Wednesday, November 9, 2016

11/9



I'm writing this with sole disbelief about the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election. At 6.30 this morning, Mitchell had woken me up, saying: "Trump is gonna win!" Usually I'm terrible at waking up in the morning, but that phrase got me immediately up and startled awake. I could not go back to sleep after that, so I waited anxiously until the dreadful news would be made official. Some Americans may say, "Why would you care? This is not your country." This is a mistake that is made by many Americans. Indeed, the USA is not my country, but the USA president is the mightiest man in the world, so he will effect all countries - yet we don't get to vote. 

I'm not an expert when it comes to politics, let alone foreign politics, but to all who have some interest in the subject, it may be clear what Trump stands for: lower taxes, less economic regulations, less involvement of the USA in foreign politics and military issues, less immigrants (specifically Mexicans and Muslims), no more Obamacare, less gun ownership restrictions, no more abortion, and no more gay marriages - to name a few. Many of these things are positive for the USA, but  in 2016 the world doesn't revolve only around the USA anymore, something many Americans do not seem to be aware of (yet). And let these ideas Trump stands for be the exact things (ignorant, white, Christian, male) Americans wish for. I had always held the hope that the people of the Unites States would not choose to vote for Trump, though I am not quite surprised they did. What else could have happened to a country filled with so many ignorant and self-centered people?

I'm not saying Clinton is much better off. At some points, Trump's thoughts may even be better than hers. Some hate her for Benghazi, for her private e-mail server, for her "I did not sleep with that woman!"-husband. Some are afraid of her naivety, of her causing the outbreak of WOIII. Those are certainly things to take in consideration. But someone who's racist, who wants to stop people entering the US based on their religion, who wants to build a wall to stop Mexicans from entering the US, who has been accused for committing sexual assaults, who mocked a disabled man, who body shamed multiple women, who believes global warming is a "hoax", who is constantly insulting people, who is supporting violence and war crimes, who wants women to be punished for having abortion - that's someone that does not match the job requirements for a president of the United States of America in the year 2016, nor does someone who is either rather stupid than naive, or intelligent enough to manipulate people and make them believe whatever - both could be equally dangerous. Neither should the ideas that he holds, which were mentioned in the previous paragraph, belong to a president in this era that we live in. Basically, his ideas seem to imply that he wants to undo many accomplishments that were achieved in the past decades and go back to the previous century - perhaps to a time in which America was indeed the mightiest country on earth, a time in which people would proudly declare that America is a great - the best! - country of all, but the reason you shouldn't want to go back to that time in which America was great, the reason why you shouldn't want to Make America Great Again, is that in 2016, it's not all about America anymore! Globalization happened and is still happening, and there's no way it can be undone. If Trump and his ideas are the way to Make America Great Again, I don't understand what greatness is! 

But even with Trump for president, there is still hope: 1) How much influence will Trump truly have? He's not almighty 2) What of his sayings and ideas will he put into action? He has contradicted himself multiple times, and it is also hard to say what is just popular talk and what are his actual intentions. So we could only wait and see what will happen to America and the rest of the world in the upcoming 4 years. Even so, I'm still disappointed in the Americans for electing Trump (or at least for electing someone with a campaign like Trump's), and I'm upset that I live in an age where someone like Trump can even run for president - no matter how he will do during his presidency, his campaign is enough for me to judge. It surely was a choice between "bad or worse", but if I could vote, I'd rather have bad.

These elections have made me think: Should everyone be able to vote? Of course we should respect other people's opinions, and of course no one should be excluded from voting solely based on his characteristics and the person he is. But I do believe that some people vote while being largely ignorant and uneducated about what they're voting for. Some people pick a side only because of a single idea, and sometimes (unconsciously) because of largely irrelevant characteristics (like eloquence). So I wonder what would happen if people could only vote after proving they know what exactly their choices are, and how these choices differ, for example, by taking a test on their knowledge about the ideas of the different nominees. Perhaps I'm not allowed to write this down openly, but I am not sure if democracy is always the best system of government (though it's surely better than some other systems), especially in these times of internet, globalization and overpopulation. Just thinking out loud here!

Don't hesitate to let me know your thoughts about the 2016 US election results! :-)


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1 comment:

  1. Goed geschreven artikel, waar ik het compleet mee eens ben. Ook ik ervoer een zelfde ochtend: eigenlijk kon ik lekker uitslapen, maar toen ik rond 8 uur (toch te nieuwsgierig om niet te kijken) even snel op mijn telefoon de stand checkte, schrok ik zo erg van Trump's voorsprong dat ik niet meer kon slapen. Ik was eigenlijk de hele dag ontdaan van de uiteindelijke uitslag; zijn er zoveel mensen vóór de standpunten van Trump en alle nare uitspraken die hij terloops maakt (of, wat ik hoop, zijn sommige mensen gewoon zo wanhopig dat ze gewoon al het andere wat ook maar iets anders is dan de huidige politiek met twee handen aangrijpen, óndanks al die standpunten)? Hoe het ook zij, je gaat twijfelen aan de samenleving als geheel en inderdaad ook aan de democratie in zijn huidige vorm, al had ik dat laatste al wel vaker. Moeilijk discussiepunt. Xx

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