About a week ago I told an interviewee that presidential candidate Donald Trump had no chance of winning the United States election.
She was an American in Hong Kong and I’m a New Zealander briefly in Hong Kong. I was talking to her as part of a story for the New York Times’ style section.
She had voted for Hillary Clinton but she was anxious. I wasn’t just trying to reassure her, I genuinely believed Clinton would win.
Disclaimer: my role doesn’t involve covering politics. Thank. Goodness.
I thought of her today while watching the successful Republican candidate deliver his victory speech. Was this a zopiclone-induced dream?
I’m a self-confessed Americanophile. Still am. Just an angry, disappointed one.
As New Yorker’s David Remnick said: “Trump began his campaign declaring Mexican immigrants to be ‘rapists’; he closed it with an anti-Semitic ad evoking ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’; his own behavior made a mockery of the dignity of women and women’s bodies. And, when criticized for any of it, he batted it all away as ‘political correctness.’ Surely such a cruel and retrograde figure could succeed among some voters, but how could he win?”
A friend on Facebook provided an answer: “I guess democracy only works when your citizens aren’t morons.”
But Americans aren’t morons. I know that because I read America’s mainstream media and I’ve been to America and I have American friends. Right?
Who are the uneducated white men and women who voted for Trump? They’re not in my circles, they’re not in my social feeds.
It makes me wonder if I’m out of touch with the equivalent Kiwi demographic, although the running of our country would suggest not *that* out of touch. Still, as a journalist, it’s concerning.
I was working late when a (Clinton-voting American) colleague joked he was worried I didn’t have a place to stay. Of course, I had a place to stay, but I appreciated his concern.
Americans are good like that. Rather, the Americans I know are good like that. What to do with the rest of them?