I have a few thoughts. I don’t know if they’re coherent, and they aren’t fully formed, but this is my little space and I want to talk about what happened last night. I recognize that as a Canadian, this might never directly affect me, but it’s going to affect millions of people.
Social media in the past 14 hours has been filled with reactionary comments, posts, tweets, photos, and more. Everyone has something to say, everyone has an opinion. I’m no different.
Here it goes:
I speak with millions of others when I say I never thought any of this would happen. When he announced that he was running for the Republican nomination, I laughed. I assumed it was a publicity stunt, a ploy to up his own celebrity in order to promote his businesses. During those primary debates, it was clear to me that he didn’t know what he was talking about. Again, I chuckled, wondering how long he would last.
Then he won the nomination.
Suddenly, it was him against Hillary Clinton.
I know Clinton is flawed; she has likability issues and she messed up with the email servers. But she apologized, and the investigations turned up nothing criminal. I don’t understand why people disliked her so strongly. I thought she would have made a great president. There was no one even close to being as qualified for this position as her – no one. As Michelle Obama said at a rally in September, “she has seen the presidency from more angles than anyone else: as a Senator, First Lady, Secretary of State. And she still wants to take it on”.
But none of that was enough apparently.
I can’t help but wonder how much of this is due to her gender. I hope there’s more to her loss than that, but I honestly don’t know.
His win scares me. Not for myself, but for the Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ+, and women in America whom he has insulted and affected with his rhetoric. I know that he likely won’t be able to accomplish all that he promised, but even 20% of what he said will affect millions of people.
I’m especially scared for the Supreme Court. He has promised to nominate staunch conservatives – pro-life and pro-gun. What does that mean for women? Is Roe v. Wade is going to be revoked? He might only last four years (one can dream), but those Supreme Court nominees could affect the direction of the Court for many years past his presidency.
He ran a campaign built on anger, fear and division, and it worked. He spoke to a group of Americans who truly feel abandoned by their political institutions. He spoke to them and he made them feel heard. That isn’t insignificant and it shouldn’t be forgotten. I don’t agree with a single thing he said, but millions of people do.
I wish I wasn’t writing this. I wish I was writing about my excitement about the first female president, who finally broke that glass ceiling she’s been working her entire life to destroy. But she didn’t and I’m not. That ceiling remains intact, at least for another four years.
I hope against hope that once he takes a seat in the Oval Office and realizes that he’s responsible for 300 million people, he’ll understand that he needs to be more moderate. That he needs to take care of all Americans, including the ones he’s promised to deport or ban.
I don’t know if he will ever have that realization, but we can only hope.