The dust should be settling in America. Maybe it is just a plea from people like me, for sanity to return. The sanity that I believed ruled in America long before I set foot on this continent.
Donald Trump, against all predictions that mattered, went on to win “biggly” as he often said he would. It would seem he delivered the crushing victory that ultra-conservatives yearned for for many years. It would also seem he delivered another such victory for the alt-right, which embraced him even when he half-heartedly denounced them. So many things that seem.
For me, as a new immigrant, I appreciate my work is cut out for me, especially because I have to calm nerves of little girls who hear scary rhetoric at school and come home with puzzled looks. I have had to explain that sometimes people say mean things, not because they are true, but because that’s how they will win in a campaign. I don’t think the explanation is good enough, but then again, ask the millions of parents around the country how they are dealing with the avalanche of questions.
I was firmly in the Hillary Clinton corner for more than a year. I did not believe the country that voted for Barack Obama would swing so violently away from everything that he represents. Didn’t see the real issues that the election was about.
America went out and chose a person who tried so hard to fail. They chose somebody who it seems saw the real anger and fear of middle America and went into the campaign to help raise the issues, not that he thought he would actually win.
Maybe he believes he can change the situation. Maybe he saw something many did not see. Or maybe many people saw this ugly underbelly of the real America and tried so hard to cover it. Like the ostrich, maybe the establishment (the media) saw it all but tried to force a different result because of what an alternative to Clinton represents. Sure, old form politics would return to Washington, but along with it would come bigotry and denial of facts, denial of science, denial of racism, denial of police brutality. A post-truth future stared them in the face.
Those who have lived here for longer probably understand the real workings of the system. I lived in middle America for two years and I saw this broke America, the world that Hollywood never shows us. I saw broken houses that a Ugandan would not even expect to find in Katanga. We are now told this is the America that voted for Trump.
It is probably too soon to know exactly how this is going to play out. Heck, the only example we can look at, Brexit, is still unspooling. All we’ve got on it so far is a lot of conjecture.
But Trump’s triumph is another example that change, when it has to happen, will happen. It’s Murphy’s Law, stupid. It helps to soothe the nerves of those in Uganda who think nothing will change in the country.
A lot has been said about the ineffectiveness of the Ugandan opposition. Or even the failure of Ugandans to stand up to oppressors because the are too timid. The backlash of middle America, in so doing unleashing a seemingly unhinged demagogue into the White House, is evidence enough that every event has a tipping point.