This post is branching out a bit from what I would usually talk about on my blog; however, I would like to share my opinions on the recent election as a UK citizen who has no voting power in the US. I am not an expert on politics, but as young, educated voter, I feel a connection to many people who would have voted in the election last week.
When I first heard of Hillary Clinton’s bid to become the president of the United States I was intrigued and I imagined life with a female in what is arguably the highest position of power in the world. Then I realised something which I think many other American citizens also realised during this election: just because she is a woman and I am a woman, it does not mean I have to automatically support her. She is qualified, yes, and unlike Trump, she has had decades of political experience but unfortunately for her, she does not come across as a likeable character.
There will be many people who will read that statement and feel as though I am implying a woman has to be likeable to ‘get the job’. I am not and that is absurd. What I am implying is that a presidential candidate, irrespective of gender, race, religion, sexual preference or anything else, has to come across as likeable, relateable and trustworthy in order to get the votes of the people. With ongoing FBI investigations, claims of cover ups, corruption and questions of her honesty, Clinton was, in my opinion, not the most likeable and trustworthy candidate out there. In fact, when looking closer at her election campaign, the celebrity endorsements and the recurring message appearing on social media “I’m with her”, it seems almost that her gender was all she had going for her.
In a world striving for equality and opportunity for all, it appears counterproductive to have a presidential campaign which is based almost solely on the fact that you are a woman and therefore other women should vote for you because they are women too. Should it be accepted that she deserved people’s votes simply because she is a female? What was she really offering women in return? In this day and age women should be seen as equals to men, and if that is what we are working towards, then we should not expect to gain anything on the basis of our gender. Women should be encouraged to vote based on policies, on their own views and on their own personal situations; not based on the gender of the candidate. Just as we should expect that men do not vote for other men because they share a gender, the same should not happen with women or any other groups in today’s society.
Putting it simply, people should use their vote to choose a candidate who represents them and will provide the measures to best support them and how they live their life. Clinton’s attempt to use her gender to her advantage was probably her biggest mistake, as she wrongly overlooked the opinions of voters as well as underestimating the competition put to her from her opponent.
I want to start this segment off by saying that it is a shame that Donald Trump won the election. I did not have support for him whatsoever and what he stands for goes against the majority of my beliefs and my values. However, I cannot really dispute his campaign, because at the end of the day, his promises appealed to his target audience of voters and they voted for him.
I find it unfair that people are trying to discredit those who voted for him due to their age or their skin colour or anything else. There is a reason that democracy exists and as sad as it may be that his views are the most commonplace in the USA, democracy is designed to represent the people and what they want.
Moving on to the main issue at hand, it is clear that there has to be a greater effort made to eradicate the resentment of others and the desperate need for change which has lead to the election of Trump as president. Although I do doubt his abilities due to the comments made throughout his campaign, I do wish him every success as commander in chief and I do want him to prove me wrong. I hope that he is able to “make America great again”, but not if that means victimising minorities or inciting violence, racism or hatred in one of the most powerful nations in the world. I hope Trump is able to use his influence for good and to encourage his supporters to be accepting, to be tolerant and to be kind.
This momentous political event has shown us a lot about what is to come. People should not fear for the future under the presidency of Donald J Trump. Yes, emotions are running high and attacks have been reported from both sides; but rather than going forward with fear and anger, it is best to join together and proceed with hope and aspiration. Do not complain about what has already happened, aspire instead to achieve the result you want. Here’s hoping that the election in 2020 will provide the US with two viable candidates who fight fair, speak with respect, offer positive change, and most importantly, represent those who are voting for them.
Please let me know in the comments how you feel about the result (American or not!)