The rise of the right – a US perspective

Since the presidential election, many of us in the US have been outraged. To us, people such as Donald Trump and Steve Bannon belonged to a lunatic fringe element. It still seems unfathomable that Trump was elected to be our President.  We feel a huge amount of betrayal from our fellow Americans; we feel as if we were ambushed; except those people were among us the whole time.

But where do we go from here? We go with a new awareness that we must listen to everyone’s voice and be aware that there are people who will listen and speak to them if we progressives do not. There are voices that are constantly speaking over the radios in millions of cars; voices on internet websites, and even or perhaps especially from the pulpit.

As progressives, how do we people best speak to fundamentalists? There seem to be very few doors in their wall; there is no point from which our voices echo back at us.  Many on the left were so furious they lashed out with rude language and some were even violent. The “other” slammed any doors that were left open at that time. I see nothing but tight lipped people.

I can forgive myself for my anger. I believe this is much much more than about a presidential election. This is again the rise of the fundamentalist right to try to define our world in terms of black and white, good and evil. They do not seem able to take difficult factors into consideration. They “call it as they see it” – or so they think. So quick to pass judgement, and in their nuance they lack mercy.

All over the world the same thing seems to be happening. Fundamentalism at war with progressivism. But this is the way; progressives run forward and fundamentalists usually follow a decade or so later. Ultimately, we should remain patient and oppose anything that we know and believe to be wrong in a non-violent way, because we need to preserve our credibility for when fundamentalists finally follow suit.

Stand your ground and do not let anybody make you feel ashamed for defending universal human rights and standing tall against xenophobia. History will show, as it always has, that you were on the right side after all.

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