I am flabbergasted. Pollsters were as wrong as can be. Before going to bed last night, my sweetheart voiced his sneaking suspicion, that Trump might win this election. And I replied: “Don’t worry, there will be a landslide in favour of Mrs. Clinton.”
I honestly believed this. My unswerving faith in American overall decency or whatever else it might have been, made me err so badly. While my sweetheart stayed awake most of the night to watch the results coming in, I fell asleep, quite sure, that there really is nothing to worry about. Now I feel like crying. And am so sorry for my American friends, who must be in a much worse state of mind.
This is the second time this year, I proved to be a very poor predictor to electoral outcomes. Exhitbit A: Brexit, exhibit B: Presidential elections in the US. Maybe that’s why, while still being shocked and dazed, glued to the TV screen this morning, I couldn’t help laughing out loud about someone’s tweet, stating that today the Brits escaped their rightful title as 2016th most stupid people by a hair’s breadth.
No need to get upset about the pollsters. Maybe they just pick the wrong people for their interviews. Come to think of it: people like me are much more likely to participate in polls than – to use a German sample of the same phenomenon – an AfD supporter. They tend to believe, media is crooked anyways (Lügenpresse is the term in use for that over here: lying press).
Then I watched Trump’s acceptance speech and was again taken aback. Was this even the same guy? The one ranting away during his campaign relentlessly? Today I fully got the impression of watching a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Come to think of it: his hairpiece should have warned me all along. Or is he really just a sheep dressed up as a polar wolf?
Whichever it might be, this is not just an all-American issue. Whoever becomes President of the United States influences much of the world. The electorate might not care about this fact, some might not even know. But their decision will influence my life, far away in Europe. And I am lucky. Go ask a Mexican, to name but one.
Who the hell is this guy? Does he honestly believe, people will forget that quickly? That as soon as he holds office, he can switch personality and remain trustworthy to his followers or gain instant trust from the rest? One has to accept and respect the outcome of any free and fair election in a democracy. I know this. But the speed, with which everything seems to swing back to business a usual, quite frightens me.
The markets didn’t plunge as much as everyone feared. In fact, the stock exchange in Germany, opening for business after his acceptance speech, was hardly bothered at all. Congratulations started pouring in. German politicians already discussing, how to deal with the new situation. Whom to talk to. As if nothing out of the usual has happened.
I do not understand.