Trump’s election is no time to retreat

Fear is the strongest force on a person.  Donald Trump’s success played out in a country and a world where fear is increasingly prevalent – fear of the “other”, whether that “other” is defined by nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality or political affiliation.

It is troubling that Trump amplified people’s fear of one another.

This campaign, infused with misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and religious intolerance, stands alongside the followers of Korach as an example of the antithesis of holy debate.

While the campaign’s manipulation of fear has been grotesque, it doesn’t invalidate that people were fearful in the first place. Many feel part of a ‘silent majority’, scared for their security, their livelihoods and families, the same insecurities and weaknesses we all share but feel their fear is dismissed by those in power.

But the beauty of democracy means political leaders, even after victory, are not given total power. The election is only one mechanism for people to express their desires and effect change.

Today is not the day to retreat, to hide, to surrender. It is the day to turn to one another, and to all individuals and groups frightened by last night’s events, and declare that we will not stand idly by.

About the Author
Rabbi Janner-Klausner grew up in London; worked as an educator in Jerusalem for 15 years working with Jews and as dialogue facilitator trainer of Palestinians and Israelis. She is the Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism in the UK.
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