It’s the election result that nobody expected, and no sane person wanted—Trump won. And by a landslide actually, in the electoral college vote at least; he led 290 to 228. People are disappointed for a number of reasons, which I assume are clear. But one of the many barriers that Trump has already been put up against as President-elect is the fact that Hillary is actually winning the popular vote as I write this. This happens rarely in an election, and she’s currently taking the lead by quite a substantial number—as of November 13, she had a total of 60,981,118 votes. This averages out at 47.79% of the popular vote, which in layman’s terms means that she’s gaining more votes from each individual American than Trump. Understandably, people are arguing that this isn’t a reflection of true democracy. More people have voted for Hillary and thus she should win, simple. But it isn’t. And Trump said it best himself in a tweet that dates back to 2012, the electoral college is a disaster for democracy. There are currently numerous ongoing protests and debates to have arisen from this, but unless someone finds a loophole we’re all going to have to accept that Trump is going to be President of the United States and Leader of the Free World come January. And calling himself Leader of the Free World is going to be rather ironic, seeing as he wants anyone who isn’t a middle-class, straight white man to be anything but free. It’s no secret that Trump feels strongly about suppressing almost every minority, as he made clear in his campaign.
When talking about Mexicans, he claimed them to be rapists and criminals. He’s made it incessantly clear throughout his entire campaign that he wants to stop immigration to America—by Mexicans and Muslims in particular. He claimed he’s going to build a wall, and make Mexicans pay for it. About the ever important Black Lives Matter campaign, he claimed that “if black lives don’t matter, then go back to Africa”. He also made a bold claim as to say that he is going to ban all Muslims from entering the US, because they are all terrorists. If this isn’t the definition of tarring everybody with the same brush, then I don’t know what is. Throughout his campaign, he’s fed well into the Islamophobic propaganda and fearmongering that was already oh so prevalent in our society—he’s even said that he’s going to send back all the Syrian refugees that fled to America for safety; children and adults alike. But these aren’t the only minorities he’s been oppressing in his battle for presidency. Trump has made a number of ludicrous comments about women, the most recent being that he “grabs [women] by the p*ssy”, without consent. He’s also called them “beautiful pieces of ass”, and gone as far as to say that he would date his own daughter. Beyond this, he’s set to appear in court later this month regarding the sexual assault of a thirteen year old girl. And yet, 46% of women voted for him.
And I think that is what sums up what’s most upsetting about Trump winning presidency. It isn’t that he won—it’s the fact that his overpowering message of misogyny, racism and hatred has resonated with so many people. That the work done by activists of all races, sexes and religions for so long has been totally and utterly renounced by this election. Ultimately, it all feels pointless. We’ve taken so many steps forward in society in recent years—we elected the first black president, twice in a row. This time round, a woman was in the running. And yet, a bigot triumphed.
It’s a scary thought for America: most of what Trump is suggesting he will implement as president will affect minorities not only in America, but worldwide. And for those who are saying that this won’t affect them, you are part of the problem, and more wrong than you could imagine. Once a powerful country sets a standard, the world will follow suit. And we haven’t just told the rest of the world that electing a misogynistic, perverted rapist for president is okay—the same has been suggested to men who approach women and feel as though they have sense of entitlement to them. The same has been suggested to the people who throw racial slurs at women wearing burka as part of their religion. The same has been suggested to our sons and our daughters, our future leaders.
It’s scary, and the fear is totally valid. But what we mustn’t do is cave in and just accept this. We mustn’t settle, and we definitely should not just brush it under the rug and move on like we are being told to do. It’s disheartening to say the least, but for the next four years we have to fight harder than we did before. African-Americans, Muslims, women—we must use our voices now more than ever. And if you happen to be a member of a particular race, sex or religion that is likely to be unaffected by this result, then you need to use your voice more than anybody else. Right now, you have ultimate privilege. You have more voice and power than most, and more than you know—use it for good.