I don’t care if I’m going to talk bulls**t here for the rest of the post, I have to write something down because my head is so full of thoughts and emotions I feel like it’s going to explode.
I followed the whole coverage of the US election last night. Now I’m not a political person, but everyone, political or not, has a candidate in his or her mind; but even though I had a candidate in mind I wasn’t strongly pro either side because to be honest both of them were not strong candidates. The phrase that showed up on social networks so many times throughout the course of the election– “choose the lesser of the two devils”– adequately summed up the situation. I surfed between news channels to follow the progress of the election night and it was pretty much the most brutal and tiresome election I’ve ever seen (In 2000 I wasn’t old enough to pay attention to politics).
Even before the results officially came out the world knew Donald Trump has become the president-elect. It was disheartening on so many levels. Supporters of Hilary Clinton cried and left the HQ early; half the country was — and pretty much still is — in grief. And fear.
At the beginning of the campaign Trump said things that sounded like what a madman would say. He said about building a wall between America and Mexico; he said about deporting millions of illegal immigrants and banning refugees from entering the country; he said about dismissing Obamacare. He’s a racist and a loudmouth.He yells “Make America Great Again”.
Meanwhile Hilary Clinton was the favourite of all major media. She had the support of pretty much every celebrity, including Oprah, Beyoncé, George Clooney, and Lady Gaga; she also had Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and even Bernie Sanders behind her back. Wall Street endorsed her, major networks supported her. She talked about a fairer tax system and “an economy that works for everyone”; she supported the rights of the minorities; she was an idol for young girls.
But the result was jaw-dropping. Trump won with 276 electoral votes while Hilary got 218 on the night of the election.
Breaking down the exit polls, we can see that while most minorities voted for Hilary, 58% of white people voted for Trump; the former won the heart and vote of big cities, but the latter got small cities and rural areas in his hands; and the majority of Hilary Clinton’s supporters have higher education than Trump’s supporters.
(source: Huang, P. J., Jacoby, S., & Rebecca, K. K. (2016). Election 2016: Exit Polls. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/08/us/politics/election-exit-polls.html)
But apart from these, there are also several points that are fairly important. According to CNN news live on the election night, 38% of the Americans wanted the candidate to “bring about needed change”, namely Donald Trump, while approximately 44% of the country wanted a candidate who is “experienced and able to make good judgments”, namely Hilary Clinton.
Then why on earth did Trump won?
From the poll via Morning Consult (https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/796087638985949184?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw), a shockingly (well not so much in retrospect) 85% of Americans “just want it [the election] to be over”; and when asked by Fox News who they would vote for if neither of the candidate is favourable to them, nearly half of them said they’d vote for Trump.
The fact is, the people are angry and anxious and are not satisfied with the way their country is and going to be. Trump’s boast about making America great again actually resonated with what most people want — change. I’m not saying that, after all that Trump’s said and done, this change is going to be beneficial to the country and its people, but at least it’s something. And then there’s this quality of the candidates. Neither candidate of this election is deemed as competent enough for presidency, Trump more so than Hilary. But what people tend to forget, and ignore, is that while their compatriots hate Trump, some of them hate Hilary more, for reasons known to the world.
Over half of the voters voted for “a fascist and a bigot” as it was said on some social networks, but maybe it won’t be that bad? Consider it this way, Trump was not a politician, and if he wanted to win, he had to do whatever he could to gain public interests; and indeed he said some really appalling shit, but keep in mind that there are a lot of restrictions from the government for the president that even if Trump really wants to, say, build a fricking wall between America and Mexico, it is doubtful that he’ll actually be able to do so. And maybe this is a bit of a stretch but perhaps he can be a decent president? The world certainly hope he will be.
(Right after Trump became president-elect, Twitter exploded with furious and sad people)
As I was scrolling through tweets and news today I saw a lot of wails along the lines of “she lost because she is female” and “females might never win”. IMHO, uh, first of all, no, she didn’t lost because of her gender, as a matter of fact this opinion is rather shallow. People do not elect their president based solely on their gender. What’s more, the United States, and many other countries in the world, are more than ready for their first or second female leader. Hilary lost partially because of her own careless (or whatever else) conduct, and partially because the country wants change more than staying the way they were, and Hilary advocated latter. Secondly, your female president is out there somewhere and it will happen because it’s the 21st century. And females will win. There are so many people that are supportive of organizations and campaigns that advocate female strength and gender equality. Just you wait.
And for the record, I’m not white nor American.