I started to realise a little over two years ago that the political landscape had markedly shifted & that I was no longer anywhere close to majority opinion. As someone who subscribes to a moderate left wing philosophy heavily influenced by, as I see it, a very necessary & healthy dose of pragmatism I recognised that something significant had happened during the Scottish independence referendum.
Although the side of the argument I strongly supported ultimately won out in that referendum (nationalism of any stripe is not my bag but even taken on a purely economic & constitutional basis I would have required a solid factual economic argument to alter my view) , I saw that for the first time in my life I could no longer take for granted that the people I knew, the people around me, the people I grew up with, the people I was closest to held broadly the same political points of view. I lost friends during that exceptionally emotive campaign. I know others did too.
It was at that point I started to realise that detaching myself from my previously deep interest in politics was the healthier option. Actually I probably still thought that a pragmatic approach in Scotland to the UK General Election would prevail & the Labour Party vote would largely hold up in the face of a disastrous coalition government despite personally having deep reservations about what Labour had to offer. That devastating Conservative majority general election result sealed my feeling of being disenfranchised.
That was swiftly followed by the Labour leadership campaign that led to a complete romp for a candidate I saw no common sense in electing. An opposition leader on a platform that will only ever be a minority view nationwide. An opposition leader who will not/cannot win an election. I was done with having any real engagement with politics. I left the Labour Party a couple of months later.
Since then, I have gone with bemused detachment. Let everyone else get on with it. It’s nothing to do with me. The world is mental. Let it be mental. I’ll wait & meet everyone back at rational pragmatism in about a decade or so when everyone realises that pressing the crazy button is exactly that.
So I watched the Brexit vote with a sense of uninvolved resignation, mixed with mild fury that the city I call home had voted so strongly in favour of insanity. Balls to it, let folk get on with their madness & fantasies.
And there have been many indicators that that madness was global, leading to today’s US Presidential result. I think I subconsciously predicted it yesterday, deleting my Twitter account with some strange sense that I couldn’t be bothered reading the predictable reactions (although I couldn’t resist reactivating it temporarily tonight to have a peak in order to pass the time). Luckily Facebook made sure I didn’t miss that fucking awful “Orange Is The New Black” joke multiple times (well done everyone 😏).
Honestly, I can’t be bothered with the overreaction. Yes, there is now potential for global chaos…..but there probably (probably) won’t be. The world will keep turning. Personally my life was the same today. It will be tomorrow. And I imagine it won’t be significantly different 6 months from now.
So I’ll just keep getting up in the morning & doing my thing until something worth acknowledging happens. Just keep letting the world get on with its temper tantrum until it gets bored. I’ll work in a shop, listen to music, devote myself to my son, drink some wine, hope there might be some happiness & fun to be had in the day ahead when my alarm goes off in the morning. Life goes on.
Incidentally, I’ve seen a lot of people drawing parallels between Brexit & Trump with the consensus being that Trump is much worse however, as I see it, there’s a strong chance Trump will only be for four years while Brexit is forever & as the great man himself, Prince, said forever is a mighty long time.
Anyway, I’m listening to Bowie right now. Everything seems alright.