It's the day after the day after, and I'm still not really sure how I feel. I've read a lot of reactions, and I've sympathized with a lot of people. I think I can agree with one person who said "This is probably not the end of the world," but that's easy for me to say.
I'm not Muslim or Jewish.
I do not have a disability.
I'm not a member of the LBGTQ community.
I'm not overweight or particularly ugly.
I'm not poor.
I can afford health care.
I'm not an immigrant in America.
I'm not a foreigner in America.
I'm not in America.
I appreciate some of the eternal optimism (something that's very "typical American") I've seen because I'm glad to know not everyone feels as disheartened as I do. For me it's not about that person getting elected; it's about all the people who cheered for him and fed his ego despite the things he said and the things he did. The speeches yesterday about working together were all nice. But it will take more than pretty speeches to repair what's wrong in the hearts of people. If you doubt me, read the open comments sections of just about any article or video from the last days. Or this article.
As I wrote to my parents this morning, if an imperfect but charismatic and genuinely likeable African-American man wth a sense of humor could not bring the people of this country together in eight years (because no one person can do that), there is little chance that a misogynistic, insufferable, maniacally egotistical bigot will be able to do so.
Some are saying that this person will be different in office than he was on the campaign trail. I don't believe that, but even if it turns out to be true, what's that all about? More than half of us don't want him, and the others voted for the guy they saw and heard during the campaign. Now he's going to be a different person? All those people voted for what they saw, and early on many were saying they liked him because "he says what needs to be said." And then he insulted, ridiculed, and verbally attacked everyone who wasn't like him and everyone who didn't support him, and incited violence and rage, and they continued to support him.
What I do believe is that he will not accomplish much of what he yammered on about at his rallies. That was obvious to educated people from the start. There will be no wall, he will not ban Muslims from entering the country, he will not deport millions of illegal immigrants and likely won't do anything to change or improve the immigration system, he will not touch Roe v. Wade, he will not bring back waterboarding, and he will not "lock her up." These never were the things I was afraid of.
The thought of that person representing the American people on the world stage is what is distasteful to me. He is the quintessential "ugly American," and while I am harsh on my own people, I do not believe he is an appropriate representative.
But he won, as he boasted so often and so loudly that he would, and now we have to live with it.
I was called yesterday by journalists from three different newspapers for my thoughts. Although my head wasn't clear yet (it still isn't, but I'm getting there), if you're interested, the articles were in the Südwest Presse, the Esslinger Zeitung,* and the Schwarzwälder Bote-Freudenstadt. I can't find the last article online, but it's in the printed paper.
*Note: While the Esslinger Zeitung article shows a photo of M and me as the main photo online, the quote in the title is from a different person interviewed.
Good luck, America.