Last night, I stayed up until 6 am, to watch the presidential election unfold.
I’ll avoid going over the pain that was watching counties and states go red. We know how it ends. No point in rewatching the reel.
We were all in the lecture theatre in the Bute bulding, where our school is. We weren’t many to begin with – 20 people, maybe – but by 5 o’clock in the morning, only a handful remained. We few. We not so happy few.
I’m white. I’m male. I’m of European citizenship. I come from a country where we’re hardly outraged anymore, so used we got to the mediocre status quo of things.
Perhaps that’s the reason why what I saw next, as Trump’s victory loomed closer, deeply unsettled me: my friends, my American friends, were struggling to hold back the tears.
This morning (well, afternoon) just like after Brexit, I woke up feeling bitter, but normal. Then, hour after hour, a subtle and unsettling feeling kept crawling up my back.
I spent most of the day reading articles on what will happen next, on how a Trump presidency can be just as bad as it sounded in predictions. This is the year I finally stopped the seeing the world as inherently rational, where politics and rhetorics are one big bluff, and started words at face value.
I’m not latino. I’m not black. I’m not a woman and I don’t live in the USA. However, I’m European at a time where Russia is becoming more and more aggressive, I’m a journalist in a society where populism and “illiberal democracy” are on the rise, and most importantly, I’m a human in a world that can’t seem to tackle climate change. And the most powerful man in this world is now a climate change negationist who wants to scrap the Paris Agreement.
I suddenly feel tense. I’m laying on the sofa, and my back isn’t relaxed at all. I feel a slight knot in the throat, my breathing slightly deeper than usual.
Here’s hoping to a better morning.