GRIEF AND POLITICS//HOW TRUMP MAKES ME FEEL

I woke up at 3.30am and horrified at the news notifications on my iPhone screen, I was suddenly wide awake. For the rest of the night I was staring at The Guardian's graphic over the US election and hoping, begging, that it was a joke. That Hillary would catch up, and that Trump wouldn't be elected the president of USA. But he was. He is. The American people elected a racist, homophobic, misogynistic asshole who doesn't believe in climate change, for president. 

The hopelessness that I feel, that was blurted out in the early morning texts from my close ones, that fills social media, and that tint the news today, is agonising - the mere thought of Trump's victory speech makes my stomach turn. But I also find the hopelessness very reassuring. Reassuring that so many are experiencing the same revolting grief as I am about the right-wing (Brexit, UKIP, Trump, etc.), racist, sexist, horrible world we live in. A grief, an anger, that I believe can fuel political mobilisation, make change happen. Let's turn to the words of Judith Butler (<3), and her essay Violence, Mourning, Politics

Many people think that grief is privatizing, that it returns us to a solitary situation and is, in that sense, depoliticizing. But I think it furnishes a sense of political community of a complex order, and it does this first of all by bringing to the fore the relational ties that have implications for theorizing fundamental dependency and ethical responsibility. If my fate is not originally or finally separable from yours, then the “we” is traversed by a relationality that we cannot easily argue against; or, rather, we can argue against it, but we would be denying something fundamental about the social conditions of our very formation.
To grieve, and to make grief itself into a resource for politics, is not to be resigned to inaction, but it may be understood as the slow process by which we develop a point of identification with suffering itself. The disorientation of grief-“Who have I become?” or, indeed, “What is left of me?” “What is it in the Other that I have lost?”- posits the “I” in the mode of unknowingness. But this can be a point of departure for a new understanding if the narcissistic preoccupation of melancholia can be moved into a consideration of the vulnerability of others. Then we might critically evaluate and oppose the conditions under which certain human lives are more vulnerable than others, and thus certain human lives are more grievable than others. From where might a principle emerge by which we vow to protect others from the kinds of violence we have suffered, if not from an apprehension of a common human vulnerability?

So grieve, be angry, and feel hopeless - closely, collectively, unitedly. Give yourself some breathing space, time to find strength (I'm planning on retreating to the warm, safe space of CWS and rant about how horrible the world is) and tomorrow we'll start again, to analyse, mobilise, and politicise. And remember that this is how the millennials voted: 

Change will come.