One of the most disturbing themes to come out from the post Brexit and post Trump landscapes is the lazy assumption that all Brexit / Trump voters are bigots.
While I don’t agree with their direction of vote, I am uncomfortable with a narrative that moves towards the demonising of all Brexit/Trump voters. Such assumptions are part of the reason Brexit & Trump won. It is an arrogant and blatant disregard for why people vote this way. It pushes these voters further away.
The majority of Brexit or Trump voters aren’t bigots. Their choice of vote was because of a multitude of reasons. They feel disenfranchised, powerless and want change.
We should stand up to bigots. But we shouldn’t generalise.
Tarring everyone with the same brush is bigotry on the other side of the coin. To dismiss people because of their point of view or their choice of vote, to mock them, to write them off as deplorables is hardly the way in which we can win over their hearts and minds.
Instead, we should listen to them, understand them and reach out to these voters.
We need temperance, understanding and empathy in a divisive time. We also need debate. It is surely possible to passionately discuss our differences without demonising choices. An eye for an eye makes the world go blind.
To allow ourselves to be divided means we are conquered. Now, more than ever, we must remember that.