Liberal application




We’ve only got ourselves to blame. For Donald Trump.

Harsh maybe, and fair enough, those of living on this side of the pond can’t exactly be held responsible for the relentless rise of the blond bequiffed behemoth, but the modern liberati sure have a lot to answer for.



For it is we, perched as we are on the moral high ground of my-way-or-the-high-way, who have had the blinkers strapped tight to our unseeing eyes. It is we who have hermetically sealed our nah nah nah nah not-listening lugs to any mood music which isn’t quite in harmony with our own chorus of righteousness.

It is we, with our narrow, right-on, neo-liberal world view and our easy access to artisan roasted coffee, craft-brewed beers and organic bloody quinoa, who are kings and queens of kidding ourselves on. It was we who really deserved the sense-shattering wake-up call delivered so very clearly in the post presidential election dawn.

But why were we, the Outraged of Otago Street* masses, so very, very surprised at these seismic socio-political shifts? Why, as the era of Trumpton takes centre stage, are we, from the midst of our ever-so boho, shabby chic, upcycled, and privileged hipster existences, to be found sobbing quite so uncontrollably into our skinny soy decaf lattes?

For countless millions of us, this new dawn comes as a gigantic global body blow, and I count myself in as one of those who feels felled. But maybe we really, really needed that hard punch to our collective solar plexus and psyche. For we, my dears, although vociferous, vocal and very, very opinionated, do not have a divine and incontestable right to be right. We seem to forget that we’re not alone, and that our lives might be really quite cushty compared to someone living right round the corner. We’re so tunnel-visioned sometimes that it’s no wonder we’re shocked to the core when our protected and privileged sensibilities are dumped on their precious wee arses by election results which don’t fit in with our “right-minded” thinking.

Surely the real shock is that, despite protestation and do-gooding principles, we don’t give a damn about people (a substantial number of people, it turns out) whose experience or opinion doesn’t mirror our own. Turns out our listening skills are only tuned to one wavelength. We are cloth-eared, self-righteous snobs, and no mistake. What the hell happened to healthy debate and a frank exchange of views? When did we earn the right to always be right?

No-one said we had to agree with the man or the woman next door, down the street, or from the other side of the tracks. No-one said we had to like their world view, their outlook or uncomfortable opinions. But it looks like we don’t even have the dignity to give people space to speak, to air their thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears. We’re far too busy pumping out our own hot air.

Time for us to pipe down a bit, it’s never too late to lend a listening ear.

*or Islington/Greenwich Village/Latin Quarter