This is my contrbution to a piece by Martin Doyle with reactions from Kevin Barry, Mia Gallagher, Joseph O’Connor, Louise O’Neil, Roddy Doyle and more. For all writers’ contributions, please click this link.
It’s a sort of grief, the process of coming to accept that a misogynistic, racist madman is about to take over the world’s most powerful country. There are several stages. First, I had a session of black humour banter with a friend on Facebook (denial). Then I exchanged furious emails with a friend who had not voted for Hillary, because she is an “undeniable” crook. I argued that in this case, anybody with half a brain should know that not voting democrat was an undeniable vote for fascism (anger). Then I got a call from a distraught Muslim friend awaiting a Greencard in the mid-West. Having escaped the horrors of a true police state, she fears she will be sent home under some Trump deportation programme. I tried to calm her, suggesting his threats are all bluster (bargaining). Then I simply remembered the last time a country in the so-called developed world voted a misogynistic, racist madman into power: 1933. And I succumbed to the final stage, depression.
Because it is entirely possible that like the poet said, things may change utterly – that terrible will become a word abundantly used, but this time beauty will not be part of the brief. – Helena Mulkerns