Generally impartial to politics, I tuned in absentmindedly to the election campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump over the last year or so. I tolerated her, but whiter than white, ambitious, democrats who fancy giving the big job a shot because it would look good on the CV don’t excite me. I looked on the bright side. She was grand, safe enough, nice to have a woman a president and compared to the alternative, it was a no brainer.
Having that issue sorted in my mind for a long time, I was able to get on and enjoy the antics of her opponent. A gauche billionaire who in the past had openly stated that “it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass’. So naturally, given this statement, all the sexual harassment claims, the inappropriate video footage, misogynistic remarks, openly discussed racial slurs, anti-Muslim beliefs and general Neanderthal views towards inclusion. I assumed that his attempts to make it to the white house and I just sat back and enjoyed the campaign. Ducking in and out, never getting offended or excited at any of his ‘locker room’ talk/actions. He was a clown. His purpose was to evoke interest and create amusement, he was good at it. His sexist approach didn’t faze me, I’ve met plenty like him, narrowmindedness is ten a penny. I read all the jokes, laughed at the comments. This guy was a spoof, he was put there by some mastermind from the creators of the Simpsons to evoke thought and get people thinking. He was along for the ride, when he lost, he’d proven his point, put up a decent battle for someone with no previous political experience, training or affiliation to a party. If he won, well then, he was President of the United States of America, yay me, it was a win win situation, for him.
Last Wednesday morning as the votes came in, I watched the coverage on TV with renewed interest. Shocked to see that he was actually in the running and stunned when Hilary made the call to concede. This was the first thing he had done that shocked me. I was ok with one sexist, racist American, but 57,000,000 people agreeing to turn a blind eye was more than I’d bargained for. I shocked myself by crying and couldn’t think exactly what had me in tears, was it Hillary? No. Was it politics? No. Was it the fact that I was staring at Donald Trump and despite everything I thought of him, he now represented the truth, or at least 51% of the truth? Yes. Fifty seven million people supported the man that said the way forward was to build a wall to keep Mexicans out. Fifty seven million people agreed that Muslims or Mexicans shouldn’t be allowed into the US. (If effected should be extended to morons). Fifty seven million people thought also that general disrespect abuse and harassment towards women was acceptable, passable and excusable. Small wonder I cried and tears largely for the millions of women that don’t value themselves enough not to vote him.
Accepting that my faith in humanity was the biggest casualty I tried to get to grips with the news and hard as it is to accept, Donald Trump has now proven is that he is the face of the ugly truth. People resonate with what he’s saying, he represents the majority (almost) of the American people and loath him if you like, but there are 57 million riled up people to echo his words, actions and beliefs.
When all else fails we blame the media. Exposed as we are on social media, we are in reality building an ideal online world for ourselves, surrounding ourselves with people and sites with similar beliefs and ideals. So while we are laughing our assess off as Trump jokes on our newsfeed, preaching to the converted on Twitter, liking pictures of dogs and cats on Instagram and smirking at videos breakdancing Old Age Pensioners on Facebook, there is a real world outside and it’s not pretty or pc or encompassing, it’s full of hate, fear, misogyny and Trump.