My Response to a Trump Presidency
Let me begin by saying, I'm devastated Hillary lost the election.
I happen to be in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area on the night of the election. There were so many election night "watch parties"-- not uncommon in DC---but I decided to spend the evening at the home of my good friends Gwen and Adam as I did four years earlier to see President Obama's reelection.
The DMV was expected to go Blue (Democrat) and the polls leading up to election night had Clinton ahead nationally by 3 points. We were preparing to witness history--America's first woman president. Then as the night went on, we saw Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania all turn Red (Republican). It was over. Just like that. I can't describe the emotions I felt. I cried and went to bed. It was more than shock; it was fear, anxiety, and hurt.
Once the dust settled and the tears dried up; the turnout numbers reported 46% of the electorate did not vote. An all-time low for presidential election turnout. Polls had consistently shown both presidential nominees as the most unfavorable candidates to run for office but, I didn't expect those surveys to translate into people simply sitting out the election--especially during an election so important.
I can't say why Hillary lost the election. The outcome of the election will be analyzed for years to come. Was it the angry Bernie Sanders voters towards the corruption in the DNC? Or people couldn't see passed her emails on the private server (although she was not the first to do that-- G.W.H Bush Administration is one example). Perhaps people were tired of the Clintons and thought she ran a campaign with an underlining message that it was "her turn" to become president. Or let's face it, politics in America is still an 'old boy's club,' and even with all the pomp and circumstance of America as the progressive land of opportunity; we are just not ready for a Madame President. One thing I can say is that the Obama coalition showed to be loyal to Obama only. They weren't a group of voters that could simply be transferred over to the next leader of the Party. Lots of them didn't like Hillary, and it showed in the voting.
Now on to Mr. Trump.
The man who offended millions of people with his sexist, racist, bigoted rhetoric. The man who led the birther movement to try to delegitimize America's first African-American President purely based on racism. The man who has not denounced white supremacy and as a result has given this group of people the confidence to stand in the sun and proclaim Trump as their leader. The man who ran a campaign fueled by hate. The man with questionable business ethics. Finally, a man who is a pathological liar. The man that Americans elected as their next president according to the rules of the electoral college. Yes, Hillary won the popular vote but 'pantsuit supporters' have to come to the realization that the outcome of this election won't change.
For a second, I mean a millisecond, after he won, I was willing to give Mr. Trump a chance. Since we have no idea where he stands ideologically, we have to wait and see. BUT THEN, I reverted right back to my right mind when he nominated Stephen Bannon of Breitbart as chief strategist to the White House. Bannon, the man partly responsible for leading the efforts of the alt-right movement.
And Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama for Attorney General. A man who did not qualify for a federal judgeship because he demonstrated racism.
People, we cannot normalize Trump.
We can't pretend that this is just another day in politics.
Now that he is President-elect, of course, I don't want to see Trump fail. Because Trump's failure is America's failure. And in spite of America's Problems, I still believe in its promise. Even though I am across the Pond, I will continue to stand in solidarity with conscience people and press Trump on any and everything that threatens the progress of American values.