Has anyone noticed the general political tensions in the Global North? If you haven’t, you have been living in a foxhole for the past years. Which, honestly, is good for you. But to give you a bit of an idea of the political climate in my country: in The Netherlands, a type of alt-right has been at large for almost two decades, ‘starting’ with politician Pim Fortuyn (he was shot in 2002) and currently being led by Geert Wilders who is gaining a democratic majority. Then Brexit, the US elections, the rise of Nationalism in the EU, tensions with Russia, the immigration and refugee crisis, global warming, the Greek financial crisis, and since this weekend, tensions with Turkey.
The upcoming election this week feels heavy, loaded, with dark clouds. I’m afraid to speak out loud who I am voting for because of how upset people get. The air is thick and electric. Any spark can set anyone off. And it’s not surprising, it’s a worrisome time and there’s no sure way of telling what is the best course of action. Maybe in 50 years, we look back and say ‘Duh, they should have all voted for x!’. But right now, what is right, what is wrong, it’s all so difficult. A lot of people are angry – from all political sides people are angry. But I think that it is all too easy to see the anger, and not the people. Even if you don’t agree with someone, remember that they are humans acting in their own best interest, or at least they believe they are. Except for the occassional Captain Chaos, no one is trying to bring the Apocalypse. So instead of shouting at each other, we should try to come together. To understand each other. To bring sympathy and kindness into this election so that we can learn what it is we fear. And when we know what different people fear, maybe we can try to work on those things. Maybe we find out that some fears are like the monsters under our bed in childhood – we grow up and get over them. And maybe we find that some fears need to be faced head on. But we can’t really tell, when we keep moving away from each other by judging each others’ opinions through anger. What we need to do is come together and talk.
Good luck voting, all my Dutchies out there. Vote for kindness ❤