Hundreds protest in opposition of Donald Trump's presidential election victory on Boston Common in Boston, Wednesday evening, Nov. 9, 2016. Charles Krupa AP/Press Association. All rights reserved.Hillary Clinton won a majority of the American popular vote; the US electoral college, unchallenged, will soon give Donald Trump the presidency. This is the fourth time a US president will have taken office having lost the popular vote; in 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote against George W. Bush but lost the electoral college vote. The stark voting division this year was racial: 58% of white voters, and 53% of white women voters, supported Trump, compared to eight percent of black voters.
The elitist and antiquated electoral college, which will not vote on the president until December, serves to protect white racists from the country’s rapidly-changing, increasingly multicultural demography. So frightened are they of this change that they have voted by their millions for a talentless reality TV star.
Trump mobilised on an explicitly racist and misogynist agenda, degrading African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, Jews, women, people with disabilities and others.
Trump mobilised on an explicitly racist and misogynist agenda, degrading African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, Jews, women, people with disabilities and others. Even more chillingly, he repeatedly incited violence, whether directly or indirectly. The crowds of Trump supporters chanting ‘Lock her up, lock her up’ and holding posters with targets over Clinton’s face, showed utter indifference to the fact that, in a constitutional democracy, every person is entitled to certain rights and protections. In the US, these are outlined in the Bill of Rights. The question of why those crowds were so seemingly keen to ignore those rights – evoking fears of the lynch mobs of our country’s past – needs serious thought. This incitement of violence is a fundamental break with all conventions of democratic politics.
This incitement of violence is a fundamental break with all conventions of democratic politics.
Over several decades the US has seen the erosion of many of its fundamental liberties – freedom of speech, of assembly, of protection from unreasonable search and seizure, of due process and of the right to trial. Too many American police are breaking laws and engaging in disproportionate and unjustified violence against citizens and residents. The victims of police violence are disproportionately – but by no means only – people of colour; they are disproportionately – but by no means only – poor.
Against those developments, Trump’s electoral college victory is not only a victory for bigotry. It is a major step forward for America’s growing fascist movement. Like his twentieth-century predecessors, Trump promotes an organic white nation, an authoritarian state, the cleansing of supposed outsiders and critics through expulsion and, instead of negotiation through established procedures, the advocacy of violence through paramilitary gangs.
It is the responsibility of public servants to urge the public to follow laws and protocols. Nonetheless, to pretend that this is politics as normal – a simple rotation of office and change of political party – is naïve. Trump is a portent of a fascist future. He may be the US president-elect, but he is not my president.
Get our weekly email