Teaching right and wrong

 

In the middle of all the arguing about who is to blame for Trump, I’m thinking it might be better to focus on helping the people who are likely to be most affected by his election. Being told it was the liberal media or Facebook or the establishment [whatever that means in a context where billionaires and merchant bankers can present themselves as not being the establishment] is not going to be much use to them. We are where we are. It’s what happens next that matters.

It seems ridiculous and surreal to focus on trivia in the face of such events, but life goes on and trivia can be comforting in a way as long as it is not used to pretend that nothing much is happening. We know big things are happening. We just don’t know what to do about them yet.

Children, as is often said, live very much in the present. I’m not sure how much they pick up on the current unease, although mine certainly know the names of all the main UK and US politicians and are finding it hard to see what has happened in the US as any kind of “opportunity”. Certainly not for those in North Carolina waiting for the KKK’s ‘victory’ parade. Even daughter three is well aware of what the KKK represents. Nor for women, particularly feminists. Some parts of the campaign seemed to be reminiscent of the Salem witch trials.

For those who argue that all politicians are as bad as each other, I would just say that I have received emails in the last few days from young Americans who are distraught and afraid. It’s not so much about what Trump or his appointees will do or say, though there is that, but about the forces his election has unleashed.

And yet you watch the tv and listen to debate and it is almost as if nothing has actually been said in the whole two-year election, that nothing was meant, that nothing is real. It was all a huge show. People are swearing red is blue. It’s all about business as normal and the “special relationship”, they say. I’m trying to explain that relationship to my kids and all I can come up with is “we’re desperate”. I’ve tried to bring them up with some sense of right and wrong, of morality, if you would. It appears many of our leaders have none.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk. Picture: c/o Wikipedia. A poster from World War I showing Britannia arm-in-arm with Uncle Sam symbolising the Anglo-American alliance. 





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