The Most Searched Words After The 2016 Election
We live in a digitally-based world, and as such, elements like Google trends often shed some valuable light on our day-to-day environment. In a tweet earlier today, for example, Merriam-Webster, dictionary superpower, revealed the most searched words after the 2016 election. And friends? The results are not good. Or, depending on how you look at it, good but, uh, a little effing late.
Of the top eight words, six are emblematic of a hateful worldview. There's no other way to interpret terms like "misogyny" and "racism." There's just not. "Hatred" is literally in their definition. The remaining two words have been rampantly used throughout headlines, which show that, despite Trump's insistence that the media is evil and bad and biased, people on both sides of the belief system are still reading articles, and at least making an attempt to understand the terms used.
Twitter, in response, has been pretty furious that these words, many of which can be used to describe the impending political regime, only spiked after the election was called (and, indeed, have remained at the top of the search list for the past week). It would have been cool if voters had been clear on, say, the concept of a fascist or a xenophobe before punching their ballots for one. But they did. And we have to deal with the consequences.
So take a look at these terms. Educate yourself, educate others, and start constructing your survival plans — just be sure they include a different family of terms, like "love," "acceptance," "support," "inclusivity," and, perhaps most importantly, "hope."
"A political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition."
"A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance."
"One unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin."
"A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."
"A way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies."
"A growth or increase that occurs after a period without growth or increase."
"Fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners."
All this may be what we've got in front of us right now. But we can — we must — be better. And we can do that by taking tangible actions to help. So when we've processed what happened enough to get back on our feet — let's do it.
Images: Merriam-Webster (8)