The dust has settled and I’m still feeling pretty sad about Donald Trump winning the US presidency for so many reasons. I’m not American, but I know many who are and the US election has far reaching consequences. The world was watching and we are shocked and frightened. The anger and disbelief will fade, but the sadness will stay for a long time.
I’m sad for the the women that had to withdraw her rape trial after years of waiting for justice because of death threats, and now had to watch her alleged rapist winning the path to the White House. I’m sad for the witness in her trial who was brave enough to come forward and tell her story. I’m sad for the dozen women that came forward with stories of sexual abuse, knowing what would be said about them and getting only abuse in return it. I’m sad for the women who are victims with no justice, for the renewed hurt they must feel as their abuse is ratified by the election of a man that dismisses sexual assault as locker room talk. I’m sad for the women that will become victims because an existing sexist undercurrent is given credence by this election. I’m sad for women that feel that their worth is constantly tied to their appearance, and to the way they are viewed by men – as either pigs or housewives. The road is long and we are barely at the beginning.
I’m sad for the LGBTQI community, who are yet to find out if the new US president will repeal marriage equality as he has promised and confirm the outdated perspective that if you are different you are less, or at least deserve less rights.
I’m sad for African Americans, who watched the KKK march in North Carolina in celebration of their favoured candidate’s win, knowing that the supremacist movement that hates them for their very DNA has renewed vigour with the backing of the new president. I’m sad for the Latino community who know that their president wants to deport many of their members, believing them to be criminals of the most depraved kind – despite his own admission of sexual assault. I’m sad for Muslim men, women and children, many born in the US who are already being told to ‘go back where you came from’ .
I’m sad for the business owners Trump has betrayed, who have lost their businesses because his was bigger thanks to donations and inheritances from his father. I’m sad for the people in the middle east who may well suffer for his ignorance, bravado and braggadocio. I’m sad that we very well could be watching the rise of the next great megalomaniacal tyrant and we haven’t yet learned from history. I’m sad that the propaganda worked. Humanity is deeply, irreparably flawed.
I’m sad for the little girls that were given hope that a glass ceiling was to be cracked; that they were about to witness something akin to the birth of suffrage. I’m sad for Hillary Clinton, who was dragged through a sewer of unsubstantiated lies, was made to rehash her painful personal history not of her making again in the public eye, was held to account for her husband’s actions and was made to feel like a ‘nasty woman’ for the very fact that she was still standing at the end. Her grace and wisdom in defeat was inspiring, albeit tinged with disbelief and the deep disappointment reflected in so many around the world.
But most of all I’m sad for America. I knew you weren’t the bastion of freedom and opportunity that you could once claim to be – few countries are – but the power of hatred that elected Donald Trump goes much deeper than anyone realised. I’m sad that so many lives are rooted in anger and resentment rather than a sense of true fulfilment. I’m sad for those that voted for Trump, knowing they will not get the change they are hoping for. That they think they were forgotten, but will feel the sting of frustration when it dawns on them that Trump can’t possibly keep most of his promises, many of which conflict. I’m sad for those that voted for Hillary with hope for a very real change that remains out of reach for at least another 4 years. And I’m devastated that there was an opportunity for hope and true leadership, whether popular or not, and it was dismissed summarily in favour of the mirage of self entitled self concerned petulance.
God bless America. If he’s up there, you’ll need him.