If You Have Post-Election Fear, Read This

 

No matter whether your candidate won or lost, I think we can all agree: we’re glad the shitshow is over.

But maybe your response is fear.

If it is, I just want you to consider this: you and I make the world what it is, not some villains sitting in office. And if that’s true, they deserve neither our hopes nor our fears.

History shows that people who rise to power do so on a wave of cultural ideas that have been fermenting for years before they ever came along. Hitler didn’t invent Nazi Germany, he rode to power on a crest of already-present anti-Semitism and injured Teutonic pride (from WWI).

You and I make culture. The power-seekers merely capitalize on it.

We’re the cause, they’re the effect.

(Or perhaps “symptom” would be the better word.)

Listen, don’t fear the office-holder, fight the ideas that made him possible.

How?

By being in the market for good ideas, and rejecting bad ones.

By calling out shit you disagree with, as loudly and as often as you can.

Have you ever quietly seethed while some jerk spouted hatred for this and that group? Your silence helped the bad ideas. It emboldened them. This is exactly how a culture of hatred is made.

Call the person out. Make them defend themselves.

Don’t worry, chances are they can’t. Ideas like that are built on the thin ice of “repeat it enough and it becomes true.” Get in the way of their repeating it, and their “argument” falls to pieces.

Just like we create an economy by choosing who gets our dollar, we create a culture by choosing which ideas get our tolerance. This is how each of us make the world what it is.

Listen, “evil politicians” and “evil corporations” are not the problem.

Both of them are just filling your demand.

The problem is not what they’re selling. It’s what you’re buying.

If you think about it, an election is just a giant evasion of responsibility. If your candidate wins, you think: “Great, now I don’t have anything to worry about for four years. They’ll handle it and everything will be rosy.” If your candidate loses, you think: “Well, whatever happens, I did my part. The coming shitstorm is all on you other assholes.”

Putting your hopes or fears into an elected representative is really nothing more than a hope that they’ll do all the heavy lifting (or blame-soaking) for you.

Accept your own responsibility and the election becomes meaningless.

There is only ever one person in charge and it’s a lifetime appointment: you see them in the mirror every day, and the world is exactly what that person allows it to be.

Live in fear if you want.

Or roll up your sleeves, grin, take a few practice swings, and decide that the world is about to get interesting.

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