“Hi – I’m Mia Freedman and… welcome to a special bonus No Filter mini-series where I try to figure out what the hell just happened and what it means for the future.
Somehow for reasons I don’t quite understand, this election felt so very, very personal.
I don’t ever remember feeling so emotionally invested in a political battle, not John Howard vs Kevin Rudd, not Julia Gillard vs Kevin Rudd, not anyone vs Tony Abbott not Malcolm Turnbull…..
And yet here I am, being mocked by websites all over the world for adding the number for Lifeline after the post I wrote for Mamamia about the lessons I learned the day of the election.
I know this wasn’t an overreaction because I spoke to people who were in tears, who were frightened, who were angry and devastated but mostly who were shocked.
Mia speaks with Miranda Devine in the second part of this No Filter mini-series. Full interview at the bottom of this post. Post continues after video...
What does the election of Donald Trump - ugh - mean?
I’ve questioned absolutely everything.
The bubble of media and like-minded opinions I’ve created around myself.
What President Trump means for women - not just in America - but all over the world.
And there are questions I keep asking myself and all the other freaked out people in my life who are clutching our heads either actually or metaphorically, trying to grasp that we’re not watching a reality show but real life.
Was the rejection of Hillary more about her being a woman or a Clinton?
Did Trump supporters vote for him because of the disgusting things he said about women or in spite of them?
Do they really want him to build a wall and lock her up?
And what now? What next?
Mia speaks with Paul Murray in the first episode of this No Filter mini-series... Post continues after audio.
I couldn’t watch any media in the 24 hours after the election. Couldn’t turn on the TV. Couldn’t listen to any of my favourite political podcasts for days. The process of acceptance of what’s happening has been slower than I could have imagined.
I realise though, at this point, I have a choice. As a woman and as the creative director of a women’s media company.
I can choose to spend the next four years being angry and outraged and calling out every injustice and perceived injustice…..or I can get on with it.
I can get out of my bubble and try to bridge the gap between the views I agree with and those I don’t.
Because it’s possible to like someone in spite of disagreement. And somewhere along the way during this campaign, and over the last few years more generally, I’d forgotten that: either I agreed with you or I blocked my ears.
But how does that help anyone?
So in a special No Filter mini-series, over the next few days I’m going to call up some of the people I know who think differently to me.
These are people I’ve been friends or friendly with in the past - until I decided I didn’t want to hear what they thought anymore because it made me too angry.
One of those people is Paul Murray. I can’t remember how we met but I used to go on his show and we were good mates. We became particularly close after his son Leo died soon after he was born and then…..as I saw Paul become what I perceived as more aggressively conservative on his nightly show on Sky News, I stepped back and then away.
Miranda is another. Miranda Devine and I disagree on just about everything. And yet when you meet her, she’s warm and personable and friendly and likeable. The fact that I have to say this is kind of symptomatic of the way we’ve come to demonise people who don’t share our views. As though they’re somehow not human. Whenever I speak to her or see her I have to remind myself that nobody is a cardboard cutout and humanity is far more nuanced than we think. Can you disgree with someone but still like them? I think you can. It’s hard though, isn’t it. At what point does giving someone a platform to share their views (if you disagree with them) mean you’re helping to spread them? I don’t know the answer. I’m still trying to work it out. Maybe there is no answer. But I do know that Miranda said yes instantly when I reached out to talk to her and that’s not the case for everyone I invited to explain their point of view after the election.
I couldn’t handle it.
But I know they're wonderful people and this whole election thing and the bubble has made me see the downside - even the danger - of limiting your world to an echo chamber.
Mia speaks with Miranda Devine in the second episode of this special No Filter mini-series: