Fear almost won this year, didn’t it? And that was before terrorists attacked Paris for the second time, taking 130 lives and devastating far more. This was capital T terrorism, set to do exactly as the word implies.
And it did, because an atrocity is not a singular act, but the first of many tumbling dominoes. Terror tumbles on top of freedom. Freedom tumbles on top of trust, trust tumbles on top of diversity, all of which spark an acute hatred of the other, and, by that point, any other will do. Even if it’s a kid building a clock as a project, or a bunch of Sikh bros kept out of an American football stadium just for wanting to keep their hair to themselves. Fear of terror does that – it erases the line between the scary and the ridiculous, so that it seems as if we’re all living in a slapstick. And that was before Donald Trump and his comb-over….
Which is why, despite the terrible example set by scores of politicians this year, the best example might also be a few politicians who chose to do something else. Justin Trudeau in Canada and Angela Merkel. Trudeau in particular, because his government’s gesture to welcome refugees was post-Paris. It’s too early to say if he will be a great prime minister, but one thing he has demonstrated is that the idea that love must always defeat fear, especially at the end of this most turbulent of years, is one whose time has come.