Yesterday the sickening feeling that was lying dormant in the pit of my being, rose to my mouth, metallic and bitter, as I watched the CNN anchors glance at each other before projecting Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
The glance spoke volumes – it answered every question that had been tentatively spoken that day. He can’t win, right? Right?!
Contained in the glance is every refresh of The New York Times website. It’s every joke made on Saturday Night Live. It’s every Facebook status heralding the beginning of the Hunger Games. But to me, as the news anchors took a moment to visually confirm the most unexpected election result in history – it is all about choice.
The element of choice in a democracy is obvious: it’s your right, as a citizen, to decide who has the most power. Who you can trust to do the right thing. But today, the world saw the Americans themselves can’t trust their fellow countrymen to do the right thing.
This election is a result of the majority choosing what’s easy, in a fractured country that is torn between opening up for change, or reverting to a state that they felt most safe. The state that only caters for those who are white, straight and male.
The majority of America chose between a desperate, angry man and a qualified, experienced woman. The nation showed that they would rather elect someone who is grossly inadequate and irrelevant in a political setting, than recognize that a woman could do a better job.
Rather than acknowledge that they are ready for a woman to hold the highest position of power, they instead ran backwards, into the safety of their sexism and misogyny – that we now can clearly see is considered the norm to the majority of its citizens.
According to exit polls 63 percent of white men voted for Trump and among non-college-educated white people 67 percent voted for Trump – 72 percent of men and 62 percent of women.
However most disturbing, women didn’t strictly choose Clinton, 41 percent of (mostly white) women choose Trump.
The inclusion of a first female presidential candidate combined with the misogynistic behavior of Trump seemed to do nothing to alter women’s votes and voices. In fact more women voted for Obama in 2012, than Clinton in yesterday’s election despite the historic relevance of their vote.
They chose a joke, a clown, a jester with a venomous and hateful rhetoric, over a female candidate. He called women ‘pigs’ and ‘dogs,’ and they chose him. The man who mocked a fallen Muslim soldier, and the man who refused to condemn the support that the Ku Klux Klan had shown him.
They chose a bile-spewing man that could take the LGBTIQA cause back decades, a man who doesn’t support nationwide gay marriage, and who has said that he will appoint Supreme Court justices to overturn the historic marriage ruling.
I’m hurting for all of those who will suffer – for those who have to explain to their children what has happened to the nation that was supposed to watch them thrive. Whatever you water, it grows. And middle America chose to nurture hatred, sexism, and racism.
Trump says that all of this will lead to the capturing of the American Dream. But I think it will be quite some time before those who made this choice, wake up from their American nightmare.