This year has been a weird year for all of us.
As I sat listening to the early results of the USA election where Trump prematurely claimed victory and shared that he doubted the democratic electoral process, I started to doubt myself.
I sat watching the coverage amazed at how close the results were.
For some reason, I thought sanity would prevail. I genuinely thought that this presidential race was going to be a lay-down misère for the Democrats.
How wrong I was! (As were many others).
I was reminded of our last election night in Australia where everyone – people, media and the polls got it wrong – and in the last moment, the current government came into power. That night, I shed tears and went to bed angry at my own fellow Australians.
“How could they vote for a corrupt government!”
“Haven’t they seen the impact of their policies (well, lack of) over the years?”
“Can’t they see that they have no long term vision and no policies for Australia’s greater good for its people, climate and environment?”
“Can’t people see that they’re swaying the messages on the news because they’re in bed with Murdoch (who owns the majority of the press?”
And so it went.
A little bit of me died that last Australian election night.
I felt small. Insignificant. Angry. Tired. Fearful of the future.
Sad that Australia, a country I love and adore – and who I served for in the military for 21 years of my life, a country filled with brilliant minds and wonderful people from all walks of life were unable to contribute and engage in public conversations and long-term visionary policies that build a better future life for our people. One that treats people with respect and values their need to have work, be educated and live decent healthy lives.
I wanted a change. Something anything. I wanted fresh new thinking. I wanted to be excited again for the future.
So seeing the result that night was a blow that winded me somewhat.
Watching the US election last night, I had the same feeling. A realisation that maybe just maybe, people don’t really want what I want.
So maybe I’m the one in the wrong?
Maybe I’m the one not thinking straight here.
Have I been too idealistic in my outlook?
Have I been too naive to think this way?
After all, when the MAJORITY of people vote in people who lack morals and values are willing to accept their lies, corruption, slander, fake news, sexism and racism in the highest office of the land. (USA). If government doesn’t hold themselves to account to question their corrupt practices and rorts (Australia), then WHAT exactly do I believe in anymore when we see that those people with dubious behaviours get what they want in the end?
What does ‘playing nice’, acting in more ethically and moral way get you? Does it even get you anywhere anymore?
I cannot believe that this election has made me question my own behaviour and laying seeds of doubt that acting in a human, compassionate way towards others; being gracious and thinking about the greater good is for weak, idealistic people because we’ve seen the opposite.
To be a bully is to be a winner in this world because others are not holding you to account. You can get away with it. You are getting away with it.
However it’s not a world I want to live in.
So what is left for me to do?
Do I take a step back and become a prick/bitch/bully myself? Is it a case of “if you can’t beat them join them?”
If push comes to shove, do I bear arms and fight against the bullies?
Do I continue to self-educate, advocate for higher ideals and become an activist in my own way so other voices can be heard and where we call out behaviours that are abhorrent?
I don’t know anymore. This has thrown me.