Well, there it is. The American people have voted and though Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote, she has lost (by a lot) the Electoral College. And so, Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.
In the wake of this event, I am filled with anger, sadness and fear.
Anger towards the media and pollsters that didn’t see this coming; media, which, on the very morning of the elections, showed me multiple maps and stats that made it very clear that there was no way, NO WAY, Trump could win.
Anger because, all along this horrendous campaign, I held on to the idea that Trump would hit the wall on Election Day. I thought he would lose, and by a lot, and that this loss would finally shut him up. Turns out, as he himself told us when he noticed that he could shoot someone and not lose a single vote, that he can actually say anything, be overtly racist, sexist and still win. So, he won’t have to shut up, and we will have to live through at least four more years of his language.
Sadness because up until now, I believed that human beings, for their majority at least, were decent people, mostly treating others with respect. Flawed and prejudiced yes, but well disposed toward others. I thought that people who behaved with hatred, racism, sexism, (which Trump did during his whole campaign) would not be rewarded, couldn’t win in the end. Apparently I was wrong since 42% of women decided to vote for a man who only looks at them to grade them on a scale of 1 to 10 depending on their looks.
Fear because I find it impossible to foresee what this man will do as the head of the most powerful country in the world: not only to Americans but also to the rest of us. How could he heal the racial divide that has been spreading during the last years when he has spoken so dismissively about every racial minority during his campaign? How can he manage international relations when he apparently believes that he knows more than anybody else on any given subject? How will he react to satirists mocking him? What will he do to reproductive rights? Because he has spent his entire campaign taking every stance possible on every subject, no one really knows what he stands for.
Fear because by using such inflammatory language towards others (by which I mean anybody who is not a white man), Trump has set free ideas that were shameful until now: racism, sexism, hatred… Why should people refrain from insulting their African-American neighbors when the president doesn’t bother to? Why should Christian kids respect Muslim ones if the president says bad things about them?
So even though I would love to end up this article on a more cheerful note, I am having trouble finding anything positive to say about this election. Many of the American media that I follow have started their show yesterday by talking about some of their fundamental rights: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, an independent justice system… They seemed to fear that those rights might be in danger. Today I would like to tell them that we are as afraid as they are and that we wish them good luck.