Autumn Leaves is emphatically not a political blog, but…Donald Trump is now President of the United States of America. That gives me, a left-wing liberal, cause for concern. And what hits me hardest emotionally is the feeling that this, like Brexit, is a direct repudiation of my values.
What’s to be done?
Firstly, we must remember that not all Trump supporters hold racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic views. We can be sure many of them abhor such views.
Secondly, as with Brexit, some people at the fringes may feel emboldened to carry out deplorable acts of discrimination and violence. However, the number of people holding illiberal views is (probably) no greater today than it was last week, last month or last year.
The struggle for liberal values has been a long one, and often a costly one. It’s a struggle that we’re winning; this result and Brexit are a setback, not a defeat. It’s an ongoing struggle that will continue long after our lifetimes.
We must apply our principles of honesty and tolerance, our welcoming of diversity, to the situation we’re now in. We must listen to those who hold different political views, and, where it would be productive, debate reasonably with them.
The only thing that can defeat our liberal ideals is if we unthinkingly abandon them in the face of opposition.