Wednesday 9 November 2016

To My Niece and Nephew, and Others of Their Generation

I'm so sorry, I don't know what else to say for the dangerous legacy being heaped upon generations to come.

I'm not sure when we lost our way so badly. 

I'm not sure how, contrary to all scientific standards, we are managing to go backwards with our social evolution and I'm cannot fathom how we have got into the situation where hate, fear and protecting what's yours has become more important than protecting our society as a whole.

Maybe it was because, somewhere along the way, we forgot just how damn good so many of us have it.

Do we find ourselves so far away from the awful wars that ripped the world apart in the 20th century, and situations like the Cuban missile crisis, that it seems a smart move to have a dangerously foolish and narcissistic man, surrounded by much more clever and malevolent interest parties, with his finger on the button.

I am at a loss to see how in the US that so many intelligent and seasoned politicians seemed incapable of addressing the root cause of this issue.

How could they not sway the mentality of educated people who live in relative comfort or spectacular wealth that, somehow, helping raise the standards of those less well off is something to be feared is the cause of this - it's not the 'disenfranchised poor white man' you only have to look at the numbers of college educated, middle-class whites who voted Trump in the US elections to see that.

There is no universe in which people like me and the much, much richer would be penalised unduly to raise up the lot of those who have next to nothing, how did we get to the point where in the US, a country I really love, where educated people with so little to lose decided that they wanted to vote for a man, and his cronies, who seem hell bent on destroying their whole country and taking the world with them.

And although, statistically, it was the reverse here with the Brexit vote, with those with less education and considered to be 'lower class', voted to leave, it was a direct echo of the US elections in that it was built on a tissue of lies and the cult of personality - albeit the morally repugnant ones of the likes of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, who have no need to worry about the consequences of their actions because they are rich and white and there will always be jobs for those kind of boys.

How have we allowed ourselves to slowly cave in to a world of post-factual debate, where that cult of personality has become more important than professional competency and where hate and fear have overtaken - and we find ourselves back to the points of history I made earlier all too neatly.

It seems all too easy to say make blithe comparisons to Nazi Germany right now but I'm sure you've studied it in school and it must be on your mind that this sounds horribly familiar and all I can pray is that we aren't heading down that road, but it does feel like the start of it is far, far behind us.

How do we have people amongst us who aren't voting on principle or on a considered analysis but on some sort of 'they're going to take it all away from me'? And are so ashamed of their protectionist attitude towards their own position that they can't even admit it to pollsters, who don't even record their names.

And in everything that is going on, let's not forget that one of the most balanced and caring politicians we had in the UK was murdered during the Brexit campaign and the man accused will go on trial this month or that a man was able to sit outside a polling station in the US with a sign that said 'faggots vote Democrat' and a gun isn't going to even face prosecution.

Let alone the message that is sent to any victim of sexual violence, especially women, that a man who is accused of 11 counts of sexual assault, can be elected as 'the leader of the free world'.

So, I'm making this plea to you my darling niece and nephew, and to all of their generation - be better than us, 

Lead us into an era of compassion and sense, lead us into a world where facts are more important than the frothing hatemongers hell-bent on feathering their own nests and where caring and embracing other cultures is more important than building walls; continue the work of breaking down barriers that has characterised so much of society in the last 50 years or so and, most importantly, love your fellow humans - we have more in common than we do separating us and that intelligent and thoughtful actions around caring, understanding and acceptance are the most important things you should open your hearts and minds to. 

And always remember that I love you, you are our future, please make it a bright one.

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