Magazine

The Silver Lining of the 2016 Election and the Way Forward

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A flag in a storm. Photo by Thomas R Machnitzki

Ryan Minett

As we all know now, most of our nightmares have come true. Trump has become president and we are all coping with this shocking development in different ways. Many are surprised, some are confused, a small percentage of those I’ve seen online are pleased, but most, I am relieved to see, are very, very angry. We knew this was a possibility, but the reality of the situation only really started to sink in as swing state after swing state fell to our newly elected, Oompa-Loompa in Chief. I myself am not altogether surprised. Just think for a second how dumb the average American is, then realize that 160 million Americans are, by definition, stupider than this, and the reality of President Donald Trump becomes somewhat more understandable. In the meantime, I, with all the American optimism that can get someone like our future Racist in Chief into the Oval Office, have been looking for a silver lining to this horrible cloud, and if you bear with me, I have hopefully found one.

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Photo by Gage Skidmore and Krassotkin.

As I’ve said before, along with many other people, this election was between the lesser of two evils, Hillary Clinton, the intelligent evil, and Donald Trump, the ignorant evil. While many in this election were voting for one of these candidates (although I have no idea where they found the appeal) the vast majority were voting against the more feared candidate. In the end, Clinton lost and therefore Trump won. Now let me demonstrate why this may not be the worst thing in the world. Trump will almost definitely not last four years in office if he continues to act like he has throughout the election campaign, and, let’s face it, his life. He has been accused of sexual assault, has a habit of alienating various sections of society, and is just generally asking for impeachment. This will bring Mike Pence into office as a caretaker until someone else, almost definitely from the other side of the aisle, will take his place in 2020.

But now that Trump has been elected, one of the evils has been defeated. Clinton in the White House, though now appealing, would have been a disaster as she sold out continuously to her foreign donors and billionaire friends on Wall Street at the expense of the people. She would have definitely stayed in office all four years and potentially even eight. With Trump as president, the atrocious political system that brought the United States to this point may finally be broken. The Republicans are split as many detest Donald Trump and so are the Democrats as many favoured Bernie Sanders as their nominee. We can only hope that over the next four years, parties other than the Republicans and Democrats will gain enough momentum to conjure up more than 5% of the entire remaining vote as they did this time.

Now am I saying that I am happy that Donald Trump was elected president? Of course I’m not, but this is a man so passionately hated by more than half of the voting population (Clinton won the popular vote) that he will have a hard time getting anything other than Executive Orders done, a controversial mechanism sure to face opposition. The only support he has is from about 60 million Americans voters. He commands no interest groups, no foreign governments look upon him favourably, and after this election season he cannot even count upon the support of his fellow party members. He is an American flag in a hurricane right now and it is but a matter of time before it swallows him up. When this happens, the second of the evils of the 2016 election will be defeated leaving the United States and hopefully with the help of the rest of the world to clean up the mess that has been left behind.

Now for what we have to do:

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Ryan believes citizens have an important role to play. Photo by James Montgomery Flagg

We have to keep Trump under extremely high pressure until he is out of office and we have to stay together. Already as the election results came out fingers were and continue to be pointed. The divides in society are turning into chasms as we cope with this news. Never have I seen so many care about politics and with the new troublemaker in Chief, these arguments and fights will only get nastier. We cannot tear ourselves apart like this. Yes we will always have our differences. There will be racism, sexism, and bigotry in the United States as long as there are those ignorant enough to promote it. This is a fact we must accept and try to overcome together, for if we continue to be so polarized, I fear our next election will be between the lesser of two evils once again. We cannot set the bar any lower (or so I hope), so please, do not sink to the level of Donald Trump, try to stay positive, stay together, wait for his almost inevitable early exit from office, and build for next time so we do not make the same mistakes over and over again. As George Santayana says, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Click here for more by Ryan Minett.

Click here for more on the US Elections.

The Euroculturer Recommends:

“The Trump Presidency: The Importance of Staying Rational” 

“What does Trump mean for the European Union? Looking at the reality of a Trump Presidency from the perspective of the EU” 

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