Right after the election I read a blog post (now lost to the mists of the internet, my apologies to everyone) about how to prepare to live under a fascist regime. The author, who had spent time in fascist nations, suggested writing down what you believe in. Because fascism works by causing you to question and then forget your own humanity.
I don’t necessarily think we are about to find ourselves under a fascist regime, but the possibility is far stronger than it should be. And we are living in the golden age of disinformation, gaslighting, and doublespeak. So here is what I believe in, or at least a first step in identifying and laying it out.
I believe that our greatest strength as human beings comes from protecting and nurturing those who are most vulnerable.
I believe that hate binds people together as surely as love. When you hate someone, you attach yourself to that person. When you hurt someone, you create a burden that you carry afterwards. Different people are more or less aware of these truths, but they are true for everyone.*
I believe there is a bright line between right and wrong, but it’s different in every situation. There are no absolute guiding principles; yet if we have the strength to be honest with ourselves, we can always tell what’s right.
I believe we are all in this together. I am very upset about this election, I totally disagree with supporting Trump, and I plan to resist everything he represents. But we in this country still have to live with each other. And I believe Trump supporters and Trump opponents are all decent humans who fundamentally want the same things.** In a larger sense, the same goes for the rest of the world.
*Except for those with certain mental illnesses, i.e. sociopaths.
**Those who support Trump out of overt bigotry…to be honest I still think they are decent, under a mountain of psychological damage. But also honestly I have no patience and no tolerance for their shit.