Here are the best opinions and reactions to Trump’s election
This sampling of writers reflects despair, hope, resolve, fear and compassion
The divisions between Americans seemed to grow larger as each vote rolled in on Tuesday. For every excited American, there was another who cringed as states digitally turned red on their television screens. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Republican Donald Trump claimed victory over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. America had spoken. All around the United States, one person’s elation was another person’s anguish. Days later, the president-elect continues to evoke strong emotions on both sides. Check out the links below to see the shock, anger, grief and understanding shared by writers after the votes were in. Check out the links below to see how others felt about the outcome of this year’s election.
The New York Times
By Roxane Gay
“A bigger part of tonight’s story is that millions and millions of Americans are willing to vote for a candidate who has been endorsed by the Klan. They are willing to vote for a candidate who has displayed open contempt for women. They are willing to vote for a candidate whose base is openly hostile to people of color, immigrants and Muslims. We cannot ignore the hate that Mr. Trump both encourages and allows to flourish. I am terrified that the more virulent of Mr. Trump’s base will see his election as permission to act on hatred.”
By Ben Jealous
“Leadership begins with listening.
“If you are tempted to dismiss most of Trump’s supporters as being as hateful as his rhetoric, please don’t.
“If you unfriended your Trump-loving friends on Facebook, re-friend them.
“If you don’t know anyone who voted for Trump, make a new friend.
“Then listen. Among the messages you are most likely to hear: the system is rigged in favor of the elites and we could not vote for someone who embodied that system.
“Sound familiar? Replace the phrase ‘elites’ with ‘1%’ and it’s a core message from progressive movements that span from labor to civil rights to Occupy to the Bernie campaign.
“That is the message that upended the Democratic primary. That is the message that won the general election. That is the message that can unite most Americans tomorrow.”
The Washington Post
By Thabiti Anyabwile
“This is our America. We share this land and participate in this republic, one that the writers of the Pledge of Allegiance hoped would be ‘one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’ And there’s the rub. ‘Liberty and justice for all’ has been difficult to gain. And it turns out to be messy and sometimes contradictory business. Some see a Trump presidency as an ‘existential threat’ to liberty and justice in the best sense of the American promise. I’m among them.
“But we’re not helped if we now shrink away into our enclaves loathing Trump and ‘those people’ who voted for him. We’re only helped if we participate more fully in our government ensuring, as Lemuel Haynes put, liberty is ‘further extended’ rather than contracted.”
Los Angeles Times
By Erin Aubry Kaplan
“Being black in America is never not complicated, and the choices we faced in this election highlighted those complications as never before. We had to deal with the open racism of Trump, which flirts with white nationalism and traffics in the worst kinds of stereotypes. And we also had to reckon with the Democrats’ cumulative indifference, and sometimes its hostility, to issues we see as explicitly racial.
“Even sympathetic white liberals and progressives tended to flatten us out, erase us, by reflexively equating our struggles with those of immigrants, for example. Leave it to the bilious Trump to accidentally have a point when he advised us to vote for him because, given the persistence of our crises under both parties, what did we really have to lose in voting for a man who’s essentially a party of one?”
“In person, I was met by a strange mix; my blackness was not unnoticed but people seemed genuinely open to speaking with me, respectful. There was the elderly white woman protesting Trump in Wisconsin who asked me ‘what the coloreds think about Trump.’ There was the white man in a sweltering New Hampshire gymnasium who asked me which race had been created first and told me, of my education, that I had ‘learned everything wrong.’ ”
The Huffington Post
By Zeba Play
“Today, so many Americans are in mourning. They are mourning the death of the dream of ‘hope’ sold to them by Obama’s historic election. They are mourning the death of American goodness. But now is not the time for mourning ― it’s time for action.
“This win may be a further validation of racist thinking in America, but it isn’t its creation. It’s been so easy for white liberals to turn a blind eye to the deep-seated nature of racism in the past ― especially after eight years of being able to cling to their vote for a black president. But Tuesday was a wake-up call, a stark reminder that there is more for you to do. It will be the job of those Americans who do not agree with Trump and his surrogates, now more than ever, to combat the deluge of bigotry that’s been left in the wake of his ridiculous campaign trail. There are no more excuses.”
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By Nate Meaner
“Dear angry white men (and women), I want to apologize for not understanding you.
“I had thought you were voting for Trump mostly out of doubt and fear, based on deep-[seat]ed racial anxieties that stem from generations of indoctrination to systems of white supremacy. I also understood that the pressures of a shriveling middle class, and a disappearing path upward for the working class, was driving your last stand. But the legacy of Homer Plessy and ‘Jim Crow’ kept on peeking its ugly head through.
“What I missed was this.
“Donald Trump is your Barack Obama.”
By David French
“Last night, CNN analyst Van Jones — after offering his congratulations to Trump supporters — got quite emotional, claiming Trump’s win represented something he called a “whitelash.”
“If the data supports his assertion, we shouldn’t shrink from it. Indeed, the notion that identity politics from the Left is being met with identity politics from the Right is nearly received conventional wisdom, as is the notion that our nation is more racially polarized than any time in recent memory.
“Or maybe not.”