Donald Trump is the president of the United States. I can honestly say I hate talking politics. That isn’t to say I don’t think they are important, etc. I’ve stayed mute on this blog throughout this election because 1) I don’t update it enough to keep a running tab on my opinions about U.S. politics and 2) I don’t like talking politics, particularly U.S. politics because it enrages me and I want this space to be a positive one. I knew the moment Bernie Sanders lost the primaries that it was going to be a slippery slope for Hillary Clinton to win the presidency. Like many Bernie supporters, after he lost, I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not to say voting for Trump ever crossed my mind because it sure as hell didn’t and voting for Hillary was also the last thing I wanted to do, but between the two, voting for Hillary was the right thing to do and I still believe that with every fiber of my being. The thing that surprised me the most were people’s shock and surprise that he won. Why didn’t she win? How did he win?
In the summer, when Bernie lost, I spent hours looking at reasons why Trump would win because it’s what I most feared when Bernie lost. I have issues with Michael Moore–and who doesn’t with anyone–but his piece on “5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win” pressed me to do more of my own research as did Fusion’s “The Naked Truth: Trumpland” because they made me realize just how out of touch I was with a huge portion of the population. I truly wanted to know why people would vote for someone who was so obviously horrible in my eyes. I also dove deep into the rise of populism in the EU and took a harder look at the Brexit and just what it means for the entire world going forward (or entering into another cycle as I like to say).
There are so many reasons I am angry right now; so many reasons why I’m sad and disappointed; so many it would turn this post into a dissertation.
It’s easy for me to say voting for Trump was wrong. My mother is an immigrant and we had an “uncle” who was an illegal immigrant live with us until he could get up on his own two feet and become a citizen–he started by painting houses and now he’s an ophthalmologist in Los Angeles. And although I was born into the middle class, my family is one of the “lucky ones”–we were able to keep our heads afloat in this economy and are still able to even now. So many others in the middle class, the working class, are floundering. Both parties have failed them. And the reason Trump won was hugely because of that reason (and the Electoral College, but let’s not go there). When people are scared and angry and feel forced to choose between themselves and their loved ones’ futures versus what’s right, history has shown time and time again they will choose the former.
To add, I have friends who nearly all agree with me on my political views; liberals to the core. Most of us are the same; the people we most associate with usually hold similar values and because of that we can get stuck inside a dangerous bubble where our beliefs and our opinions are constantly validated by others in our inner circle to be what we consider as common sense and infallible and only goaded on by social media. This is so dangerous because it can make us believe “the numbers” are all true and that “everyone” is on the same page. Everyone except those who don’t take part in polls (newsflash: Trump voters), everyone except those you don’t associate with. The liberal media is a perfect example of that and another reason why Hillary lost.
I want to encourage everyone to please be your own journalist. Coming from me, it’s easy to say. I wanted to be a journalist for years. For others, that might seem like too much of a “hassle”; it’s simply easier to buy into everything you see and/or hear on your selected media outlets. However, please don’t. Please, please do your own research. Please don’t be complacent and completely subjective as incredibly hard as it is. I truly do believe that if only we had been our own journalists, things would have been different.
To be honest, I just had to get some feelings out of my system and this seemed like a better place than any to do that. It’s necessary in order for me to re-focus on how to keep fighting for what’s right. We have to keep fighting.