Are we really listening ? 

I seem to rarely write a blog post spontaneously these days. Yet the events of 8-9 November in the United States have compelled me to do so. Because, quite honestly, I am finding 2016 to be a truly baffling year. I wrote back in July about my sadness over the result of the EU Referendum (or “Brexit” – a term I am frankly sick of!). As we all digested the outcome of our decision on this side of the Atlantic, attentions turned to the US Presidential race.


Let’s be honest, both of the main contenders were flawed…in different ways and (in my view) to different degrees but flawed nonetheless. Whilst I’m not American and it was not my decision to make, I was rooting for Hillary; Too many of Trumps statements around women’s rights alone did not sit well with me. As the results came in I found myself saddened again. But this post isn’t a political one; There will be more than enough to read in the media about that. What I feel compelled to write about is the fact that both these outcomes were such a big surprise. That both of these outcomes were in complete contrast (especially in the case of the US election) to what all polls and pundits expected. Which begs the question – do ‘we’ really understand our own society?


Both the UK and the USA claim to have freedom of speech, to be open and accommodating. Yet in the case of both recent rounds of campaigning we’ve seen such extreme reactions from parts of the population. Just look at some of the footage from the Trump rallies; He managed with relative ease to get stadiums of people so wound-up. So angry. Similar reactions were seen before and after our own referendum vote; People suddenly abusing strangers who didn’t conform to a white ‘British’ image. I could not relate to what I was seeing.

What I have taken away from the events of recent months is that clearly a significant portion of our society do not feel they can share their honest views. They don’t feel they are being heard. If they did then we would have all foreseen success for the ‘Leave’ campaign and for Trump. I don’t understand how this undercurrent of frustration and discontent has gone unnoticed. Are too many of us quick to judge and denounce the views of others when they don’t mesh with our own? Have politicians been burying their heads in the sand about how strongly some people feel on topics like immigration? Or is it nothing like that at all and people were just bored and fancied seeing what would happen if they went against the establishment?


So where am I going with this? I’m not completely sure to be honest. But after events of the last 6 months, I think we need to reflect on how things reached this point. We need to make sure that people can speak openly about their views and be heard. We may hear things we don’t individually like. But surely it’s better to have an uncomfortable conversation than leave people feeling they can only express their true feeling anonymously whilst making world-altering decisions?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
The Pramshed

27 comments On Are we really listening ? 

  • This year has just been insane hasn’t it? I can’t quite get my head around it either. I have recently read and watched some very interesting views on it all and mostly if you look through history it has been very predictable and easy to see this coming. I think anyone that was uncertain if society was ready to go into self destruction had their fears confirmed after Brexit. Trump has simply cemented it all. Who knows what will happen. I hope that the unknown is worse than the actual events in the future.

    • Yes me too. I’m sure things won’t be as bad as we all feared. But I do think we all need to pay a little more proper attention to what’s going on now and stop trusting everything the media and politicians put directly under our noses. I think you’re right that if we had really looked closely at what was going on, we’d have seen these events coming. I don’t think people stamping their feet and saying ‘it’s not fair’ is the solution to dealing with the outcomes we don’t like. Thanks for reading x

  • I think a large part of it has to be what we are shown by the media. I don’t understand how everything I read is anti-Trump, yet he was elected? Has media bias got out of control? #fortheloveofBlog
    Lucy recently posted…5 tips for taking your baby to workMy Profile

    • You know, I think it has. I always thought we lived in a fairly unbiased nation…or the BBC at least. But we’ve definitely been sold an image of Trump which is not the truth. As have much of the USA I think. It makes you question a lot of what you see and hear, scarily! Thanks for reading x

  • I agree. I think it’s sad that we live in a society where clearly people feel they can’t say what they’re feeling. If it takes a shake up of these levels to help change that then maybe it’s a good thing. Still can’t believe Trump is going to be president though… seems like a joke! x
    Devon Mama recently posted…The Birth StoryMy Profile

    • Yes, it’s crazy isn’t it. I can’t relate to him at all – for starters he seems to contradict himself all the time (a sign he’s actually a true politician?!). Guess we all just need to watch and wait now! Thanks for reading x

  • It’s quite disturbing, isn’t it? I think it is easy to wrap yourself up in your own bubble surrounded by people who agree with you. It’s difficult to face opposing views, especially if we actually think they are downright wrong. I hope that our society can become more equal so that people are not so discontent and trying to find other people to scapegoat for their unhappiness. #familyfun
    The Mum Reviews recently posted…I didn’t know blogging could change the worldMy Profile

    • Wise words. We’re never all going go agree. If that happened society would be very dull. But we need to be able discuss things and reach a point of consensus. I guess with both the UK and US suffering hard periods of recession and austerity, it would stand to reason a number of people are unhappy. Thanks for reading x

  • You’ve made some really good points here. I can’t really describe how I feel about it all though. I think people are just scared and mis-informed. The media plays a huge part in what we hear and is very biased. Thanks for linking up to #familyfun
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…#FamilyFun Week 11My Profile

    • I can completely understand. I’ve found the whole thing really confusing and upsetting. I know there is a lot of detail behind everything but I suddenly feel like I’m living in a world I don’t quite belong in. It’s also made me question what the media are telling me… Guess we just have to watch and wait now. Thanks for reading x

  • The idea of Donald Trump as President is quite scary. And the fact that he was elected is scary too; the fact that people could vote for someone who appears to be racist, homophobic, sexist… worries me. But as I write, I wonder what influence the media has on people’s perceptions. At this stage all we can do is hope for the best and give him the benefit of the doubt, because we don’t really have a choice do we!
    Sam recently posted…Date NightMy Profile

    • I know, I’ve seen all the films of the election rallies etc. But the fact that enough people could relate to elect him. After the last few months I have become even more sceptical about what I see / read in the news. You’re right, all we can do is hope for the best now about the US. As for Brexit, it feels like we should watch and chuckle at what a farce it’s all becoming. *sigh* Time to get more tea… Thanks for reading x

  • I read this the other day and was nodding all the way through. I wrote a very similar post after the election and I think we have a similar take on it. In terms of the US election and bloody Brexit! Thank you for sharing this with us at #familyfun x
    Tammymum recently posted…#FamilyFun…Week 11My Profile

    • I did notice your post pop-up on twitter but was at work so didn’t have time to read it. I will have to pop by and read it tomorrow. It’s a confusing time isn’t it! Thanks for reading x

  • It’s been quite a year hasn’t it? I agree that there is a huge section of the population that feel that their voices aren’t being heard for whatever reason and are voting for change, for something different in the hope that they will get their voices heard. I think there are a lot of lessons for politicians to learn as a result. I suspect we’re going to be in for a bumpy ride over the next few years though! #coolmumclub
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Parenting Pep Talk #39 – This Is Me NowMy Profile

  • I get what you’re saying, but post Brexit I kinda got fed up of hearing some good friends air their views, to which I strongly opposed. It made day to day life incredibly awkward!
    It was pretty shocking though to see a different side of people – the true side maybe.
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    • Yes I know what you mean and in fact it was the same for me. I guess it became bickering in the end and it got frustrating. I suppose unless you actually have the power to change something then debate only gets you so far!

      One of my closest friends actually seemed happy with the outcome in the US election. A lot of my family were happy with Brexit. So I decided to stop talking about it because it was altering my view of them!

      Thanks for your comment – a reminder there is no easy fix!

  • Thanks for sharing this post with us. Like you last week I was shocked by the news, how can Trump be president of the US, and how did it happen. I felt exactly the same about Brexit, the repurcussions we are still not fully seeing and may never see. I have no idea what the future holds for us with Trump and Brexit, but we will be ok, we have to be. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x
    The Pramshed recently posted…Blogfest 2016My Profile

  • I wrote a post last year about how people are manipulated by their fear and anger, how easy it can be to convince people to hate and get them to follow along. Its the only explanation I can come up with. People are anxious and don’t like to admit it, but are looking for someone to protect them from perceived boogeymen #KCACOLS

  • I do think the media has big part to play in it all. They only tell us what they want us to hear. As for Brexit i’ve heard so many people say they regret their vote to leave based on the fact that they now feel as though they were lied to and they didn’t really understand the implications. I also have the belief that although we might not know it or want to hear it, we are in fact all slaves in some way… i don’t think it actually matters what people think because we can be manipulated to think anything . #kcacols

    • I’ve always been rather cynical about the media but the last 6 months have left me very distrustful actually. I think your comment is really very insightful. If we’re fed subtle messages over a long period of time then it will shape the view of the masses for good or bad. I think one of the biggest issues is people vote based on their gut or basic info rather than try to understand a bit themselves. But then we shouldn’t have been victims of politicians (or presidental candidates) telling blatant lies! Thanks for reading x

  • I feel the same. It has made me reflect a great deal about where we are going as a society and how we are going to get there.Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.
    Sharon recently posted…18 things you can do at 18 (Part 2)My Profile

  • It has certainly been quite a year. #KCACOLS
    Rachel George, Ordinary Hopes recently posted…Our AutismMy Profile

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About Me

Hello, I'm Angela. I'm Mum to two small people (5 & 2). I'm a Gardener, am houseplant obsessed and addicted to tea. By day I work in tech and also look after my littles. I'm trying to get our family to live a more sustainable life. I also have far too many opinions...hence the blog. You can read more about me here. You can also follow me on Twitter so you never miss a post. Hope you enjoy reading!

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