Can we get back to politics (please)?
I’d like to address a few rebuttals to some political arguments floating around in this very tense moment in history:
“I didn’t vote Leave/Trump* because I’m racist or hate immigrants – I voted for fishermen/sovereignty/because something had to change.”
“Well at least he’s not Killary, LOCK HER UP!”
“I voted third party.”
“It’s all shit anyway, I didn’t vote.”
To name a few.
I’m going to assume that if you’re here, and you’re reading this, it’s via one of my social media channels – in which case you’re pretty used to my political views. But just in case here’s a quick rundown:
- I’m British, I live in Wickford – under Basildon Council, a disgustingly UKIP saturated area, but more on that another time.
- I’m a LibDem turned Tory turned LibDem again. Please don’t judge me for my moment of Tory weakness. I was blinded by their promises for the self employed (which my husband is), outraged at the LibDems for their betrayal of students, and didn’t realise just how much the coalition had restrained their penchants for evil.
- I do not think Jeremy Corbyn is an appropriate leader of the opposition, and I’m furious at how he dropped the ball during the Remain Campaign.
- I believe, controversially, that women are human people who should have autonomy over their own bodies; that LGBTQ+ people are human people who should have autonomy over their own lives; that POC are human people who shouldn’t get routinely murdered and discriminated against. Crazy, I know. Damn humans, demanding rights.
- I will hear you out on your preference of political party (in the UK. If you voted Trump, go to hell.) But if you are opposed to human rights, I will fight you.
So moving on.
This morning, I saw a friend of mine had posted on Facebook voicing his distaste for people who merely shout “democracy won” and run away, consequences be damned, in reference to the UK’s vote to leave the EU, because if you’ve been living under a rock, 52% of voters are morons. In reply to this, an unnamed stranger had responded that she ‘didn’t vote Leave because she’s racist’ and that she wishes we could leave sooner.
Here’s the thing. No, perhaps you didn’t vote Leave because you had an overriding feeling of hatred for people who are different to you. Perhaps you did it because you wanted to take control, whatever the fuck that means. Perhaps you were sold on lies by the Leave Campaign insisting that we could spend more money on the NHS if we didn’t pay membership fees. Perhaps you were concerned about fishing regulations. Perhaps you have nothing against ‘them’ per se, but you think that Charity Begins At Home, and that immigrants should just stay wherever it is that isn’t here because it’d make life easier. But if the thought didn’t cross your mind that hundreds of thousands of people were voting to Leave the EU for those reasons, then every hate crime that followed is on you.
The facts were readily available to whomsoever chose to research them, rather than asking their friends on Facebook whether they should vote one way or another, or listening to relatives so convinced in their arguments that hey, proof just wasn’t needed – the fall out is on you.
This referendum was lost on misinformation and worse, pure laziness. The geniuses behind Skeptics With A K constantly insist that the facts you should check the most thoroughly are the ones which reinforced your preferred conclusion. You’re more likely to believe something if it backs up your argument. So you don’t check; you believe the publicity piece, the unreferenced statistics.
You may not think you’re racist, you may not think that you’re a hateful person; but you are a selfish one. If you voted Leave, whatever reason you voted for it, you did with the breadth of information available to you that would have explicitly led you to the conclusion: many people are doing this for the wrong reason. It would have shown you the beliefs of those public figures you were legitimising, the beliefs themselves that you were legitimising. If you had made the effort to unbiasedly check those facts, you would have known. But you didn’t care. You put people in danger because of your stubbornness and laziness. The onus is on you.
I’m told that people can have different opinions, and that’s true. Political opinions diversify the way in which countries are run. But if you don’t care enough about other people. You believed what you wanted to believe, and every shitstorm that comes now, is on you. You can believe the pound didn’t drop because of you, you can believe the fact that we’re on the verge of making a deal with a human cheesey wotsit fascist sexist racist homophobic pig to save our economy isn’t because of you, you can believe that hate crime hasn’t astronomically risen in the last six months because of you, if it helps you sleep at night. But it is. It is on you. The onus is on you, it is your fault, you fucked up. You didn’t check your facts, you allowed yourself to be misled, you didn’t listen to experts. THE ONUS IS ON YOU. Shitty Facebook comments and stubbornly sticking to your guns in the face of evidence doesn’t change that.
I was going to do a similar rant on Trump voters but I am now officially emotionally exhausted and this blog is like 1000 words of rant. My apologies.