Reactions from the AWE community

Read Ellyn's article here | Petros' pro-Trump article

A first look at "Trump's America"

I look to the future with more excitement. It’s a revolutionary age we live in. And as Marx has said a revolution has stages. The liberal elite falls, their economic dogmas fail. Now is the chance to get the power back. Of course not with Trump, but I am lookimg forward to the reaction to his election
— Petros Konstantinidis
Hmmm. I’m feeling pretty shocked but not necessarily surprised; Brexit primed me for the possibility. I think Trump is awful as a human being and I’m a little scared that so many people voted for him. However I don’t feel like we should be trying to ‘understand’ populism better, like some people are suggesting. Instead I think we should try even harder than before to stand up for what we think is important in a reasonable way and to create things that are positive. Fear and anger are not the only way forward. Therefore happy to see everyone continue to discuss and write and take pictures/video and be curious about the world. It matters.
— Ellyn van Valkengoed
In Neil deGrasse Tyson’s words: “This is the end of nothing. This is the beginning of something new and solemn and so important. You must be part of what comes next.”
— Mick ter Reehorst
There aren’t words to describe the injustice that transpired last night. Feelings of powerlessness in American politics have just reached a dangerous high. I’m scared to live in my own country for the first time.
— Alina Heim
When I woke up today, I didn’t feel anger. Instead, I felt sadness. Sadness for what might have been, and a creeping sense of dread for what is actually going to come instead. Sadness is not a productive feeling. Rage can be channeled, but sadness is sedentary. And I did consider staying in bed, refreshing Twitter, wallowing in the commentary that wouldn’t change a thing. But below the sadness, I also felt galvanized. A sense of purpose, though I don’t quite know for what. I think a lot of people are at a loss for what to do next. When you are a student, a journalist, a person who seeks refuge in reason and fact, how do you engage with the irrationality of fear and ideology? How do you hold accountable a person who does not recognize the legitimacy of the standards he has failed to uphold? Suddenly the ideals and privileges liberal young Americans have long taken for granted can no more be assumed as self-evident. When I woke up today, I really woke up—to how many things I don’t know, to how much harder I must work to try and understand. There’s something to fight for, but may the fight not be adversarial. We have been fighting for the past year, and it has only brought us here. I hope to find a way to communicate, to get to know this country that no longer feels like it belongs to me.
— Belle Cushing
> Bart Gulden
Personally im interested in what kind of effect this will have on politics in the EU and the Netherlands in particular. There is an ongoing discussion about populism and about a more direct form democracy for quite some time now. Should we change our political system? How should we deal with the anti establishment groups in our own country? I think Trumps election raises and stresses some important questions we should ask ourselves as a western democratic nation. It will be the beginning of something new.

> Theodore A.
”How should we deal with the anti establishment groups in our own country?”
Wait, what? Shouldn’t the question rather be : “how should the establishment be changed”?

> Bart Gulden
Maybe my phrasing is was a bit off. Agree with your question “how should the establishment could be changed”. Personally I’m not really convinced the change will be coming from within the anti-establishment itself. The attitude of the establishment towards the anti-establishment will be crucial in my opinion. Change will probably have to start there, and that’s what I’m trying to refer to.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

I’m very afraid of what kind of precedent this sets. In an election characterised by excessive blatant lying, mistrust, anger, and unabashed racism, I hope that this election and its tactics will be relegated as a once off tool, but I fear it has merely shown politicians another tool to gain power.
— Coen-Reinier Lap
I’m still waiting for someone to wake me up from this distorted reality. We went from yes we can to yes we klan in 1 election. Large numbers of Americans turn out to be sexists and racists and they just made their behavior tolerable by choosing Trump as their president. I never considered this to be a possibility, and apparently that was very naive of me. I have never felt more disconnected from society. I wonder how international politics will play out as mentioned above. As for the Netherlands will this be an example of how fucked up this is or will this lead the way for others? I seriously hope #Nexit wont be the next thing we’re discussing. This is me rambling and there are far more interesting things to say about this.
However, for the moment I’m paralyzed.
— Suzanne Groen
As an American, I am deeply disappointed in my country today. Our system has failed us and allowed for Donald Trump to become president. It is shocking, it is embarassing and most of all, it is horrifying that a man with no real plan and who has run his campaign on hate, is supposed to run the so-called melting pot that is the UNITED States of America. My country is clearly more torn than it has been in recent years, but it is more important now than ever that all of the citizens stand together for the rights of the lgbt community, immigrants, minorities, lower and middle class members and the citizens of the country as a whole. When Trump and the now Republican run House, Senate and soon to be Supreme Court seek to overturn some of the most important cases in the country, I am confident that enough of the people of America will stand united. Many are fearful for the future of the country, myself included, but at the same time, I believe the half of the country who is outraged by Trump’s election will not sit quietly as our rights are taken away. While my full feelings of disappointment cannot even be properly articulated, I know that America will not crumble and the world will keep turning.
— Rebecca Alterman
It might be a good start to avoid the systematic rejection of nearly 50% of the voters because they do not believe in “superior values” such as tolerance, political correctness and 21st century feminism. Perhaps these people could depart from their ivory towers, reflect on their own behavior and start listening to Joe Average, or the uneducated, as they are labeled by the “intellectuals” themselves.
— Anonymous AWE Reader
I am ashamed, but the first thing I thought was “here is the final proof that universal suffrage is a dysfunctional system”. That democracy could only work in the poleis where the voters were few and cultivated. I thought that when you turn 18 you automatically get your right to vote, but you don’t automatically get your driving licence. For that you have to learn the rules and get a licence, because otherwise you can be dangerous. And voting blindly, can’t it entail extremely dangerous consequences for your country? Then I realized how elitist my thought was. But I kept questioning democracy anyways. Are rulers there to merely represent the preferences of the majority or to direct and educate human instincts?
— Emma Bubola
“Pretty shellshocked! But then again I called Brexit wrong, nevertheless expected Bojo to be PM before Christmas, and thought Clinton would win a landslide victory. So I do not know what my surprise is worth at this moment. It all does not bode well for my career as a social scientist. Some observations here in Beijing: the Americans were mostly crying (they are all democrats. The official US embassy viewing was even closed down when it became clear Trump was winning). One Chinese classmate was ecstatic (‘America/the West is imploding, the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has finally arrived. Let the Chinese century commence!’) and it is not the first time I heard that over here. Another Chinese student seemed terrified by the prospect of a potential (trade-)war between China and the US. Meanwhile, the party-controlled Global Times and other state newspapers have over the last years published articles stating ‘What do the failed revolutions of the Arab Spring, the Ukrainian Maidan uprising, Brexit and the rise of Trump show? That Liberal Democracy is inherently unstable.’ Such articles have in the past included subtle reminders that Hitler was also democratically elected. Basically, these entail whatever can be employed to encourage Chinese comrades to remain satisfied with their political system as it is (and not push for reform). I expect a record number of such publications tomorrow!”
— Joris Teer
I am very much of the opinion that the anti-establishment movements in most Western democracies are because of the current democratic system we live in. After WWII in most countries a system was put in place by the elites that restricted the will of the people and gave the absolute power to constitutional institutions. This was because in Germany for example, Hitler came to power democratically and was the elected ‘Reichskanzler’. With the system put in place post-WWII, elites assured that the will of the people would never again prevail and that the events of destruction and genocide would never happen again. In the end of the 60s and beginning of 70s people (mainly the 68 movement) people started to protest against this understanding of democracy, because actually, it was not very democratic as the ultimate will lay not in the hand of the people. I think what started in the 60s has now arrived at it’s peak. I don’t know whether a more direct form of democracy is the answer to the problems we are facing right now, but I have no doubt that the current system of representative democracy as we understand it today needs to change.
— Antonia Korkas
I found that a lot of people are feeling unheard by the political representatives they themselves chose. This seems to have created a distrust in the establishment, and referring to Theodore’s point about the lack of fruitfulness in searching for solutions within anti-establishment movements, the movements themselves seem to have found their solutions in the form of the bold and the brash, like Trump, Wilders or le Pen. And by direct democracy, which maybe roughly translates as “the democracy that only listens to me”.
Having given up on the establishment, any solutions from that side will be disregarded. Question remains, however, how this more direct democracy would help the people who’d like it to happen.
— Toon Vos
“But in this century blood and instinct will regain their rights against the power of money and intellect. The era of individualism, liberalism and democracy, of humanitarianism and freedom, is nearing its end. The masses will accept with resignation the victory of the Caesars, the strong men, and will obey them.”
— Nathan Potter
Statistical analysis shows that, as was the case with Brexit, there was a huge difference in voting between the younger generations and the older generations. Most people below 30 or so wanted to stay in the UK. Most people below the age of 30 or so wanted the democratic party to win. This reflects what I felt when I heard the outcome, namely that the group of people I get my news, their thoughts and analyses from, does not reflect reality, or is mainly a small part of reality (and so I was, like you guys, shocked). On the other hand it makes me excited as to what our generation can do and hopefully will do. Then again, will we change our opinions as we become land owners, tax payers, etc.?
— Renee Michels
Personally, it deeply frustrates me that this office, graced by the likes of Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, FDR and JFK - men of great spirit, formidable intellect, and the conviction, bravery and morality, to fight (and in two cases die) for the American people - will be held by what I perceive to be a provocative, ill-educated narcissist, unfit and unqualified to claim the presidency of the world’s most powerful and influential nation.

One has to question the chain of events and the circumstances that enabled this to happen, however he has four years to change my mind while I scrutinise with great intent his domestic and foreign policies.

Though most Chinese probably take little interest in the election, it appears that more were in favour of Trump than Clinton. There is certainly no severe sense of unease here, or at least none that I’m aware of (and I work in Chinese Media). He is certainly not perceived as a bigot.
— Dominic Madar
I am lost. I am scared for my friends and family in the USA, for me in Europe, for all of us. I wish we could all remember that we’re planetary.
— Sadia Rao
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been walking around confused and sad and frustrated today. It makes me sick to think that this election result legitimises the disgusting racism, sexism and homophobia we’ve seen from the Trump campaign in the last year and it makes me afraid that when time passes, people come to accept this as the new normal.
However frustrated I am, this should not be the time to give up, to put our backs to the political process or to just go back to bed hoping to wake up in a better world (however attractive that may sound).
Now is the time to get together, to get involved, to leave comfortable positions at the sideline. Join a political party, speak up to the racism and sexism and homophobia, get organised. This is far too important to just stand by.
— Bart van Bruggen
Source:  The Week  - all credits go to the Week

Source: The Week - all credits go to the Week

Tuesday was a huge wake-up call. First, actually waking up to the message: Donald Trump is going to be president. Yeah, seriously. Millions of Americans have actually voted Mr. Trump into the White House, despite knowing he is a racist, misogynist, tax-avoiding narcissist who makes fun of disabled people and brags about grabbing women by the pussy. And we did not see it coming. Not even a little bit. As a journalism student, I feel like everything I work so hard to accomplish is completely useless - why bother to get the facts out when no one cares about the truth anyway? As a woman, I am heartbroken. This was the day we were going to smash the glass-ceiling, and take a huge step towards a more equal world. Instead, we are taking fifty steps back. I feel angry, sad and disgusted - and I’m not even American. But these negative feelings will not get us anywhere. On the contrary, they are the reason we got here. We should never give up and buoy to hate, but we must wake up and realise that somewhere, something went terribly wrong. And we need to figure out how to fix it.
— Ingri Bergo