Wednesday, 9 November 2016

I Still Refuse To Give Up Hope

Love trumps hate. It can, and it will. And I for one refuse to give up hope.

Despite the outcome, the 2016 elections ignited a hunger and passion for change - change for the better. Back in the spring of 2015, when Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced his run for the Democratic nominee, very few were there to hear it. A handful of journalists showed up to hear his ten-minute announcement 'speech' in Washington D.C. 

Yet here we are, a year and a half later, and democratic socialism has exploded onto the international mainstream like never before. Sanders garnered millions of supporters - of all ages, backgrounds, genders, races, sexual orientations - across the globe, and fought for equality, love, peace, and a better environment, economy and country for present and future generations.

What Bernie did do was bring a new form of politics - as well as hope and passion - to a whole new generation, voting in their first Presidential election.

It fills me with such pride to see my peers, the so-called "snowflake generation", become so engaged in and passionate about politics, and standing up for their beliefs. And yes, days like this feel like a massive kick in the face of progress - but that doesn't mean we should stop. If anything, it means we need to keep fighting.

Frankly, I feel it would be disgraceful of us to abandon that hope and passion, and succumb to fear, to let hatred and bigotry pollute our mainstream.

So please, in light of everything that has happened in the last 24 hours, remember:

Your voice is worth something. And I don't just mean your vote, I mean your voice. Your opinions, your beliefs, your vision for a better world - it matters. Don't lose your voice, don't fall silent. Speak louder than ever. Share your passions, your ideology, your beliefs with those around you.

Keep creating. Keep writing, painting, acting, filming, producing, drawing, whatever it is you do. In a world turned so ugly, we need creative beauty more than ever.

And no matter what: don't give up.

In the early hours of this morning, Clinton supporter Lady Gaga was photographed protesting outside Trump Tower, New York, minutes after the results were announced. I saw these images first shared on the Facebook page of an Irish news organisations, and sadly, the majority of the comments reiterated the same perspective: "She should just give it up, get over it. There's nothing we can do now."

But Gaga is absolutely right. We're not going to let this slide, and we shouldn't let our voices go unheard. Keep protesting, keep shouting, keep going.

The dream is not dead. It's very much alive. We just can't let ourselves forget about it.
Ciara Pollock © . Design by FCD.