Last week, the world’s worst nightmare came true. Donald J. Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States. After nearly a year, spending billions of dollars on the campaign trail, the once-joke became all too real.
For anyone who’s turned on the news in that aforementioned period of time, there’s not much to tell when trying to describe just how bad this reality is for not only America, but the entire world at large. The United States, the undeclared global superpower, just voted a racist (wants to ban Muslims from entering the country) bigot, misogynist (talked openly about groping women’s genitalia) and chauvinist to the country’s most important seat.
The fallout from this event could be catastrophic. As the tides started to work in Trump’s favour Tuesday night, the DOW began to plummet with many economists predicting that America will be heading into a long and difficult recession. The truth is that no one knows. No one is able to predict how bad (or good?) Trump’s presidency will be because it’s unprecedented. Never before has a presidential candidate been elected into the Oval Office after pledging to tear apart trade deals, build physical walls, be open to nuclear warfare while bombing the s*** out of ISIS. Never.
In the days following the election, pundits across the world asked the question, “What would a Trump presidency look like?” or, “Could Trump actually pull this off?”
These questions have completely missed the mark. Sure, cautious optimism needs to be in store for Trump as the next president of the United States this January, holding his feet to the fire to be a President for all of America. But Tuesday wasn’t tragic for its implications on future policy. Instead, it was a horrifying example of fear defeating love.
CNN political commentator Van Jones explained why Tuesday was such a global nightmare.
“It’s hard to be a parent tonight, for a lot of us,” he said. “You tell your kids, ‘don’t be a bully.’ You tell your kids, ‘don’t be a bigot.’ You tell you kids, ‘do your homework and be prepared,’ and then you have this outcome and you have people putting their kids to bed at night and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of, ‘how do I explain this to my children?’”
As a parent, how do you tell your child it’s better to be a good person when the most powerful person in the world just claimed his seat by doing the opposite? How do you explain to them what justice is? Is there really any benefit in being morally sound anymore?
To this, there’s no good answer. As a society we’re told to be moral people, accepting everyone regardless of race, gender ethnicity and that we’re all equal. We’re told when competing with another person to treat them with respect. Tuesday’s results made that advice, that guidance, essentially obsolete.
Whether or not Trump goes back on some of his more radical policies such as the banning of Muslims, the damage has already been done. If it’s not Trump personally, it’ll be the thousands of followers—including the KKK—whose voice was strengthened and encouraged with Trump’s victory to inflict pain and suffering on the minorities that desperately need the nation and politicians’ attention. It’s happening already in schools and communities across the U.S as minorities are attacked both physically and emotionally for their appearances and beliefs.
The alternative discourse to this obviously is to find love and unify. It’s what politicians of the past such as Barack Obama campaigned on and it’s the only answer to overcoming the tragedy Trump has beset upon America.
Finding that reality may be difficult mired in the hate blanketed over the nation right now. But it has existed in history before.
“United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures,” John Fitzgerald Kennedy said in 1961 at his Inaugural Address. “Divided there is little we can do — for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.”