A lot has been regretful about the last week, since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. (Ugh, even typing that tastes foul.) Most of it hasn’t been within my circle of control, and I did what I could—I cast my vote, I encouraged others to do the same, and with those (precious few) I met who were undecided, I had the necessary discussion. I did not stand idly by while this travesty occurred.
But I’m not without personal regrets. I could have done more.
I cast my vote, but when it came to speaking publicly, I demurred. Oh, I spoke extensively on twitter, but that’s ephemeral for anyone other than a presidential candidate (now president-elect, gods help us all). When it came to my greatest supposed strength—long-form written content—I remained largely silent. Only two posts brushed upon politics, and in one I specifically avoided discussing the candidates.
I’m here to tell you this now: Never again.
I didn’t discuss them because a younger me always hated it when artists talked about their beliefs, when I just wanted them to produce their art. I didn’t speak out because I don’t have much of a platform, and I risked losing readers for little benefit. I didn’t do it because I thought she would win, and I didn’t need to.
This isn’t about me. I’m a straight white male with a good education. Even if I lose my current healthcare (likely), I’m healthy enough to get it elsewhere. I won’t be a victim of a hate crime. I’ll be able to find jobs. It’s also not about my regret at not having done everything I could have done. Fuck my feelings—they’re not important right now.
This is an announcement. I will be writing about politics more often, starting with a flurry of posts I’ve already prepared. If that annoys you, I hope you’ll stick around anyway; we’ll never get anywhere if we don’t listen to opposing viewpoints. (And if you don’t think fiction authors should write about politics, read this post from John Scalzi—which, to my shame, I linked to in one of those two election posts, but never followed through with. My actions didn’t catch up to my beliefs.) Or maybe I won’t have to talk about politics much. Maybe a Trump/Pence/Ryan/McConnell/Roberts government will turn out to be a boring one.
There’s an ancient Chinese curse, which is neither ancient nor Chinese (as these things go). It says, “May you live in interesting times.” And there’s a reason it’s a curse.
Welcome to interesting times. I’ll do what I can to make them as interesting as possible within my fictional worlds, and as boring as I can in reality.
But what I’ll never do is fail to speak out. Never again.As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).