As I awoke this morning, millions of people across America were celebrating as Donald Trump was confirmed as the next President of the US. At the same time, billions of people around the world were pinching themselves, believing they were still in the middle of a rather absurd dream; but beneath the layers of celebration and disbelief, away from the spotlight of the media, many innocent people were frightened.
- The refugees who yearned for safety feared deportation back to the danger zones.
- The migrants that left their homes in search of a better life for their families feared ostracism and uncertainty.
- The LGBTQ communities feared reprisals from conservative Christian groups and the revocation of rights they had fought so hard for.
- Parents feared for their daughters’ safety, worried that Trump’s sexual attitudes would somehow become legitimized by his election.
I understand people need time to adjust and to come to terms with today’s news: a lot of questions are being asked, but it’s just too soon to get any answers. I don’t want to sound overly-optimistic or offer false hope, but I just want to offer one thing from across the pond.
To put it into Star Wars terms, after last May’s General Election, we reached the end of Episode 3 where Senator Palpatine (Cameron) had been granted executive power over the Senate and formed the Galactic Empire. There is, however, a pocket of resistance that, while small in number, is both highly organised and in possession of a power their opponents dismiss worthless and ineffective.
One of their leaders even looks like a Jedi.
The Parliamentary Labour Party tried to strike him down, but he came back stronger than they could ever have imagined.
For all the polls and simulations that put Donald Trump as the underdog, he still came out the victor. For all the polls that predicted the UK remaining in the European Union, the leave vote still won.
Right now, Jeremy Corbyn is polling several points behind the Conservatives. All is not lost.
While Trump may be able to change laws, he cannot change people. There are those among us who will stand up for those Trump seeks to oppress.
The election will not silence them – it will only make them louder.