The United States of America, the land of free and the home of the brave has elected Donald J. Trump as their 45th president.
I’m sure the past 24 hours wasn’t enough for any of us to let that sink in. I don’t think it’ll ever sink in.
His win boggles the mind of experts, journalists and even Hillary’s campaign herself that has been very confident of her chance to be the first ever female American president since its independence. And please don’t start with the “because she is woman”speech again, because the number of women voters that choose her in this election is not as overwhelmingly high as we all thought. So maybe it’s not about gender after all.
Now what does this mean for the rest of the world? I have no idea. Nor does a lot of country leaders. And we may have to wait until January, or at least until He announces His cabinet, before we know what His policies will be.
Is it okay to be scared? Yes.
Are there a reason to be that scared? Yes. And Trump alone may not be the only reason.
In the past 12 months, we have witnessed racism (sort of) triumph in the UK after they voted yay to brexit. We’ve seen hundreds and thousands of migrants life being left undecided because countries simply “can’t take more people”. We’ve seen wars purported in the name of God and religion. We’ve seen reasoning repeatedly lost to politics, when climate change continuously being undermined in the parliament all over the world. And now, His Excellency President Elect Trump happened.
Is He one to blame? Are those politicians, country leaders and religious fighters one to blame? I’m not sure. I’m leaning no though.
I think this is a good time to reflect. To really think about the society we live in. About our values, and how it translates to the people around us.
Because evidently, the world has kick itself back some decades or even centuries, where reasoning are overwhelmed by fears.
We may think ourselves as a freethinker, as freedom fighter, as a reasonable citizen, but have we overestimate our role? Have we, in partying our freedom, create fear among those who can’t understand our reasoning?
Because let’s face it, most of those things happened because of votes. Maybe not the war and migrant crisis, but brexit, Trump, and whatever happened in Jakarta on the night of 4th November, happened, because they have strong backers. And those backers, are our fellow citizen. People who we meet everyday, who we interact with.
Have we, instead of engaging with them in conversation and in finding understanding as well as a middle ground, undermine them and ostracize them? Treating them as an old fashion bigot. Bullying them into having this pathological fear of pluralism, change and reason?
One thing is for sure, the world will not end tonight. It will not end tomorrow night, or the day after tomorrow or anytime soon. The world will go on. And it is up to us, to decide whether we’re going to be the pedantic uncle that always lectures the society about freedom. Or are we going to be the voice of reason that sits down in the dinner table to find a common ground.
The thing about our society is that what’s right, is always relative to the people. Democracy has given as the gift of eternal tug of war between infinite numbers of ideas. And undermining it by letting the rope go just because we fell we are right will only make the rope go further and further.
We can continue campaigning what’s “right” and what’s “wrong”. We can continue posting junks in our bubble that represent what we believe. But the conversation will never start if the sides involves only shouts about their opinion without listening.
The same thing could very possibly happen to Jakarta. The very same thing could very possibly happen to Indonesia. Difference is, we have just about enough time to change it.
This moment, is not a moment of discouragement. This, is a moment of reflection.