And it happened, ladies and gentlemen.
A year ago, what many thought just a bad joke, has become reality. In a surprising election characterized by it’s unconventional nature and ridiculous happenings surrounding it, Donald Trump has emerged victorious with 279 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton‘s 218 (as of this time), in a incredibly tied election with about 58 million votes for each (Trump having a 47.7% of the votes and Hillary a 47.5%). The is has still settling at the time of writing this, and the only thing that’s for sure is that opinions are divided.
Social media is in confusion right now, with the more evenly distributed ones like Facebook being a hellhole of contradicting posts as Trump supporters cheer and congratulate each other. Hillary supporters break down in fear, frustration or have resigned. Other more politically aligned platforms like Twitter are overwhelmed with negative sentiment, the former starting to fill with threats to the president elect and calls to arms from many disgruntled voters that did not agree with the result to riot in white middle class neighborhoods. The smaller, yet more diverse GNUsocial is mostly submerged in either acceptance or trolling, the ‘anime smugs’ running wild all around.
And /pol/? /pol/ is ecstatic. A sticky is up with a celebration video that plays a catchy song as soon as you enter, threads are being made to celebrate and immortalize the moment that shitposting steered a country. Everyone is trying to decide what to do next with the now proven meme magick – the responsibilities that such a great power entails. Pepe is real, he’s powerful, and he has blessed His chosen children with the ability to make the impossible possible.
The real winner? The real winner is #Harambe (In peace may He rest), that despite his horrifying murder and the trivialization of it by the media, has garnered the votes of at least 11,000 Americans who deposited their faiths and dreams in a symbolic vote to the deceased Gorilla.
This of course has not been taken well by some of the less tolerant citizens of the country
In a more serious note, there is both a good and a bad side to this, like everything else. The bad side is that many people are NOT happy with the result and not being civil. Democracy is like this, and some cannot come to terms with it. You can win, or you can lose, but you have to stay civil either way.
That is not happening. Some people, which I assume and hope are an extremist minority, are marching on the streets in repudiation of the result, a result that has been out just by a few hours (days as of editing), and at the same time like previously mentioned, some others are actively calling for violence on the streets or even assassination in response to a valid, democratic election. If someone claims that a person should not be president because that candidate will be oppressive and authoritarian… is attempting a coup d’etat and forcefully removing the elected candidate the way to go? No. It’s exactly the opposite of what should be done.
I can sympathize with people being unhappy with democracy, as I am not the strongest supporter of the model, but it is not the time nor place to attempt to protest a legitimate government with violence, before the president elect has taken office. It achieves nothing but giving legitimacy to the targeted official. So if you, reader, are one of the people suggesting any of this, I urge you to reconsider.
On a positive side, this election brings a kind of hope: The American people have proven that media control and the backing of the mainstream political bodies are not enough to silence the will of a country. A country that the rest of the world looks to with avid attention. Good or bad, the victory of Donald Trump proves that a fear campaign does not guarantee victory, but rather further pushes neutral voters to side with the demonized candidate. It has happened in many countries, and now it happens in the USA.
Trump won. Beside his promises to create more low qualification jobs for the local population and regardless of the opinion of each person on its validity, many people felt pressured and became emasculated by the state. Many felt that a single political current was silencing them, blackmailing them and extorting them and that some less than reputable types were climbing on arguably valid causes. Misusing them in order to pressure others into silence. An vast part of the population felt that they could not express their opinions, moral or religious, for fear they’d be branded as sexist, racist, homophobic and many other adjectives, without fair trial or a chance to defend themselves. …Worried that their careers and public image would be ruined for it.
It can be seen how many people belonging to the black, latino, and LGBT demographics have reacted in social media when Trump’s victory was attributed solely to white middle class voters by his opponents’ supporters. Even in groups that at first glance stood to lose much under a Trump presidency, there’s a rejection towards the way of pushing an agenda with hostility and justifying it by claiming it’s for the good of minorities. So imagine how much stronger this sentiment is in the people that do not belong to these minorities. I’ve personally had people that I considered friends (and had never insulted or mistreated plainly) stop talking to me and rip me apart me behind my back – simply because I did not agree fully with their “progressive” ideas. I’m sure many others have gone through the same situation with some cases being much worse as the repercussions bled into their professional careers.
A popular sentiment that many Trump supporters have is “He’s an asshole, and we need more assholes”
Think about that phrase for a second. An important part of the American population, which numbers in millions( judging by the result of the election) felt that they needed an “asshole” to get in power so that they could freely speak their minds. This is a right deeply ingrained in North American culture. They felt tired of being unable to make public an ‘unpopular opinion’ and felt that Trump would allow them to do so again.
And this is the good part of it. The victory speech of Donald Trump called for an end to the infighting, calling for a United States that is actually united. Some believe him, some don’t, but the thing is, this should be the future. This election should become a wake up call, and encourage people to build progress through consensus, not through hostility and extortion. Yes, it’s hard, and yes, some minorities feel this was done to them, and there are some right in this thinking… but as of today, they have, knowingly or not, done the same to many of their perceived oppressors. The American people should bury the hatchet this time, and contribute positively to stop what they consider negative actions by the new government, and endorse those they consider positive. And there should be real freedom of expression at the individual level again, like we had a decade ago. This does not mean the freedom to attack dissenters, but rather the freedom to discuss ideas.
This should be the legacy of this election. A message to the establishment that it can’t get away with everything; and a message to the most extreme of both sides of the political spectrum. A message that the only way forward without an insurmountable ideological gap every decade is true consensus.
Both sides should slow down, sit together, and talk, not demand, about what they want their future to be. To fight with civility for the rights they deserve, but without censoring and trampling any conflicting expression. Both sides are now on an even ground in regards to this, the left has taken a blow and is no longer as emboldened as it was, and the right has gained a certain foothold again. So use that opportunity to build a future that both sides can benefit from, and neither hates.
This election and it’s aftermath will be in the history books for good, make sure your grandchildren remember it as a positive thing.