With Donald J. Trump now the President-elect of the United States of America anxiety is, quite understandably, high. This election has been a roiling buildup of demagoguery, reductive politicking and mass media fuelled absurdity. The Republicans offered up a selection of blowhards, theocrats and fascist-lite man-children while the Democrats attempted to sweep their only progressive, left-wing, populist option under the rug in order to seemingly coronate an oligarchic political elite.
The 2016 election has been a mass expression of egocentric politics that has ended up dividing not only the country, but the Left as well. Hillary Clinton is the champion of smug modern liberalism, the status quo fair weather progressive that does just enough to be on the moral high ground when compared to the oppressive selfishness of the right wing. Even seen as the morally superior option she, as is the case with much of mainstream liberalism, represents the oligarchy of political and corporate elitism. A large part of what killed her campaign and set the stage for Trump’s victory was her disconnection from the people and the real problems facing them. Hillary is the opposite of a populist, simply following social media trends and courting celebrities to make up for what many saw as a complete lack of charisma or even minute human likeability. By pushing an individual that many saw as corrupt the DNC and Democratic Party base sealed their fates in the election
All of that being said about Hillary Clinton does not change the negativity surrounding Trump’s victory. After a campaign of racially charged speeches and divisive, strong-armed politics, many people across the country are fearful. From Mike Pence’s strong anti-LGBTQ+ views to Donald Trump’s overly sensitive bullying of others, these are men hardly fit to lead the United States. All we have seen from them, and a majority of their most hardcore supporters, has been embarrassing and regressive, throwing science and social acceptance out the window to appeal to an angry, distrustful, corporate propaganda fed population that has been taught to fear change and hate others. This spike in more outwardly xenophobic rhetoric has been a pronounced centrepiece for the Trump/Pence ticket.
As the divide caused by this election deepens and the population attempts to understand the implications of a Trump presidency, there have been those that have called to “respect” Trump due to his victory and future position. This moderate, “don’t rock the boat,” approach is inherently flawed, especially in an election such as 2016’s. Respect is earned, not given blindly on some symbolic pretence. Trust is built, not spewed with cult-like fervour. To those who say "respect the office and the process" you are speaking from a place of symbology that disconnects you from the reality of an individual. You say this as demographics divide further and people are truly fearful for the future. Do not ignorantly try to be the "good guy" that plays the middle ground, believing that it gives you some sort of self-righteous clairvoyance. You only end up looking like you are trying to take legitimacy from people's fears. If something threatens you and your peace of mind you do not grin and bear it, you steel yourself and deal with it head on.