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Congratulations America! You've failed the world by electing Trump

Aleesha Matharu | Updated on: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 01:39:00 IST

It was like waking up from a bad nightmare only to find it to be true. By electing Donald Trump as the President of the United States, America has shown us just which candidate they hated more: Hillary Clinton.

We're talking about the first woman to ever stand for the post. One who is exceptionally qualified for the job; one who has spent years in service of her government.

A woman who would have been the steady hand the America needed, who would have been a triumph for feminism and every woman who has ever been passed over for a job because of gender.

Also read -If Hillary wins, or if Trump wins, it'll be a wake up call for hate politics either way

Instead, in a crazy turnabout of a joke gone far too wrong, Trump now has claim to the Oval Office.

He's a proven liar with several bankruptcies behind him. He's a man who has shamelessly spoken of harassing women. And a man who admires authoritarian dictators - from Russia's Vladimir Putin to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Un.

This is a new, unexpected chapter in America's history.

A rejection of progress and Obama

Worse, he's taking over from Barack Obama, a man who has proven time and again to be among the most measured leaders. A gentleman, with a good sense of humour, a family man and a cool and collected leader - Obama won the world over by wearing his heart on sleeve, always ready with the right words.

Under him, millions of Americans gained access to health insurance. New regulations were brought in to protect consumers from the predations of the financial industry. He brought many soldiers back from the Middle East and was responsible for giving the order that led to the death of Osama bin Laden. He's also worked hard on trying to get nations to start helping in reversing the effects of climate change.

By electing Trump, voters have voted against everything Obama stood for and has accomplished over the past 8 years.

They've pushed for a man who has announced time and again how he will undo all that good work - he pledged to take away healthcare coverage from 20 million, described climate change as a hoax, called for the largest tax cut in history. He has spoken about forcibly extraditing those who belong to ethnic groups and banning entire religious groups form entering the country.

By electing Trump, voters have voted against everything Obama stood for

More so, it's a rejection of progress - both of race and of women. By rejecting Clinton and voting for the populist, voters have decided that Clinton's perceived flaws - being a 'liar' and elitist - are far worse than Trump's flaws of being an unrepentant sexist accused of serial sexual assault and harassment.

It's alarming how he's won with such an unprecedented margin, bagging Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and even Pennsylvania - as state which hasn't been won by a Republican since 1984.

Feminism clearly hasn't come far enough. The nation has proven itself to racist and sexist by making sure that such a well-qualified woman like Clinton could lose to such a nasty bully.

Let's not forget how he promised to jail Hillary Clinton over her private email server if he was elected president during the presidential debate.

A failure on many levels

There are many reasons why America should feel ashamed for this turn of events. They've failed many - it's hard to count the number of people their new president has offended.

This has only served to underline the fact that hate sells.

Voters have failed the countless women who came forward with allegations of Trump's misogynistic ways. These women were shamed publicly for having made their allegations. On the other hand, Trump's boasts that he likes to "grab 'em by the pussy" and claims that "when you're a star, they let you do it" have just been brushed under the carpet.

In the wake of this astonishing victory, it's clear to see that numbers mean nothing - approval ratings, election forecasts and aggregates of polls.

The support for Clinton was clear from non-white voters from every age bracket.

The only factor that separated the level of support among white women voters was education. College-educated white women favoured Clinton, whereas non-college educated women favoured Trump by a far higher margin.

White voters made sure that a well-qualified woman like Clinton could lose to such a nasty bully

Even more than that, it seems like Trump found the missing white voters. Rural whites came out for Trump and swung every key state to him.

For them it's about patriarchy and racial hierarchy and not tolerance and progress. Trump won them over with his overtly bigoted appeals to these white grievances. In reality, when he bellowed over and over again that he would "Make America Great Again", the double meaning was clear to see - that it's not about how the country is seen on the international stage, but by putting the focus on 'real America, which is just code for white America and resurgence of cultural domination.

Trump channels their fears and hopes in a way the Democrats and liberals have never been able to.

The Republican Party is now officially on track to control all three branches of government

Because of them, the Republican Party is now officially an unapologetic white-only party. It's also on track to control all three branches of government, which is only likely to bring everything liberals have achieved in the past eight years crashing down.

For their ignorance, it shall probably be the rest of the world who will pay the price. Let's not forget, Trump has spoken cavalierly of nuclear war more than just a few times.

And the Trump era has just dawned.

More in Catch - US elections: India-US ties may not change dramatically even if Trump wins

Lessons for democracy and common sense from the 2016 US elections

First published: 9 November 2016, 6:51 IST
 
Aleesha Matharu @almatharu

Born in Bihar, raised in Delhi and schooled in Dehradun, Aleesha writes on a range of subjects and worked at The Indian Express before joining Catch as a sub-editor. When not at work you can find her glued to the TV, trying to clear a backlog of shows, or reading her Kindle. Raised on a diet of rock 'n' roll, she's hit occasionally by wanderlust. After an eight-year stint at Welham Girls' School, Delhi University turned out to be an exercise in youthful rebellion before she finally trudged her way to J-school and got the best all-round student award. Now she takes each day as it comes, but isn't an eternal optimist.

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