Two days ago, America voted for Donald J Trump as their next commander in chief.
A man who has promised to ban all Muslims from entering a nation founded by immigrants now has the power to sign bills into law. A man who has repeatedly called Mexicans “rapists” is now able to command the military. A man who has been accused by over ten different women (including a 13 years old) of rape or sexual assault is now entrusted with nuclear codes. A man who has threatened to punish women for exercising the right to an abortion can now appoint Supreme Court judges. A man who contends that climate change is a Chinese fraud now represents America in treaties and conferences around the world.
A wildly unstable predator who has spouted blatant lies and racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic rhetoric throughout his campaign is now set to become the most powerful person in the world.
I am not American. As a Canadian, it’s tempting to distance myself and watch our downstairs neighbours battle it out. But as a woman, and as a person, for the sake of common humanity, I am fully invested in trumping hatred and fighting for those who rightly fear a Trump Presidency.
I’m scared too. I’m scared, and shocked, and confused, but mostly I’m angry. I’m angry that so many people benefitting under Obamacare will now worry their health coverage will be ripped away. I’m angry that immigrants and people of colour and LGBTQ+ peoples and other minorities living in America are the subject of so much ignorance and misplaced hate. I’m angry that the progress fought for with tooth, nail, and blood is now threatened by a GOP majority in both Houses. And I’m so fiercely, unbelievably angry that voters rather elect a misogynistic buffoon than allow an intelligent, qualified woman to achieve a position of power.
The world feels like a colder place today. I, like many others, was baffled by Trump’s victory; perhaps I have coddled myself into a false sense of security through liberal news sources and progressive environments. Perhaps I am actually wildly out of touch with reality. This election result has taught me that we are not moving forward, and that sitting back and allowing time and generational change to solve the world’s problems is not enough.
If we only counted the votes of those between ages 18-25, this would have been the result. This is the future. This is the hope that we can strive for.
But to get there our anger needs to crystallize into an imperative to fight oppression, to battle ignorance, and to uphold humanity. I don’t know how to make it better, and I don’t know how to make a difference within a system that so obviously hates women, but I do know that we need to keep going. Right now the world seems off tilt, a hateful, bitter place, and Trump’s victory feels like a personal attack on many different identities.
But our focus has narrowed, our cause has solidified, and we are unified. We won the popular vote. We know that things are not okay. Donald Trump is in office, and we are not going to contain our anger.