I have always joked that perhaps I was never meant to be born an American; that my sense of humour was a little bit too dry and sarcastic; that I have always enjoyed a nice cup of tea a bit more than the average American. I have not, however, usually found myself ashamed of being an American. And then came the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November 2016.
On that day We, The People, of the United States elected Donald Trump as President. I cast my vote, not for Trump, but even so in the end Trump won. Hillary Clinton had the popular vote, but not the necessary 270 votes in the Electoral College. So, it is what it is, and I am not writing to talk about how the Trump campaign succeeded or how the Clinton campaign failed, or even how third-party candidates are barely spoken about.
What shames me, what leaves me feeling embarrassed to be an American right now is that, although technically Clinton won the popular vote, and therefore that means that a majority of Americans did not vote for Donald Trump, it was a very narrow margin with which she won that popular vote. And that means, nearly half of my fellow Americans supported a racist. A bigot. A misogynist.
I had thought that it couldn’t possibly be quite so many as all that. Surely, not as many of half of us could find enough political worthiness in Donald Trump to excuse his shortcomings as a person. And yet, half of us did.
I am not saying that Clinton is a shining example of all that a human being should be. Hell, at one point prior to the results of the Election, I quipped that I had cast my vote for Cthulhu, because why should I vote for a lesser evil, after all? But I had thought that a lot more of us were better than this. Better than to cast our votes for someone who would say that he could shoot someone and it wouldn’t cost him voters. Better than to cast our votes for someone who would speak so shamefully of women, and excuse it as “locker-room talk”. Better than to cast our votes for Donald Trump. Clearly, I was wrong because just near half of us did exactly that.
America, I really hope you can get your shit together by 2020, because honestly, I am ashamed of you.