I cannot get my head round to it, but Donald J. Trump is going to be the President of the United States. In fact, I don’t think that anyone has actually comprehended it yet.
I get the frustration and I get the need to lash out against the establishment if you have lost your job, if you are living off next to nothing and if you feel like you have been forgotten. But voting for Trump, wasn’t really a vote against the establishment. Trump has been fixated within the business establishment for decades, having political influence for the past 20-30 years by giving donations to political parties and mainly to the Democrats. So, a vote for Trump was a vote given to a self-interested person; a racist; a misogynist; a xenophobe; a man who has been accused of over a dozen sexual assaults; a man who openly mocked disabled people; a man who believes women should be punished for the choices they make about their fertility; a man who believes climate change isn’t real.
This is the person for whom Americans voted, a man who has no connection with normal people. A man who considers a one million dollar loan from his dad a ‘small loan’. A man who is so bad at business that he would have made more money by investing in index funds than running his businesses in the way he did. A man who publicly boasts about not paying tax, about not paying the bills for Americans healthcare; not paying the bills for the education of American children. He has deprived crucial services of funding simply because of his selfish wish to have more money. He has no connection to normal people, has no clue of how they live. He is not a self-made man; he is not going to get people’s jobs back; he is not in any shape or form anti-establishment. And Americans have voted for him!
I’m not even angry; I’m just frustrated. I get Brexit – I hate it – but I get it. Communities had been left behind for decades, with no hope or future to look forward to. For the first time everyone’s votes mattered and they could actually have an influence. They took the chance to batter this ‘establishment’. But … Trump is so openly wrong and disgusting in everything that embodies him that I cannot sympathise or forgive anyone who voted for him.
Of course it is a classic ‘metropolitan elite’ thing to just shout ‘racists’ and ‘bigots’ at such people because they cannot understand what has led them to hold such views. I am part of this ‘metropolitan elite’, I am sorry for that. I genuinely am, I feel a guilt from it every time I talk about politics. I live in North London, have all my life. I embrace immigration and everything to do with diversity. But I do understand that many people do not.
Occasionally I have moments of anger and frustration which result in my own sense of moral superiority coming out. I cannot understand or comprehend what it is like to feel like so many people in these situations do. Even now, I feel like what I am saying is patronising. But my only point is that I can try to understand what it is like to be repeatedly done over by society and this ‘establishment’ and then be told repeatedly that the cause lies in this ‘other’. I acknowledge that this can lead to beliefs that many see as racist, but I do not see it that way.
However, my sympathy can only extend so far. Trump is past that limit. The accusations of sexual assault and his open bragging about it are too far gone. I cannot forgive someone who has endorsed such statements by endorsing such a person. I can understand the anti-immigrant sentiment being ingrained within people but I cannot understand the idea of sexual assault being an acceptable trait for a President. As I was walking home, sleepless, with daylight accompanied by snow hitting my face at 7:30am, I asked myself, what is the future of politics? I realised that I have no clue. Not ‘no clue’ as in, it’s an exciting time for politics and anything could happen. ‘No clue’ as in, the far-right have taken hold of our politics and we can’t seem to stop them. From Le Pen and the National Front in France consistently polling over 27% to the Freedom Party of Austria’s likely victory in the upcoming Austrian election. I have little hope and little clue for what is going on. The simple fact is that voting for Trump was not just politically but morally wrong.