“Against all odds”, where the odds are fabricated and the victor doesn’t matter.
People were surprised when Donald “The Donald” Trump earned the title of president-elect. And I can’t blame them. I doubt anyone can paint a complete picture of the hows and whys at this point, and I most certainly don’t claim to be capable of that myself. But there’s something that stands out to me about this. I’m not well-versed in politics, and I’m not American, so American politics aren’t my forte. And maybe it really was a case of people not going out to vote when they should’ve, either due to cockiness of apathy towards both candidates. Regardless, here’s some hypothesizing.
As far as I could tell, the media wasn’t neutral. Obviously it never is, even though it should be, but I definitely felt an anti-Trump vibe. And looking at the “aftermath” of the event, even Dutch media are going all out. “Flushed face” ? emoji on the front-page of one of the most popular newspapers here, and everyone on television giving off that sense of impending doom you’d expect from people who fought a final boss and lost.
The media banked everything on one side. Shilled for it, if you will. But apparently that didn’t reflect the voice of the people. And that’s a very important observation to make: the majority voted to oppose the opinion held by popular media. The media doesn’t push the agenda of the people, it pushes its own. We’ve known this, but this makes for a huge example.
But maybe “as far as I could tell” is key there. Bubbling is something inescapable these days. Even if social media platforms don’t silently and aggresively tailor the content you see to your liking (which is something I violently oppose, but that’s a whole other related story), you’re still very likely to only follow sources you agree with. This only strengthen the divide. In an internet where people have freedom of browsing, an echo-chamber effect may be unavoidable. And to say that played less than a big part in this election would be downright foolish.
People are genuinely shaking with fear, crying, unsure what their future holds. To a degree, there’s something to be said about the election of Trump being good reason to predict a spike in hate-crime against minorities. And to a degree, there’s something to be said about his promises being, well, not very promising. But I do not believe campaigntalk translates into actions one-to-one. His first speech as president-elect was a step in the right direction. It excuses nothing, but it paves the way for a path towards redemption. He’ll have to choose wether to walk it or not. And only time will tell if his legs can even carry him that way.
At the end of the day, democracy has spoken. The system through which it has done so may be flawed, and it seems absolutely absurd to an outsider like myself, but it is still democracy. Even if it gets mangled, there’s the people’s voice in there. To deny this single result would be denying the triumphs and achievements of many presidents that came before. And with them, the people they spoke for.
Feel free to tell me how any of this is wrong, I’d love to hear it. Maybe we can even get a fun discussion going on here for once?