Last weekend, I wrote two pieces.
The first: Trump had already won before November 8th.
“[This election] was indicative of a bitter reality that many thought had been changed. But that’s not true and Trump proved it, not through his words, but through the people listening and echoing them. The campaigning might end, but the new reality won’t — this is real life now.”
The second: about the ability to play devil’s advocate in the midst of heated debates.
“People who get to play devil’s advocate and make debates hypothetical do it from a place of privilege, since usually core activism happens from people within the affected demographic.”
Is it any surprise then that a President Elect Trump really changes nothing? The discourse has changed, sure, but none of the realities of the world have shifted.
The majority of those who could disregard his principles concerning Muslims, minorities, immigrants, refugees, the disabled, LGBT communities, or any myriad of others likely had one thing separating them from those groups: they felt that they could ignore these ideologies without detriment to their personal safety.
Minorities have maintained they experience discrimination and biases in the forms of microagressions and institutionalized racism, and were conveniently dismissed as hypersensitive. This is all the proof they need that marginalizing rhetoric is popular enough to at the very least not be detrimental to a presidential candidate, or at most act as support for this candidate.
People have avoided reporting sexual violence for fear of being dismissed or torn apart, and others have responded that their skepticism is only because these accusations are able to ruin careers. These victims didn’t need any more proof of how easy it is to set aside their realities when there is something to be gained.
The general public has expressed desire for change in the systems that govern them, on both the political right and left of the spectrum. That’s why Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump had similar basis of appeal, even if radically different approaches. The DNC went with an ‘establishment candidate’ and suffered. We don’t need more proof that the status quo of the government wasn’t working.
Communities have maintained that this rhetoric isn’t isolated to certain areas, states, or even just American. Canadian discrimination and racism exist, as we saw (thankfully briefly) near the end of our own federal election. And in the wake of the American results, Canadian politicians like Kellie Leitch have seized the victory as an “exciting message that needs to be delivered in Canada as well.”
Simply put, all these things were true before Trump and are true after him. He just proved it to more people. At the end of each scenario, nothing has changed in the reality beyond the discourse.
The only potential we have is using this change in our conversations to make changes in real life.