Today I woke up at 7am and immediately checked my phone. I went to sleep last night knowing that when I woke up America would elect its new President. An hour later I watched Donald Trump’s acceptance speech live on CNN. Shocked, dumbfounded, outraged, upset and speechless are just a few words to describe how I was feeling in that moment. A woman who has spent her entire career in politics lost to a man with no political background. The first African-American President will hand the White House over to a man who has been endorsed by the KKK. And I keep asking myself, how did this happen?
All I can feel is empathy towards anyone considered a minority in America. The world is scary and people are selfish. No, scratch that, white people are selfish. Anyone who voted third-party when they knew damn well it was either going to be Trump or Clinton is selfish. I can’t believe I even have to say this, but the 11,000 people who voted for Harambe, a dead gorilla, are selfish. How can you throw away your vote like that? Of course, people vote for who they think is going to benefit them directly, but when the candidates are an extremely qualified woman who wanted to help the lives of LGBT people, people of colour, people of all faiths, immigrants, disabled people, and mentally ill people, amongst all her other policies, vs a “business man” who has filed for bankruptcy 4 times, calls Mexicans criminals and rapists, has been accused of being a rapist multiple times, and genuinely believes that a man in favour of conversion therapy is a good running mate, how can you just think of just yourself in this time? Where are people’s morals and basic human decency? In Trump’s America, I believe people could die. He believes in “the right to carry”, so who knows how many hate crimes there will be in the next 4 years. I am scared for America. I’m scared because I, as a Brit, don’t know what I can do to help. All I seem to be able to offer are my words but I don’t have a lot of them to give. I don’t know what to say.
I’ve seen a lot of Americans on the internet today not let this ruin them. So many people who have considered not getting out of bed because they were devastated as to what this might mean, but they decided against it. They didn’t let this stop them. Instead, they got up, went to their classes or their work and they carried on with their day as best they could, because not doing anything meant that he won. And he can’t stop them. Remember there is still 2 and a half-ish months of Barack Obama as President of the United States before the inauguration of one of the most vile humans in history. And remember to vote in the mid-term elections on 6 November 2018.
A few years ago I didn’t think that I would live through any history worth being in textbooks, but today I realised that I was wrong. I have seen 9/11, I have seen the first African-American President become President for not one, but two terms, I have seen the US capture Osama Bin-Laden, I have seen the start of the Syrian Civil War and the rise of ISIS, I have seen same sex marriage become legal in both the UK and the US, I have seen the UK decide to leave the EU, I have seen the second woman ever become Prime Minster of the UK, and now I have seen the first woman ever to vote for herself to become President and the first man with no political background to become the President. I am only 18 years old by the way.
Still, today I still looked out of my bedroom window as I do everyday, and I watched the clouds pass, and the trees sway and the birds fly over houses and remembered that the world will still go on. The earth will still spin, the sun will still rise. History is in the making, and things around me are changing. I will go to university next year and start my life in the world that has been created for me, and I am terrified. I am terrified that we live in a world that enables a man who has bragged about sexual assault to become President – a man that our children will watch closely and take lessons from. But whilst this goes on around me, and I become a young woman in this world, I take comfort in looking out my bedroom window and watching our tiny, insignificant world, carry on. It reminds me that everything is temporary, and it won’t, dear god I hope, it won’t last forever.
Love Trumps Hate.