In the days before this year’s US presidential election, Donald Trump predicted that the result would be “Brexit-plus-plus-plus”. For me personally, “Brexit-plus-plus-plus” is a fair description of my personal reaction to the news: as an American who has lived in London most of her adult life, someone who has dual nationality, someone who campaigned hard in the UK for Remain, someone who vocally supported Hillary Clinton, someone who has many family members who voted for Donald Trump, someone who is devastated to learn that not just 47% of the US electorate but so many people she loves hold not just different political views (I’ve always known that) but a totally different of the world and what makes us decent.
“Nothing is more important to a democracy than a well-informed electorate.”
I’ve been consuming news coverage even more voraciously than normal in the aftermath and trying to figure out how best for me personally to contribute to the fightback for liberal values – openness, tolerance, equality – and responsible politics. A few things keep bouncing around my head. One: “Nothing is more important to a democracy than a well-informed electorate.” (I stole that from Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, which I’ve been binge-watching since Tuesday.) And two, a sentiment taken from historian Simon Schama and others: Now that the unthinkable has happened, don’t let the media, the politicians or anyone else normalise this. Don’t stop being outraged by what’s already happened and by what will keep happening. Don’t become complacent.
Don’t stop being outraged.
Normalisation and complacency has already crept in here in the UK post-referendum. The Trump result has to be a double wake-up call. Whether we’re “into” politics or not, we’ve all got to start paying more attention. Because, frankly, this is not about right or left anymore, this is not about parties – Republican versus Democrat, or Conservative versus Labour – this is about right and wrong. We’ve got to start seeking and valuing truth and honesty and decency and we’ve got to stay outraged.
Of course, in our super-charged digital age, part of the problem with staying outraged, particularly with the avalanche of offences care of Donald Trump, is that things just move so fast and they soon become an amorphous, overwhelming mass that we’d all rather not think about.
In order to keep my own memory jogged and for anyone else who feels the same, I’m going to start collecting here the articles that most encapsulate for me the dangers that Donald Trump represents and other the consequences of this election. I don’t pretend that these are unbiased – you’re unlikely to see anything here from Breitbart or Fox News – but they will all be, to the best of my knowledge, from reputable sources.
Please read, please be outraged, please keep fighting for our better selves.