opinion

"I don't usually cry. But Donald Trump's victory has me on the verge of tears."

This morning I dropped three girls at school. Car doors slammed and as they headed to their own lives I wound down the window and leaned toward the passenger window.

“There could be a female President by tonight, girls. Woohoo.” Air punch. Air punch. “Woohoo.”

And these three girls, all super sensitive to an embarrassing mother, “woohoo”d back at me.

Four females who loved each other were sharing something big on that footpath at 7.55am. We were saying goodbye to the most hateful, witless US election campaign ever. A campaign so big and cruel and shocking the whole world had been sucked into its black heart – even my family on the other side of the world.

Wise beyond her years, my 16-year-old daughter has spent the last few months reading The New York Times and watching her social media feed, and has always been cautious of a Hillary Clinton win. She worried about Donald Trump’s appeal to those who want hollow solutions to complex problems. She worried about why he even had traction in the first place.

My sweet and thoughtful 14-year-old googled a US Presidential candidate mocking a disabled person and asked me to watch the Youtube clip with her. My Little Miss Sunshine 11-year-old daughter asked why it doesn’t matter if a rich man grabs a woman’s vagina.

But we were at an end of that, I thought this morning.

An emergency election episode of MMOL. Post continues below. 

All the walls being built to keep people out. All the talk of Supreme court judges being brought in to keep women down. All the discrimination, the hate, the anger, the fear, the judgement, the rallies where people spat on each other and threatened others with death. GONE.

Here we were, on the morning a woman would surely become President of the United States. A woman who, no matter what else you may argue, is intelligent, qualified and strong.

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In one corner a superior candidate who had done the work, in the other a bully with no shame.

And now here we are. The bully, the liar, the hollow man who does not have the qualifications to be President, the victor. This 2016 election has taken the temperature of the world. It’s so hot, I think it could be heading toward Hell.

Mr Trump in. Voted in by millions of people who saw who he was as a person. Who watched videos of him sexually harassing women. Who watched him on the news make racist comments. Who saw him abuse those who are different.

So what do I go home and tell my girls tonight? What do I tell myself?

Hate beats love.

Lies beat the truth.

Laziness beats hard work.

Ignorance beats respect.

Judgement beats understanding.

Mean beats kind.

Same beats different.

I know tomorrow we will get up in the morning and have our breakfast and get on with our lives. I know we need to try to understand why this has happened and then we need try to fix it.

I know in my house love will always beat hate.

But something has won today that is dark and scares me and I hope to God it doesn’t spread.

Oh, America — what have you done?