The United States has elected Donald Trump, a 70-year-old tangerine Superfund site and a menace to the peace, stability, and dignity of the country and the future of the free world, as its Commander in Chief. His stunning upset victory came early Wednesday morning, when the Associated Press called the election, almost exactly a month after a leaked tape from 2005 revealed him bragging about grabbing women by the pussy. CNN and NBC are both reporting that Clinton has conceded.
To briefly recap a campaign that had been promised for years and was full of endless babble is difficult. But from the start, Trump’s campaign was marked by particularly virulent racism and xenophobia: in his presidential announcement speech, he made his infamous comments about Mexican immigrants being “rapists” and “criminals.” In December, he called for a “complete shutdown” on Muslims entering the United States, a disgraceful proposal that is also legally and logistically unenforceable. But just saying those words aloud did incalculable damage—it wouldn’t be surprising, for example, to see them used in an ISIS recruitment video, offered as proof that America does indeed hate Muslims.
Many of Trump’s policy proposals relating to women’s issues sprang out of his mouth seemingly without first passing through his brain. He opined that women who have an abortion should face “some form of punishment,” then apparently realized that wasn’t exactly correct when everyone freaked out. (He later walked it back, to suggest that doctors be punished instead of patients.) He once said women should be able to get birth control without a prescription, then never mentioned it again. He trotted out daughter Ivanka to talk about his incredibly poor-conceived childcare plan, which she did badly and defensively.
Trump did other things without thinking too, like threatening to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz, a woman who is not running for office. He did that on Twitter, the same place where he committed too many outrages on human decency to even list: the New York Times listed the 282 things, people and places he insulted on Twitter while running for president, and I’m willing to bet they missed a few.
Trump’s win is a complete shock, coming as it does after virtually every national poll predicted Clinton would be the victor. But her lead narrowed significantly after FBI director James Comey dramatically announced a renewed investigation into her private email server. Comey announced on Sunday that the FBI, once again, would not recommend Clinton be criminally charged, but the investigation’s cloud stretched over several days of early voting.
Trump’s victory also marks the continuance of a frightening global trend of isolationism and xenophobia, one that started with England’s Brexit vote in June. Brexit triggered a plunge in the value of the British pound, just as the Dow plummeted as Trump’s victory became more and more clear.
A Trump win is also predicted to cause global markets to plummet. It could be the start of a global recession, and what The Guardian termed a “cataclysmic shock.”
But anyway, you know, this is our guy. This is who we picked. What does that say about America? That we’re still immeasurably more racist and more sexist than anyone might have thought possible? Absolutely. But also that we’re shockingly, breathtakingly careless. This is—this night has made clear—a nation full of people who care for nothing, who are so heedless of our place as the most powerful nation on earth that we entrusted its leadership to this man. We’ve elected a man with zero experience in public service, zero military experience, and a toxic relationship with his own party. We voted into office a man who reportedly asked, during a national security briefing, why we don’t just use our nuclear weapons. We’ve elected the president we deserve, and God help us all.