Amber Rants: US Election

[Disclaimer: this is an opinion piece. Treat it as such. I'm sat across the pond in England with a cup of tea, ultimately what I say doesn't make a shred of difference. It's also not a love letter to Clinton, who was certainly problematic too, and is instead not so much a look at policy, more of a study of people's attitudes.]

I went to bed at 1am GMT on election night. US politics is one of my particular passions but I'm ill so that's all I could manage. Hillary was in the lead, and I went to bed thinking that maybe the sensible choice had been made. I did the same for Brexit: stayed up until finally relenting when the ultimate 'losers' were in the lead and going to bed.

I woke up to a string of messages. 'Fuck' I replied. America had actually done it. And what would this mean for the nation, for those already marginalised by society, and for everyone worldwide? Over here, we are fairly 'left wing' in comparison, by the simple fact that we already have many of the things contested in the US: free healthcare, gun restrictions, and politicians don't even touch the subject of abortion. So Trump was watched with a mixture of shock and sheer disbelief for the whole of the election cycle, mixed with a blasé attitude of 'oh well he'll never win'.

Beside the overwhelming problems I have with Trump and his quite obviously discriminatory history, it's what he stands for and says to such a large platform that really has the impact. After all, when you're on the presidential platform, especially with social media, the eyes of the world are trained on you. It's likely that a decent amount of what he said has been bombastic rhetoric, but when his now VP-elect Mike Pence is telling us that genuinely a lot of the anti-LGBT and quite frankly racist ideas will almost certainly happen, this is scary.

He will face almost no serious opposition, with Republican-controlled Senate, House and Supreme Court. The best democracies need a strong opposition, for compromise and a wider perspective on the interests of the people, not in the sense of 'let's block everything Obama ever does, and we'll argue the sky is green if he says it's blue', but in making sure laws are considering everyone.

There are certain parts of Trump's character that must be discussed because 'after all, Amber, aren't you being hypocritical to judge America for voting for anti immigration policy when your nation voted for Brexit'? No. Britain didn't vote for a figurehead who has said to 'treat women like shit', and has impending fraud and child rape cases in court over the next two months. America has elected someone who has never held public office, has no experience in dealing with representatives from his own country, let alone foreign diplomats.

The biggest group of people to elect Trump were white, non college educated men. To this demographic's credit, it must be difficult when you face economic difficulty, see jobs getting cut and then are told that it's due to outsourcing and globalisation. When someone, a political outsider, supposedly rooting for the everyday man and woman appears, this must seem like a miracle. It was a wonderful middle finger to 'the establishment' for those supposedly 'forgotten' as Trump likes to claim. But since when were white, mostly men, overwhelmingly straight people (after all Trump plans to roll back HIV and AIDS prevention and awareness schemes to implant gay conversion therapy) the ones that are being marginalised?!

How can you explain to your black friends that you voted for a man who believes police brutality and blatant racism is not a problem needing to be dealt with? How do you explain to your Mexican friends that no, no, you don't think THEY are a rapist/drug dealer, just 'everyone else'? How do you explain to your Muslim friends that you don't really want them to leave the country? To your female friends, especially those that are mothers, that their pregnancy wasn't a burden to their employer? To your gay, lesbian or bisexual friends that even though the man you're backing wants to reverse gay marriage laws, you'll still recognise their marriage? I hope you tell them they have a right to be pissed. Because they do. They were ignored, in supposedly the country of the free, in preference of what? Xenophobia? Anything but a female president?

So that is who I am sad for: people already treated unfairly by society, and if we believe what Trump says (which is surely what he was elected on), life will get a whole lot worse for them. Open mindedness, acceptance and the strides made towards a fairer society have taken a backseat. And in politics, bigotry seems to be 'fashionable'. Look at Le Pen in France, Trump, Brexit to a certain extent, Putin in Russia, and the type of 'government' in Turkey. It is a trend to swing back and forth between conservatism and liberalism, but this isn't just people's ideas of government. These are people's ideas on race, religion and sexuality. It's the disgusting bigotry and discrimination facing people in America now, two days after the election. Because bigotry has become 'mainstream' again. That's why I am angry. That's why I am sad. Not just because it's winners and losers, as in all elections. Trump wants to make America great again. What era? It seems like it's heading back to the so-called 'golden age' with segregation, rampant sexism, homophobia, transphobia and closed mindedness.

PS- for the record, climate change is very real and very scary.



  1. Killary will soon be where she belongs- in jail!

  2. House and Senate form Congress, it's not clear what you meant by listing them separately?? Other than that thank you for posting. It's so interesting to find out other people's perspectives, especially from other countries. So much anger here. Thank you

    1. Amended, thank you, I didn't notice it in my proofreading :)

  3. Makes me so glad I'm not living in America, it's terrifying how people think they have a pass to be scum to others just because of "The Donald"