And we have nobody but ourselves to blame
(Image by AP via The Sydney Morning Hearld)
This has been the year in which I've been terrified to go to sleep.
It's not for fear of dying in a twisted way like some Freddy Kruger with blood and guts being ripped out from me. More so, it’s the fear of what tomorrow can bring.
I'm a naturally optimistic and traditionally for me, the thought of tomorrow brings joy and opportunity. But having woken up to the results of Brexit on the morning of the 23rd of June in London and then waking up to the horror of Donald Trump prevailing into the White House has left my mornings rather dismal post-historic events.
I woke up on the 9th November to a slew of messages scattered across Facebook and Twitter, expressing dismay, horror, fear, and revulsion at the Idea of Donald Trump being our 45th US President. I brushed my teeth listening to the ping ping of my phone as messages from friends across the world expressed their dismay via text. I took a long hot shower that morning, rubbing my heart with my sponge as if something had jabbed into it and I was trying to clean a wound; I was literally heartbroken by the morning news.
While I voted for Hilary Clinton, I admit that I wasn't a fan of her. Her rejection of Palestinian Observer Status in the UN rang in memory from back in 2012, as had her betrayal of key friends, such as Former US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, left an unpleasant taste in my month.
But all this I could stomach in comparison to the "shit fest" that was the Donald Trump campaign. It all looked like a joke - a mere horridle joke. Especially when he made his suggestions for once he was in power.
Like how he promised to build a wall to block Mexico and make them pay for it.
How he labelled Mexicans and Mexican Americans as rapist and scum that lurked the country.
How he alienated Muslim Americans by blaming Islam for all the vices in America and pushed to have a ban of all "muhslims" as he called them, for the USA.
How he instigated hate in all his rallies.
How he e openly belittled women and treated them like beef for wolves to rightfully feast on.
While Hilary wasn't a saint in my eyes, Donald was a pure demon. I had hoped that logic would prevail and peace would dominate the conscious of my fellow Americans come election time. "Surely he wouldn't win" I had led myself to believe.
And then people I knew gradually began supporting him. It seemed no matter what I said - no matter what fact I brought up or what example I could show on how despicable he was - they remained steadfast to his ideology. And these aren't the toothless, uneducated heathens that the media thens to portrays Trump supporters as. These are university educated professionals - one even a professor at Duke University. With all their intelligence, they somehow supported Trump.
And then the morning of the 9th of November came and it was clear that the country had turned red - as if almost symbolically of shame.
Only the Northeast and West Coast had stayed blue.
And with that came the comments that followed. Fellow American expat friends of mine declared they were ashamed of being American. Foreign friends declared the country as the United States of Idiots. Hateful bashing towards Trump supporters ensued, calling them the vermin of humanity, despicable and loathsome as they are. Then came more comments which declared all Americans mentally retarded and thus, as one person put it, “a race of people that should just kill themselves no matter who they voted for”.
And I thought that was enough.
The whole world as a whole had stopped to the miserable level that the Trump Campaign advocated for - one of fear and blame.
But we can't blame Trump voters for Donald's rise. Because in the end, they are not to blame for the uncertainty we find ourselves in.
As depressing as it is, Donald Trump won because the American establishment FAILED to invest in the American people.
The proof is the the colours of the map today. All of the south and Midwest voted for him overwhelmingly, with the surprising exception for Pennsylvania. I
t's proven in the American media which focuses on Kim Kardashian and Kanye West instead of the Syrian war, current events, and global trends.
It's proven in the rising poverty levels and drug usage in Kentucky and other southern states.
It’s proven in the fact that the largest employer of West Virginians - which once was coal mining - is now Walmart.
It’s proven in the lack of investment in public education and teachers in these areas and consistent segregation of communities between poor blacks and poor whites.
It’s proven in the lack of foreign exchange opportunities offered to students from these areas so they can interact with a world greater than their own.
You see, how can a former coal miner care about climate change and environmentalism if his job is taken away with no alternative offered? How can an Alabama resident support the Syrian refugees if he's never even met an Arab or a Muslim, or even eaten hummus? And how could he welcome them if his only impression of Muslims is the poison indoctrinate to him via media outlets such as Fox News and even CNN? How can a woman in Idaho believe she can do anything she wants in life if her government won't even give her the second to believe she can? How can a poor white man eliminate stereotypes and prejudice of poor black men if he is not educated and encouraged to see African-Americans beyond the stereotypes promoted on TV and comedy sketch which infest American television and are promoted by general media.
It's the fault of the American system for failing to invest in these citizens. It's the fault of the American system for failing to promote education and cross cultural communication to these communities. It's the failure of the system to blind her public with trashy celebrity news and drivel instead of real world issues that matter and make an impact, that helps them feel more apart of the international community
Donald Trump won because the American system failed these people miserably. And to them, he was the only one that "heard" their grievances. Not the US system as it should have.
And now he's "President"
If there's one thing we should be asking ourselves more, it is how he got to this level and what we should do to fix it and not call Trump supports fucking idiots. Because the only fucking idiot would be you for casting the blame on them without looking for a solution - like Trump.
It's a dark day in the world - even more so with the overcast here in London with rain pounding on the city. It’s still early days and we do not know what to expect.
My heart is particularly heavy for the Middle East which will benefit little from Trump’s foreign policy. My heart is heavy for my fellow Hispanic Americans and my Arab American friends who are frightened by the increase in violence and discrimination towards them.
Hell, I’m frightened and mainly because I look from abroad as I see my own native country torn apart in two and plunge into blame and fear.
But if there is one thing about being American is true that living abroad has thought me, it is that we believe in change. We're optimistic and we believe in the promise of ourselves. And with that, we Americans should fight to promote peace in our country by speaking out. By calling out hateful rhetoric with a desire to comprehend it and tackle it effectively. To look for solutions to fix wider problems in our country and to protest for peace when we see it diminish around more vocally. To promote peace with Americans - Trump supporters or Clinton Supporters. Because it's division that allowed Trump to succeed. But it will be our unity and desire to comprehend and promote peace that will NEVER allow him to prevail.
And this I do believe.