A surprising win for many, expected for others, and a total shock for more than a few. Controversial far-right candidate Donald Trump won the elections for president of the United States of America held on November 8, 2016. Trump was popular among his supporters mostly because, to their eyes, he is anything but the political establishment in which they have absolutely no faith.
Many pundits (and a whole lot of journalists) failed to realize this. Outside the country, the world is pondering how this happened.
This. Is. Not. Only. Poor. Whites. Voting. For. Trump. This is the America we have always lived with, just now undressing.
— Francisco-Luis White (@FranciscoLWhite) November 9, 2016
Another country didn't elect Trump. This one did. Your neighbors and relatives and co-workers and friends did.
— 5'7 Black Male (@absurdistwords) November 9, 2016
Latoya Peterson, a race and culture critic who co-authors the blog Racialicious, tweeted:
I will not fear [election results.] Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
— Latoya Peterson (@LatoyaPeterson) November 9, 2016
Palestinian-American Sara Yasin illustrated the fear the Muslim community in the US is experiencing:
— Sara Yasin (@missyasin) November 9, 2016
From Iowa, Pan-Africanist writer Siyanda Mohutsiwa reflected:
When we talk about online radicalization we always talk about Muslims. But the radicalization of white men online is at astronomical levels
— Siyanda Mohutsiwa (@SiyandaWrites) November 9, 2016
Online privacy advocate and founder of Freedom of the Press Foundation Trevor Timm tweeted:
So glad Democrats institutionalized a vast and unaccountable national security apparatus that will soon be controlled by a madman.
— Trevor Timm (@trevortimm) November 9, 2016
Some thoughts from around the world
Writer and photographer Stacey Gonzalez, who is based in Canada, summed up how she saw the election using the #Trumpocalypse hashtag:
Well ?? you voted against women's rights, against the environment, against minorities and for racism. You voted in the #Trumpocalypse way2go
— Stacey Gonzalez (@Gonzothefacey) 9 de noviembre de 2016
Armenian journalist Liana Aghajanian stated:
This is America, raw and real. Feels like we pretended this whole time that we knew America, but we couldn't have been more wrong.
— Liana Aghajanian (@LianaAgh) November 9, 2016
Marko of Macedonia tried to explain why the polls were so wrong:
Да ги разбиеме стереотипите! Анкетите у САД се покажаа неточни пошто голем број на луѓе им било срам јавно да кажат дека ќе гласаат за Трамп https://t.co/yIaZKhmxAq
— Marko (@MrNoooo) November 9, 2016
Let's break the stereotypes! Polls in the USA were incorrect because a lot of people were ashamed to publicly admit that they'd vote for Trump.
Based in the UK, Dr Siobhan O'Dwyer shared this thought by anthropologist Sarah Kendzior:
“Think Brexit, but with a shitload more guns” – @sarahkendzior has nailed it.
— Dr Siobhan O'Dwyer (@Siobhan_ODwyer) November 9, 2016
Britain then America. The west can no longer claim to be morally superior. It cannot hide its face behind the mask of liberal universality.
— Mohammed Suliman (@JabaliyaRefugee) November 9, 2016
What fascinates me is that most people in the Western hemisphere still seem to think this US election is an isolated incident. Just as they thought Brexit was isolated and a surprise. Or Orban being re-elected in Hungary. Or Duterte's expletive-filled rise in the Philippines. Or Vucic and his nationalist, right-wing progressives in Serbia.
These are not flukes, my friends. This is a clear pattern. I tweeted the other day that “Right-wing ideologies grow and spread when economic & social change are necessary, but liberals & centrists are slow in offering solutions.” I didn't come up with that one all on my own. This has all happened before. It began in 1912 with the Balkan wars and ended with the rise of Hitler and World War 2. And if you don't get it, then you are among the very privileged and out of touch with the average human and with the rest of the world.
I read this Michael Moore piece a while back. And I never much liked the guy (okay, I think he's a whining douche), but I can't help but agree with him when he's right. And he's right.
From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room. What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here.”
And it will keep happening. As long as the failing upper classes are so out of touch with the growing working (or unemployed) classes, things are bound to get worse. One way or another, we will all go through this cleansing process. The more we ignore it, the uglier it will get.
That being said… boy, the next decade is going to be fun to watch! Well, for some of us. As long as you're not too attached to living and working in certain parts of the world.
Referring to the recent rise of the far-right across the world, Mexican journalist and director of online news site Animal Político Daniel Moreno wondered:
Putin en Rusia
Trump en EU
Rajoy en España
Toca Le Pen en Francia y Farage en Reino Unido
Espero quepan 7,500 mill de personas en Canadá
— Daniel Moreno (@dmorenochavez) November 9, 2016
Putin in Russia
Trump in the US
Rajoy in Spain
It's time for Le Pen in France and Farage in the United Kingdom
I hope Canada can handle 7,500 million people
Speaking of pollsters’ failure to predict the outcome of the elections, human rights activist from Mozambique, Zenaida Machado said:
Someone will have to reinvent Data, Probability & Statistics, after the upset caused by Brexit and the #USElection2016. Numbers were wrong.
— Zenaida Machado (@zenaidamz) November 9, 2016
As for US media role in the elections, Nwachukwu Egbunike, Global Voices contributor from Nigeria, had something to say:
Next time, report news. Sadly the mainstream media went amok during the #USelections – they made news!
— Nwachukwu Egbunike (@feathersproject) November 9, 2016
While independent journalist covering Central and Eastern Europe Amy Mackinnon shared this picture from Russia:
The image of the day. Someone has left flowers outside the US Consular Office in Moscow with a placard, ‘Je Suis USA’ https://t.co/d9YG5O8DNt
— Amy Mackinnon (@ak_mack) November 9, 2016
On a contrasting note, Chilean writer and journalist Pedro Cayuqueo concluded on his column “Trump, ¿Apocalipsis ahora?” (Trump, Now the Apocalypse?):
Si decimos creer en la democracia, poco y nada que lamentar. Felicitaciones al vencedor y que sea, en la medida de lo posible, un no tan mal gobierno. Mientras tanto la vida sigue.
If we decide to believe in democracy, there's little if anything to be sad about. Congratulations to the winner, and may it be – as much as it can be – a not so bad government. Meanwhile, life goes on.
Author and filmmaker Mark Frost tweeted:
Tonight is a tragedy. Get some sleep. Tomorrow is the first day of the resistance.
— Mark Frost (@mfrost11) November 9, 2016
American Civil Liberties Union former deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer urged Americans to stay put:
Stop saying you're going to move to Canada. What you've got here is worth defending.
— Jameel Jaffer (@JameelJaffer) November 9, 2016
Open technology and gender equity activist Willow Brugh tweeted:
People protest, are just and kind in myriad tiny ways every day. Do the same now. Stand up for others. Love those you disagree with. ?
— wil (@willowbl00) November 9, 2016
US-based Syrian blogger Anas Qtiesh, also a Global Voices contributor, offered some canine comfort for those who still have a sense of humor:
I think y'all need some pugs right now pic.twitter.com/nkcEkqMjdG
— Anas Qtiesh (@anas) November 9, 2016
Shout out to all my friends and all my heroes across the world: in Thailand, in Pakistan, in Hong Kong and the mainland, in Russia, Venezuela and Cuba, all across the MENA from Morocco to Bahrain. Chiranuch Premchaiporn and Nighat Dad and Esra'a Al Shafei and Rami Nakhla and Alaa and Oiwan Lam and Nassir and shit I'm so bad at listing everyone. Also shoutout to my Brexit buddies, Tom Steinberg et al.
I'm sitting in the Electronic Frontier Foundation offices in San Francisco running through the disaster scenarios with all of us at 10PM, and trying to channel all the things I've seen you do and act and say in far worse situations.
We're going to have lots of time tomorrow to work out the details, but here's what I'm going to argue for, if it goes the way I think: that our day job here is, to defend /everybody/ from what could happen here, anybody and everybody around the whole world.
We'll need help, and y'all are so good at solidarity and experience and just making me laugh and keep positive and keep going even in the worst of situations. Not everyone here has quite grokked what's going on, but when they do, I'm going to BORE YOU SO MUCH with my questions and begging for advice.
Solidarity, everyone. We're going to build a home for freedom, we're going to create such awesome tools, we're going to win everyone over and then WE'RE GOING TO MARS.