I don’t remember the 2004 US Presidential Election, I was still in Jaffna, and perhaps was fearing of another war in the North. In 2008, I was in Colombo, preparing for my Advanced Level Exam, had little to no idea about the US politics, etc. But, I was anti-populist. I hated being part of the majority. So, when the whole world was considering the novel idea of the first black president of USA, I wanted John McCain to win, even though I had little idea about him or his policies.
Fast forward to 2012, I started to like Obama and wanted him to win. And in 2013, 2014, I started to realize that I’m a liberal. I started to adore Obamas. They were too cool.
2016 US Presidential Election is the first election I followed from the start. I being a liberal, supported the democratic party. I leaned towards Bernie Sanders. I didn’t dislike Hillary Clinton, in fact, it was a constant struggle between choosing to like Bernie or Hillary. But deep down, it was Bernie for me. But, once it started to become apparent that Hillary will win the primary, I switched to Hillary. It wasn’t a difficult decision. In fact, I was delighted at the prospect of USA electing its first female president.
I always had issues with Republicans. While most of the voters are not racist (I believe), almost all the Republican politicians are anti-LGBT rights, anti-abortion, racist, misogynist, or anti-minorities. Being a liberal, those are the things I’m against for. And, Trump was different. Different not in a positive way, but a worse way. Most of the politicians I mentioned hide behind sugar-coated words. But Trump didn’t mince his words. And, the more and more details came, it became clear that this guy is insane.
People say that we all talk like Trump did in that bus. People think that the problem was with the word “p*&#y”. It’s not idiots. Trevor Noah explained it clear. He was describing sex offense. Nice words wouldn’t have made it any better. It wouldn’t have been better had he used “grab by them their genitals”. It’s still assault.
People always say that Hillary is an establishment politician and she’s corrupt. I understood that. Being in public life for more than 3 decades means you’re part of the corrupt establishment. But, I didn’t think that people would find it difficult to choose between Hillary and Trump. Had it been Cruz vs. Hillary, I understand. Cruz is as bad as, if not worse, Trump. But he’s a politician. He knows how to use words. He knows how to sugarcoat his words. People falling for his words is understandable. But how come Trump?
The media played a huge part. They normalized Trump. He should’ve been portrayed as himself. He should’ve been exposed. His lies should’ve been exposed. But media wanted more viewers. People wanted a clown who utters ultra stupid/racist things. Both of them combined and they made hate normal. I remember the USA media before the debate where they expected Hillary to cure cancer while expected Trump not to call her a whore. That’s how low the bar was for him.
Whatever said and done, he’s been elected by the people. A candidate who was officially endorsed by the Klan has become the president of the “free world”. From the first black president to first openly racist, misogynistic, white- supremacist, lying, mentally unstable president. That’s quite a flip.
I, a Sri Lankan, am concerned about his presidency is because he’s the president of the USA. That country interferes in my country’s affairs more than any other country. That country is like a standard. We’ve had and we’ve some racist, misogynistic, lying, mentally unstable politicians. But we rarely had people displaying those “features” openly. I can’t imagine half of the country voting for a guy who openly says “fuck Tamils” or “fuck Muslims”. Our hate is hidden behind smiles. What I fear is, it’ll be cool to be openly hating others now.
I wanted Hillary to become the president because I thought it’ll have a positive impact on the world. Despite the first ever nation to have had a female head of state, only 5% of our parliamentarians are females. Half of them are in the parliament because of their family or dynasty. We don’t have enough female leaders. I thought Hillary’s rise would make things better. But, as I read somewhere, people didn’t want a person with a p*&#y; they’d rather have someone who grabs girls by their p*&#ies.
And, no, Hillary’s defeat is not a defeat for Clintons or Obama or Democratic party. It’s a defeat for decency in politics. Brexit resulted in more hate in London, statistics say. I don’t expect Trump to be a worse dictator; I still believe that he won’t start the world war 3; I still believe that he wouldn’t ban Muslims from entering the USA; I still don’t think that he’ll build a wall; I still don’t believe that he’s going to deport all the illegal immigrants. But I fear that his supporters will feel free to be racist and violent. I fear that being racist/misogynist/white-supremacist would become acceptable. When this happens, explain it to your kids that you made all these normal because you didn’t want an establishment person.
You had one job, America. That was not to elect this person. You f&*ked it up.
(Didn’t proof-read. Slept at 1.00 am today. Woke up at 4.30 am to attend a function. It’s 7:32 pm. Still at office.)