You thought that it was a bad dream. It was not. The flags streaked with red, blue, and a messy splash of orange in a sea of red caps. Beyond the crazy mad months that the world has endured, lies a future ahead. Maybe things wouldn’t be so rocky, maybe the globe would tremble at his leadership. The fact remains that America has chosen her president, out of anger and fear that boiled behind the scenes for years without respite. Behind the polls and numbers, lie emotions and blood running deep through social divisions. The fact remains that this man America has elected won on a tide of bigotry and hate, and his victory legitimised such actions. People are getting hurt now, no matter how you look at it. Women, Muslims, blacks, Latinos. Amid the blindness that America walked through for years, today she finally reached the pit. While the election has ended and some may have won, the country remains as the biggest loser amid divisive politics and toxic feelings.
City dwellers may look down upon their suburban (or countryside) fellows, questioning their sanity in states swinging towards him, but little do they consider their feelings of displacement and loss in a changing world. While the world has moved forward for months, years, or even decades to the beat of globalisation’s drum roll, people do get left behind. It is no coincidence that the Rust Belt settled for the man who echoed their anger. But he cannot solve these issues. Sometimes, there is simply no golden past to return to, or any greatness to fall back upon. Sometimes, we’ve got to move on and not be coddled by false truths and blind romanticisation. There is no turning back from the world we live in today. We cannot ignore the economically displaced, nor can we push aside minority rights that are ever present. Global economies are changing, and they cannot be stopped. Old industries that breathed life into towns and gave it life, they can never return. This is the world that we inherit over time from our actions and concerns. At the same time, we cannot say no to the system that placed him in the White House, nor can we sit back as passive citizens or people of the world and watch the sky fade away. Every person has the right to vote, express their views (while being prepared to be rebutted should it warrant such response), and choose who to lead them. You cannot deny and denounce the system just because your choice of candidate did not get selected. Imagine the reverse scenario. You would become no different from the ones you protest against.
I am saddened at the anger, hate, and bigotry that this election has created. Be it those who stand against women, LGBTQ communities, blacks, Latinos, and those who stand at the fringe of society, or the poisonous rhetoric that supports extralegal means of removing the elected from power. People have rights. You cannot deny them. White privilege is not the American identity, it has never been that way for a immigrant society. To those who hate him: assassinations, the Second Amendment, or death by reality TV, these are not the means to make a democracy work. His running mate is no better than him, and so isn’t the Republican House Speaker (should you wish death upon his successor). You don’t like who America elected? Be a active citizen and play your part in the democratic process. Be the ultimate check and balance that your country needs now. Make sure the incoming president knows what he is getting into: a politically active country ready to pounce at the unspeakable. The streets are lighted up now, not out of hate but out of love for each other, a love that reached marginalised people who are threatened by white bullies. Know that America is not a monolithic country made of socially conscious minds who screech at bigotry and hate. Sometimes, pain makes people do things that look stupid but these are the choices that Americans make when their lives are left stagnant in the gutter. America is a complicated place, filled with people hurting over different things. It is time for America to come together, heal, and think what needs to be done to ease her common pain.
For now, we wait for another four years. For now, we need to be the citizens that the world needs. The citizen is more important than ever before in the American democracy.