Is there any hope? For now, hope seems to lie in the work of those tireless advocates who in the absurdly mundane visitation room at Polunsky courageously play the roles of social worker, friend and champion in an increasingly unforgiving world. Most of all, hope lies behind the soundproof glass, where human beings, continue to endeavour at living a meaningful life ...
It is still a great country, as a close friend reminded me recently. I can vouch for that. But here's the thing: greatness comes with an admission of mistakes, a campaign to make reparation and the willingness to remember, if only for the purpose of avoiding previous mistakes. Moving forward, politics has to be about keeping America great. That's the spirit!
The immediate consequences of the US election result have been chilling. In Moscow, Beijing and Pyongyang, as well as among Islamic extremists and Burma's Buddhist nationalists, and in almost every authoritarian regime in the world, there have been celebrations. May President-elect Trump prove us all wrong...
There is the possibility that Trump will be able to fulfil President Bush's aim of a "Europe whole and free and at peace" but Trump's intermittent personality and radical approaches to ethnic minorities in the US induces more fear in both the US and the UK. The only way we can approach the next four years is by "keeping calm and carry(ing) on."
An avalanche of post-mortem election analysis is being unleashed. However, much of it seems to operate in a vacuum. There are various critiques of Trump. He may certainly be appalling and objectionable but there is a huge amount of hypocrisy at play here, which needs to be unmasked. Let's take the points one by one.
When Farage ran for MP at the last General Election he did so in my home constituency of South Thanet. Even though he lost, I saw first-hand the rift created in the community; but Farage is a politician and knows how the system works. Trump is a complete outsider with zero experience, yet he is part of the very crowd he tries to oppose.
As I'm not a US citizen, I hold no political affiliation with either Democrats or Republicans. I cannot vote in the election, all I can do is observe. Either the US will continue the forward step taken with Barack Obama and put a woman in the Oval Office for the first time, or it will take a huge leap back by electing a spray-tanned failed businessman who lies constantly. Whichever way it goes, I will be watching.