Good morning! Though early voting has already started in the US, with millions opting to cast their ballots in advance, the country officially goes to the polls tomorrow, battling organised voter suppression, likely long lines, and ballots crowded with propositions and local races. We wanted to step back to take a look at some of our favourite coverage over the last year as the US election enters its final hours.
From within the US
In May, it seemed almost unimaginable that Donald Trump could become the nominee — surely, the primary cycle hadn’t brought us to this point. But it had, and for anyone who had ignored the clarion calls of warning before, it was time to listen up, argued Michael Orion Powell-Deschamps.
The world is no game. The reality is that most people respect power. You can see this disturbing reality in everything from people’s sexual to economic behaviors. The American people are a people frustrated and afraid of losing power both on a global stage and within their own personal lives. Many of them are incredibly ignorant about the world they are scared of, and willing to listen to whoever simplifies it for them, something an intelligent man like Barack Obama couldn’t. That fear can lead them to someone like Trump. He has made it this far — the disaster that his presidency would be is very, very real and very serious. The risks must be seen as real possibilities.
Tomorrow evening, we are going to be faced with a real-world test and the answer to this question. If Donald Trump loses, will he be able to accept with grace and allow the president-elect to get on with the business of a smooth transition of power and the development of a strong 100 day plan to support the needs of Americans? Or are we going to be tied up in weeks or months of litigation?
There’s a collective myth in America of exceptionalism, of ‘America will prevail,’ that’s just that — a myth. Any democracy can fail and any nation can collapse, especially when it comes to vast, diverse countries. The mainland US is 2,600 miles across. That’s a lot of real estate. One of the things that props up this myth, though, is the concerted effort on the part of political parties to make nice at the end, even after fighting viciously. Though cracks have been showing in the Republican facade of late as the party attempts to impose a misogynistic, racist, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic nightmare on the country, one of the reasons Republicans are doing just that is because they’re convinced that this is the ‘right thing’ for America. They’re categorically wrong, and their vision of ‘right’ clearly includes a very narrow and specific definition of the country and what it means to be American, but Donald Trump is currently testing the limits of functionality on the part of the GOP.
On the internet, this election has been brutal, swift, and merciless — nearly everyone in America can recount a tale of friends lost and family members alienated on social media. As people talk about healing the divides created in this vicious electoral race, Darien Cavanaugh wonders if we’ve broken a little bit inside.
I always liked to think that I’m a forgiving person, that I’m accepting of others and appreciate that their differing views are every bit as valid as mine. It turns out I might have been giving myself too much credit. Either this election has made me colder, harsher, pettier, more judgmental, more arrogant, and more set in my ways, or it has tested me and exposed that I always possessed those traits in greater quantities than I was capable of admitting. Realizing you’re not as good of a person as you thought you were, perhaps not by a long shot, is depressing. It can also motivate you to be better. I hope.
Sady Doyle’s tireless advocacy over the last year has earned her rape and death threats, the animosity of a not insignificant portion of the internet, and a whole lot of grief. After spending a year discussing the sexism in politics, she’s watched the rest of the country catch up, and, like the rest of us, she’s done.
Being right should at least feel good, but it doesn’t. I should have enjoyed the debates — seeing that, finally, many of my Clinton-doubting friends got what I saw in her; her grace under fire, her merciless tough-bitch baiting of his insecurities, her ability to take a man who’d bulldozed over a dozen Republican candidates and make him look like a screaming, pouting toddler — but I didn’t. It isn’t just an insult to Hillary Clinton that she wound up facing Trump. It’s an insult to all women; it’s confirmation of our darkest suspicions about sexism, that while women are killing ourselves to do better and be smarter and work harder, while we’re building resumes, accumulating qualifications, going to classes, applying for extra credit, the only thing all that excellence does, at the end of the day, is to put us on equal footing with some male idiot who’s done precisely none of the work.
From friends and neighbours abroad
G.N. Omar articulates why Arab-Americans should be on Team Clinton, and why Arabs around the world should join the chorus of outcry over the dangers of Donald Trump.
I’ve wondered for a while now why it is that I have such a strong reaction of anger against Trump and all that he represents. I believe it is rooted in me being an Arab. We have had more than our fair share in the region of tyrants, corrupt businessmen and, generally speaking, the self obsessed. We can identify a truly crooked and arrogant man a mile off! We know firsthand how the promises of a one-man savior bandwagon always ends in tears. We also know far too well that the expression of sectarian and racially based views will always lead to bloody strife.
Philippa Willits just watched people throw her country away on a protest vote, and she has a word of warning to her American cousins: Don’t do the same.
Trump could be the US’s Brexit, and that is not something to be celebrated. We didn’t get our country back – it had never gone anywhere. We just screwed everything up in ways we still probably can’t even imagine. We will feel the repercussions for decades to come.
Louise Hung is an American who’s been living overseas, first in Japan, then Hong Kong, and recently back to Japan again. She occupies a strange divide — of America but not in it — and it’s given her a front row seat to the awkward experience of being American overseas.
The sentiment among non-Americans following the US election is that Americans need to realize that they are not voting in a vacuum. Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green – each candidate’s stance on immigration and US border control, human rights, foreign aid, and foreign economics can and will have lasting effects on other countries. As Americans often have the reputation for only speaking English or being unaware of the world at large, there is a fear that American voters will not be able to see beyond their 50 states.
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