Donald Trump—a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic sexual predator and mega-fraud whose campaign unleashed some of the most horrifying demons in American history—is going to be the next president of the United States.
Yes, it really happened. No, you’re not dreaming. For at least the next four years, “President Trump” is our reality.
Trump pulled off a stunning upset against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He had to win in Florida, and North Carolina, and Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Most observers thought it could never happen. It did.
What’s more, Republicans retained control of Congress, meaning that Trump will have about as good an environment to enact his agenda as he could hope for.
Let’s take a moment to scream, and rage, and cry about all this.
It’s horrible. It’s fucking horrible. It’s hard to put it into words.
Yet again, Trump did what nobody thought he could do. When he first rode down that escalator on June 16, 2015, and announced he was running, everyone thought his candidacy was a joke.
When, during the Republican primary, he called Mexicans rapists, and made appalling comments about women, and threatened to ban all Muslims from American shores, and welcomed white supremacists and neo-Nazis into his movement with open arms, and encouraged his supporters to beat up protesters, and bragged that he could shoot people and get away with it, and fought with the Pope, and mocked a disabled reporter, and did so many other things that shocked and repelled people, it seemed unbelievable to many that he could actually vault ahead of a packed field that included a string of high-powered senators and governors.
But he did. His quasi-fascistic combination of anti-immigrant racism, scorched-earth rhetoric about American decline, appeals to white nationalism and a twisted, nasty, fraudulent version of economic populism electrified a majority within the Republican Party.
When he actually won the primary, and then fought with the family of a dead soldier, and bragged about not paying his taxes, and dealt with a tape that showed him boasting about sexually assaulting women, and then dealt with all the women who said he’d assaulted them in real life, and did three debates where he came off horribly, and generally continued his by-now-lengthy record of being a deeply, deeply terrible person…well, it seemed kind of crazy that he would win after all that.
But win he did. The polls were catastrophically wrong. The projections failed us. The worst has come to pass.
Chalk it up to a white supremacist backlash. Chalk it up to a deeply flawed Hillary Clinton candidacy. Chalk it up to the emails. To sexism. To a hatred of immigrants. To fear. To Brexit. To the failings of elite politics over the past few decades. Whatever.
Thinking about why this happened certainly matters. It matters that the people in a majority of states in this country looked at this man, this violent rebuke to human decency, and voted for him. It matters that white people looked at what would happen to their fellow citizens of color and then voted for Donald Trump. It matters that men took in Donald Trump’s hatred of women and cast their lot with him. It matters that Donald Trump displayed a devastating lack of qualifications for the most powerful office in the world, and people handed him the keys anyway. It matters profoundly that, despite what some people might want to think, this is America. It matters that some people were more shocked about that fact than others.
We could be in for some very bad times. We need to gear up for one of the most important fights in the history of this country. We need to organize, and protest, and resist.
But right now, in this moment, we’re all just about to tumble down into this terrifying hole together. Hug your loved ones closer to you. Seek comfort where you can. This is happening, and there’s no guessing what comes next.