November the 8th. I finished writing on the mentioned date which might be a little sad since it’s about the very U.S. Presidential elections that take place today, riddled with controversy, hate, and above all, divisiveness.There’s been endless debates, at this point not even surprisingly not about the candidate’s policies or plans for the Head of State but about their moral character that is supposed to be the yardstick for their worthiness. Nonetheless, the results of this election is not what this is about. The world is shouting at you if you’re an American citizen that Donald Trump is a megalomaniac, a buffoon who must not be handed the reigns of power, and sometimes the converse for Hillary; if you’re not an American, you’re at least called out for not “taking a stand against what could be the biggest event and mistake in world history” on social media and elsewhere.
Suddenly there’s this large pressure on you from our society, because if by some chance you think Donald Trump which does not sit in well with the majority was the answer to the election, if you thought that Britain indeed should leave the EU, if you tell people, “No, I don’t think it’s as simple as BJP or bust in our country”, brace yourself.
Your opinions must not collide with their beliefs, you’re supposed to adhere to the 2016 idealistic version of a man/woman. Politically correct, fits in with the majority view, and dismisses people who think otherwise.
The election is only ‘landmark’ and ‘pathbreaking’ because it shows how divisive we have become. No, as memes tell you, it is not an IQ test for America, this does not determine the gray cells Americans have as the holier-than-thou citizens of the internet may tell you, commenting away from behind their glowing screens, sitting with a smug smile as they think themselves better.
No, it’s about how we’re letting society, and media, and social media which has come to play such an important part in our lives, control over our decisions. If your moves aren’t hip or ‘right’ according to few who own these domain, you’re silently forced into correcting them. We need to stop this trend of acting morally superior and passing judgements on our choices, as it goes on to infringe our free will. Our job as a society is only to repress negative elements, and it was fantastic to see Zarna Joshi being called out on falsely accusing a man of harrassing her sexually, speaking up in defence of Jennifer Lawrence when her nudes were leaked, and to see us leave behind using homophobic slurs as insults.
What we don’t want to do is give in to the image created by the populist media, and be our own free thinking individual. What is our job as people and media is to inform people of their decisions, not to coerce them into it. If the people of America vote Donald Trump into power, so help them, but it was the people’s choice (#note1), Nigel Farage might have promised falsely and most of the older population being the ones to vote in the EU referendum maybe with no care for the youth, but it was still the people’s decision, and if you believe voting locally is the solution as our state elections in India are about to pass us by again, do it.
Do it informed, but do what you as your own independent person choose to.
We can’t always give in to what the community wants, and in the end, it’s only got to be you to make the best informed decision for yourself. After all, if we gave in to society’s demands, we’d never have worker’s rights, women’s rights and really progressed. You, as an individual, matter, so don’t let it get drowned out by the judgement.
One can’t help but think such radically animated and controversial characters like Donald Trump, Hillary, Farage and all are meant there to be on a purpose. Like they fit into this giant jigsaw puzzle of 2016.
Remember, always be yourself, but as long you’re politically correct, not something that offends us, in accordance with public opinion. Maybe we needed this year to set us right and remind us of what happens when we do things and keep our regrets within because the society told us it was the right thing to do.
That’s the difference between a progressive and a regressive society. Do they accept a differing stand without mocking it?