Though more people ended up voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton, it is Republican Donald Trump who will be the next President of the United States. For those of us who believe in civil rights, the dangers of climate change and simple human decency, the night of Nov. 8 was one of the toughest of our lives.
According to numbers compiled by The New York Times, Trump’s victory had little to do with voters’ “economic anxiety.” Clinton won big with voters who earn less than $49,999. Trump did far better with people with higher incomes.
As far as race is concerned, Clinton won over all non-whites, while Trump won big with whites.
Clinton topped Trump with everyone under the age of 44, while Trump won over big with people 45 and older. I don’t ever want to read another bad thing about Millennials–they are this nation’s, and this planet’s, only hope.
Concerning education, Trump did better with those with just high school or some college; Clinton did better with college educated and above. Trump’s biggest voting demographic by far was whites who never got a college degree.
What do we tell our children?
Make no mistake: the 2016 election is a triumph for right-wing extremists, here and around the world. During Trump’s victory speech, one of his supporters even yelled “Hang Obama!” No surprise that the election was also marred by civil rights violations.
“This is the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act,” according to a Nov. 9 statement from the League of Women Voters. “Thousands of eligible voters were purged from the rolls. Onerous voter ID laws prevented eligible voters from casting their ballots. We saw cases of misinformation and intimidation at the polls.”
Forget about Trump being “president for all Americans.” He’s not even president for the Republicans, as they’ll soon find out. We may have been wrong about how the election would turn out, but we weren’t wrong about his character. He’s a former game show host and a habitual liar with delusions of godhood. He hates women, non-whites and everyone who doesn’t lick his boot. He is amazingly anti-intellectual. He thinks the loathsome and unconstitutional “stop and frisk” policies should go national. He never wanted to be president–he wants to be dictator, something Republicans seem perfectly fine with. How he will govern is a giant unknown–even, most likely, to himself.
What do we tell our sons?
And in three months, Trump takes control over the vast national security surveillance state, our military and our arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Oh, but Clinton was a “criminal?” Trump is due in court on Nov. 28 to answer fraud charges connected to that ridiculous joke known as Trump University.
“Trump faces a legal ordeal no president-elect has ever encountered: juggling defending himself before a jury with preparing for the vast challenges a political novice will face in assuming the presidency,” Politico reported on Nov. 9. “And the class-action case set for trial the Monday after Thanksgiving is just one of a plethora of lawsuits and threatened suits Trump was entangled in during the campaign—litigation that doesn’t seem likely to disappear anytime soon and might even intensify with Trump headed to the White House.”
If you think racism, sexism, xenophobia and climate change are bad, then the next four years will be very hard. The Republicans will kill Obamacare and replace it with nothing. Trump demonizes non-whites–American citizens!–because of their race. By his own admission, Trump sexually assaults women at will. The message this sends to the world is catastrophic.
What do we tell our daughters?
The KKK is cheering Trump’s election. I don’t ever want to hear the phrase “never again.” Tuesday night, far too many Americans forgot what fascism looks like, how it rises, and now everyone has to pay the price.
“Whatever happens, we have lost,” the comedy writer Baratunde Thurston tweeted when the election began to turn sharply to Trump. “Half this nation voted for white supremacy, sexual assault, and more. The Klan is happy. We should be sad.”
That doesn’t mean we go away and sulk. The Democratic Party may look pathetic right now, but remember that more Americans voted for Clinton than Trump, but he won and she lost because of a 18th century relic in the American election process.
That being said, the Democratic Party must change if it hopes to survive (turnout for Clinton was lower than Barack Obama in 2012 everywhere, including here in Hawaii). All this support for Big Business, military intervention, drone strikes, Guantanamo imprisonment, endless wars overseas–it must end. Let’s not kid ourselves: Hillary Clinton was vastly preferable to Donald Trump, but her victory would also have meant more war. The Democratic Party must stand for something larger–the elevation of civil rights, human rights. Those are principles are worth fighting for, especially in these very dark times.
The civil rights era isn’t over–we’re still in the early years. If you hold these principles dear, then the time to resist, to rebel, starts now. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, but as long as we stand up for what’s right and just, we will win. It may take the rest of our lives, but we’re on the right side of history.
The election in Hawaii was a predictable sideshow to the national circus, with a couple significant exceptions. Yes, incumbent U.S. Senator Brian Schatz and incumbent Rep. Tulsi Gabbard won reelection (though in the State Senate, Hawaii’s lone Republican–Sam Slom–is now out of a job, replaced by Democrat Stanley Chang). These races were never in doubt. Ditto all of Maui’s incumbent state legislators on the ballot: Representatives Joe Souki, Angus McKelvey, Kaniela Ing and Lynn DeCoite will all return for new terms.
But looks like we have pretty major changes on the Maui County Council, according to the final tally of votes from the Hawaii Office of Elections. Though incumbents Bob Carroll, Elle Cochran, Don Guzman, Mike White, Riki Hokama and Stacy Helm-Crivello seem to have all won reelection, South Maui Councilmember Don Couch has not. Challenger Kelly King, who helped found Pacific BioDiesel, beat him by a little over a thousand votes (23,641 votes to 22,589, to be precise).
And in the open Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu seat to replace termed-out Mike Victorino, SHAKA Movement ally Alika Atay beat former Councilmember Dain Kane, 23,320 votes to 22,512. Over in the open Upcountry seat replacing Councilmember Gladys Baisa, longtime Democratic Party official and activist Yuki Lei Sugimura beat Napua Greig-Nakasone by just over a thousand votes (23,263 to 22,211).
This could mean a solid block of slow-growth, anti-GMO councilmembers (Cochran, Atay and King) will now sit on the County Council. This could have major ramifications in regards to Mayor Alan Arakawa’s stated goal of changing the planning process for community plans–something Councilmember Couch firmly supported.
Click here for the final election results from the Hawaii Office of Elections.
Editor’s note: Kids are asking questions right now about the 2016 Election. How are you explaining it to your keiki? Please send your thoughts and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org for a future story.
Cover Design: Jenn Carter
Image of Donald Trump: DonkeyHotey