Hope doesn’t equal reality

Parker Dangers Oncken, Senior Staff Writer

It was like a nightmare unfolding in front of me.

Early Tuesday evening, I stationed myself on the couch, tuned the television to PBS and settled in for a long night of political discussion and voting results. I had a fruit smoothie in my hand and a feeling of anxious excitement in my heart.

In the days leading up to November 8th, I watched, read and researched everything I could about the election, hoping the prognosticators could somehow give me a better idea of what the final results would be. The race was way too close.

While most predictions had Clinton winning the election, I couldn’t seem to get rid of the pit in my stomach. Something about Donald Trump’s unyielding defiance and his attitude of absolute certainty that he would be the victor had me on edge. But I had faith that the American people would make the right decision.

One hour passed by, and already the commentators were explaining to viewers what needed to go right for Clinton to beat Trump to 270. Predictions don’t always reflect reality. Texas had already been called for Trump, and Florida and Ohio were close behind. The color of blood covered the graphic map of the United States.

How fitting.

As each hour passed, it became more apparent that Trump was actually going to win. My phone became inundated with texts and calls from both friends and cousins, asking me, with a sense of seriousness that reminded me of death, “What are we doing to ourselves?”

I longed to give them an answer, but I was asking myself the same question. The question tumbled around in my head, but I couldn’t figure it out. The longer I sat staring at the screen, the more dazed I became. My mind raced.

How could the American people do this to themselves and the world?

What had this man done to gain our support?

I wondered aloud what the world was thinking of America at that moment, and feelings of sadness and embarrassment washed over me. For the first time in my life, I did not feel proud to be an American. My eyes blurred, and tried to gather myself.

The results of the election hadn’t surprised me, but they reminded me that hope doesn’t equal reality, predictions don’t always come true, and trust in your fellow man is often undeserved.

The American people failed themselves and the world by electing Donald Trump as president. The man is a racist, a sexist, a bigot and has committed acts of sexual abuse and bragged about it.

There are criminals with more integrity and conviction.

Trump won the support of the many but turned Americans against each other. He claims he will move America forward, and we will be united like never before, but he has spent a year and a half deepening divides.

Trump claims that he will cut taxes and cut the federal deficit, while building new infrastructure and providing better care for veterans, but unless the man shits money, his claims are logically impossible.

For a country that prides itself on independent thought and progressive thinking, the results of this election are indefensible.

The world spent 18 months watching Trump insult minorities and women, lie through his teeth and incite violence, and Americans responded to these reprehensible actions by making him the leader of the free world. The American people looked at the face of a man who represents everything we claim our country stands against, and then made him the most powerful individual on earth.