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The Coronadiaries 5
Tuesday 3rd November 2020 @ 8:29 pm

Much as a past generation could tell you where they were when they learned JKF had been assassinated, I can tell you where I was when I heard Kurt Cobain had killed himself.

Much more vividly, I can tell you where I was when I learned Donald, if I may, had been elected next President of United States of America.

The whole experience was surreal. I was leading a group of Irish, British, Palestinian and Israeli young adults in processes of engagement – the delightful and wise Padraig OTuama spent some time with us that year and consequently wrote this for a BBC thought for the day, do read it, his words are as always well chosen, deeply meaningful, and will be more enjoyable than these.

What I remember from the day Donald, if I may, was elected, is going to sleep the night before secure in the knowledge Hilary was doing everything right, and results were going her way. To wake up to such a U–turn in my understanding genuinely put me into mild shock. I walked out of my room, and in a  moment I will never ever forget, a friend who at that time was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s envoy for reconciliation walked out of her room at exactly the same second.

She took one look at me.

Saw the look on my face.

And simply held out her arms with the words “come here.”


The confusion

and solidarity

and knowingness

and fear at the result

was wrapped in a hug

that without speaking one syllable

said, “I know.”

I will not forget the harmony of the moment. There was deep power, in not feeling alone.


With respect, of sorts, to those who disagree those of us who decried a misogynistic lying porn–star–paying reality TV celebrity billionaire getting into the Oval Office as President have been proved right …

America is even more divided in the most bitter of ways

Donald’s closest advisors and his lawyer have been jailed

he was proven to have threatened the withholding of aid to another country in lieu of seeking dirt against a political opponent

America’s international reputation is seriously bruised

and he has had several of his one–time closest Whitehouse team write devastating memoirs of his inability to govern.

Oh, and we was impeached.


Piers Morgan recently recalled that aside from the bluff and blunder Donald had actually demonstrated empathy in his personal relationships with people – he recalled personal stories of encouragement from Donald. I wish Donald well, and I hope he didn’t forget too many friends on the way up, as he will now need them on the way down. I sincerely hope Piers is right, and the mask can come off and Donald can get back to swimming in a sea he is more familiar with, making tons of dollars a year and keeping tax returns secret.


I wonder is it risky to presuppose we may have finally survived through a Donald Presidency. After all the result is not for another 12 hours or so …

… yet, as always, I feel it more authentic to be honest no matter what.


Should the Donald be celebrating another 4 years this time tomorrow, I imagine it will call for more honesty from me … I hope I am wise enough to stay away from the blog for a day or two in such a moment.

Yet I will be searching for the people of solidarity and hope who will take actions of warmth that wordlessly whisper, ‘I know.’



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