This election was not what we were expecting. What we must do is to keep perspective! I know on election night, and on the days since, emotions have been running high. But they should be! Politics should not be just voting once every 4 years; it is about being involved all the time. This was one of the most consequential votes of our time, but not for the reasons many may think. The fact that Donald Trump was elected should not be the focus, but instead what this election truly shows.
This was not a vote for Trump, in fact Hillary won the popular vote, but instead it was a vote against the system. The corrupt politicians, and corrupt business people who have bought the system. It was a vote against the political elite, and against the status quo politicians. It was a vote for protectionism, isolationism, and a restoration of a myth that is the American dream. People did not vote for a racist, misogynistic, bigot to become the president, instead they voted for the one man who promised to take on the system that they see as the root of the problem. The system was represented in the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, she is every thing that appears to be at fault for Americas problem. The corrupt, politically connected, elite were all supporting the Clinton candidacy, so for many people there was absolutely no other option.
The middle class has had their jobs, livelihood, economy, and in some places, entire cities, pulled right from under them. Their jobs ‘stolen’ by the third world countries. It used to be simple, if you worked hard, played by the rules, you could be successful, but that’s hard when the entire system is against you. When the corporate and political elite are designing free trade deals that will result in the movement of jobs overseas, why would you put your own life at risk by voting for more of that? It just doesn’t make sense. So, when Trump says he’ll bring back the Jobs, by reversing the one thing that directly resulted in the transfer of jobs away from America, these people now have hope. Hope that they could return to an economically safe position. That is the scariest part of all of it.
The Republican party won the working middle class vote, because their candidate talked directly to the issues. These were the ‘forgotten people’ that Trump referred to throughout the campaign. People who have felt left behind in this new era, who just want their job security back. I can’t blame them for voting for the Candidate who was willing to speak up for the them, to actually talk about the issues facing the middle class. I supported a candidate that was anti-system as well, and he was Bernie Sanders. The Democratic party chose a nominee that was seen as too corrupt, and too politically connected to be able to relate to the struggles of the middle class. For years, the Democratic party relied on these votes, took these people for granted, because they would never go for the other side. Or so they thought! No one could have predicted the rise of the anti-system candidate from within the Republican Party, unless you’ve seen the rise of the Tea Party movement within the GOP, and how it has almost taken over the entire establishment of the party. As one of my friends has said, Donald Trump is the mold that grew off the dirty gym socks that is the Republican Party. It was only a matter of time until someone came along and ran on everything that they have been calling for over the years. That person is Donald J. Trump, and he will be the President of the United States of America for the next four years.
It is now up to the left, and to the progressives, and in fact up to every single American to rise up and say enough is enough! Say no the racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism that grew out of a lost of hope across the country. To stand up, to talk, and stay politically engaged, not just for the next 1500 days or so until the next president, but instead every single day and on every single issue that strikes an emotion in us. We need to fight for policies that benefit the entire middle class, that keeps all Americans safe from both domestic violence and international acts of terrorism, and to start questioning the archaic political system that results in a person losing the popular vote but winning the election. This is not easy, and definitely not easy for a country that has over two centuries of history. But its time to write the next chapter of the American story, and I wish them the best of luck. I am confident that things will get better, that long-term, America will be the country of love, of hope, of freedom, of prosperity, and the country where every child can reach their fullest potential. While the path will be rough, and will take some zigs and zags, positive progress always in the end takes over. I believe it will in America as well.