellicose quasi-dictators. Lots of stuff to do. Lots of stuff to think about. Lots of solutions we’re forced to find to solve our own problems.
Here’s the thing…we can all budget – because we have to. We can all manage the health and wellbeing of our family members – because we have to. We can all navigate complex tax forms – because we have to. We’re all rubbing up against bureaucracy every single day. We all have access to a library (don’t be a smartarse – the one by you may have been the victim of ‘budget cuts’, but there is another). We’re all more capable than we think. Maybe we should learn from these idiots – that we can do the job at least as well as most of them.
If we get the government that we deserve, then posting on Facebook and Twitter is rendering us powerless while it works for these idiots. I don’t exactly understand how that works (despite being a digital marketing consultant) but I think perhaps it’s something like this – we work for a living and use our spare time to make political statements on a small scale. They swan around paying people to put the most inflammatory soundbites – with the scantest of details – on social media constantly.
Basically, they’re teenagers. Teenagers make a lot of noise and – probably more often than we like to admit – successfully use pester power to achieve their ends. Well, I’m standing up and saying ‘I do not want amoral, integrity challenged jocks and / or mean girls in charge of anything more important than a cheerleading troupe’.
I hope, when I put it like that, other people will get on board.
Now here’s something fun. Thank God.”.