This is the first, and most probably last, time that I’ll write a political blog. Today, America voted for Donald Trump to be its president, and it’s on these grounds that I just can’t help myself.
I’m no political expert, and I don’t claim to be. Of course, neither is Donald Trump and that didn’t stop him seeking the White House, so I see no shame in writing about it.
The wave of anti-establishment sentiment that seems to be sweeping across the Western World is no doubt largely to blame for the result of the presidential election and Brexit in June. Sadly, in voting against the establishment, what the American people (and I believe Brexit voters) failed to do is analyse – or worse, care – about what it is they were voting for as an alternative. That desire for change and to revolt against the political status quo trumped (excuse the pun) logic and rational votes. America, and to a lesser degree the rest of the world, will have to pay the price.
As a woman, I’m outraged that women voted for Trump, and we’re not talking about just a few. Fifty-two percent of white women voted for him. Twenty-six percent of Latino women voted for him. Four percent of black women voted for him. I’m outraged that these women voted for Trump; not because they should have voted for Clinton because she’s a woman, it’s not about positive discrimination, but because they voted for, and thus validated, a man who not only speaks about and treats women as less than equal, but whose most famous quote is “When you’re a star… You can do anything to [women] ..You can grab them by the pussy”. This man is going to be the ‘leader of the free world’. It’s not okay.
As a human being, I’m deeply, deeply saddened that America has voted to elect a man whose campaign was built entirely on hate. Trump crafted his bid for election with racism, xenophobia, sexism, division and blame, and America chose that, many declaring it “the lesser of two evils”, a term which has been brandished so frequently during this election. How can hate ever be the lesser of two evils?
Finally, as a mother, I am terrified of the world that my baby is growing up in, a world where hate triumphs over love, and where division triumphs over equality and unity. I feel helpless, scared and heart-broken that this is the world he’ll grow up knowing.
I want to wrap him up and protect him from the hate that won over Trump supporters and many Brexit voters. I’m already thinking up ways of explaining it to him when he’s old enough. I hope that by then the World is looking brighter, and most importantly, kinder. I’ve thought about the advice I’ll give him when he’s old enough to vote, and I keep coming back to this simple notion: Think about the kindest person you know, and what they’d do.
If this right-wing, anti-establishment hell hasn’t subsided by then, the best I can hope for is that he never ever stops believing in, or fighting for, what is right. I want him to grow up believing in equality, in kindness, and knowing that eventually, love will always win over hate.