Where were you when you heard about Trump?
Matthieu Lopez (35). Internet expert from Strasbourg
When I woke and saw the news on my phone I thought it was some kind of a bad joke from the gorafi website and then I read the web site name, The Figaro and I don’t believe it. For half of the day I dont believe it , my main concern is that it gives credit to the extremists and the National Front, I think this might have a bad influence on the election in May, which is only six months away. I am genuinely very worried about the future.
Dr Susan Ramsay, an academic researcher working in Washington D.C.
It’s amazing how much can happen in 48 hours. I went into election day as I go through most days, trying to fit everything in, stay focused, and remember to take time to walk at least once around the parking lot at work. But on election day I also felt excitement. I had waited to vote. I enjoy it. I could have gone and done early voting, but I wanted the energy of voting on election day – election day at my voting spot for the last 4 Presidential elections. I didn’t get there though until about 7 pm – later than I expected, but yet not unexpected given all the things I was trying to get done at work. The parking lot was pretty empty. I was startled by a women approaching me out of the dark offering to give me a listing of Democrat slots; I said no thanks more brusquely and quickly than I would have if I hadn’t been startled. Right afterwards, I wished I had been kinder to her, thinking about how dark it was and how it was getting cold. I voted, not feeling the excitement of the past as I had some reservations about Clinton. I was quickly done as the voting place was pretty empty at that point in the evening. I headed back out to the dark, hungry, ready to get home and get some food. As I hustled toward my car I saw the woman talking with another woman. I said as I hurried by “Thank you for being out here tonight!
Her companion looked at me and said, “You are welcome. Oh I missed talking to you!” I glanced over at the Clinton supporter’s companion and realized she was wearing a TRUMP shirt. I was startled again, but this time it was more like an inadvertent stomach elbowing. Not wanting to be rude twice in one 10 minute period, I just smiled weakly and went to my car thinking both of them must think I am a Trump supporter.
I went home and purposely went to bed early and without listening to any news. I wanted the whole toxic, disgusting, pre-election campaign full of Trump’s blatant lies, arrogance, and manipulative appeals to people’s base side to be over. I didn’t want to have to hear his voice ever again. I had become so accustomed to reflexively turning off the car radio whenever his voice came on or – toward the end – whenever he was mentioned- that I could hit the off button in a fraction of a second without even looking at it. I had told all my friends I wouldn’t attend an all night watch party and wouldn’t be calling to touch base during the night.
I went to bed and fell asleep as my head hit the pillow. I slept soundly and since I actually did go to bed early woke up feeling rested.
I went downstairs briskly, but refusing to rush. I turned on my laptop while turning on a news program. Nothing at first about the election. I noticed lots of messages on my cell phone. Then suddenly the announcer seemed to say something about President elect Trump. I felt as though I couldn’t breathe. It really seemed as though time had stopped as I tried to process the words that kept coming.
Richard Cannaday was brought up the son of traveling Jehovas witnesses and has spent much of his life on the road. He is currently sleeping rough by a river in Texas and presents himself each day at a casual labour market where he is given a number and if chosen stands to make $70 a day.
Well, I was assuming Hillary would happily win, and when I saw in the morning paper that Trump had won I could hardly believe it! Boom. Criminal politics, politics for criminals. Who I am and my surroundings! Jeeezzzus! It’s been, thank God, sunny yesterday and today, so I’m drying out all my soaking books and things, even a sodden passport, wash in the stream that never stops flowing by, guess it could be compared to camping out beside the river Almond. The distances in the US are so vast, nobody walks, I’m on of the very few found walking in fact. Have to go buy enough rice to sink my laptop in it for 24 hrs to remove the moisture in it… They gave me a Food Stamp card, which = $174 a month of food, so I have food even if I’m not working… Finally superglued my work boots so I can work tomorrow, praise the Lord…
Agititus: Alastair McIntosh, author of Soil & Soul and Poacher’s Pilgrimage
I turned in not much later than normal, but it was to the spare bed in the office from which I work at home. Well before midnight, I’d been turfed out from the matrimonial boudoir . Vérène knew that, on a night like this, I’d be most jerkily afflicted. We’ve come to call it Agititus. An activist’s affliction. Inflammation of the agités.
I woke up around 3.30 in the morning as our once-stray cat fumped onto the duvet. She’d just got back, cold and damp, from mousing in the neighbourhood. I fired up the phone. What had been 78% odds for Clinton had flipped to 90% on Trump.
In a vain bid to settle, I blasted out exactly 140 characters. “Trump is idolatry. An inner emptiness. Be with the vulnerable. Be still in conscious love. Call back what gives life from such loss of soul.”
There was but one remedy for my medical condition. I lifted up the covers, let the feline refugee crawl in, and fell back to sleep with purring in my arms.
She was gone when I woke up again, some two hours later. I don’t blame her. But I was not the only one. By this time, half the human world was down with Agititus.
4.30am, in bed, and the news comes through the radio that Trump is likely to win. I’m not at all surprised but ponder briefly on why very often people with slightly comical names and bad hair hit the headlines. I also secretly hope that Baron turns out to be gay or marries a Mexican or a Muslim, or possibly all three simultaneously. This is the only thing I find funny about this turn of events…
In the cold light of day it seems Britain sneezed and the USA caught the cold this time: their citizens rather more demonstrative rebellion against the old order parallels our polite civil unrest leading to Brexit. And for the same queasy mix: fear of foreigners, loss of faith in politicians and bankers, corporate greed, poor economic prospects, uncertain future for healthcare, poverty, declining educational standards, terrorism and everything else that is the Western malaise.
The Brexiteers and Trump supporters have some point though: the old order just isn’t working and we all need to sit up and pay attention to this, address our fears and prejudices, take that leap of faith to get the people worthy to be our elected representatives for the fair society we want. Or else we will continue to be angry, make bad decisions and have an old, out of touch order taking control – with or without bad hair and comical names.
Maxwell Macleod. Tourist flat manager and writer.
Having met Mr Trump, all be it for only a few seconds at a time and to little consequence, several times over the years I have long been warey of him and watching his rise to power with considerable nervousness. Like so many others I sat up late watching the news and was able to fall asleep at around two confident that Secretary Clinton had it in the bag . The extent of my horror at finding Donald Trump had won can hardly be overstated. My brief encounters of him have left me convinced that here is a man of limited intelligence with scant ability to concentrate on any subject for more than a few minutes.
Last year I spent two days on The Hill and found myself alarmed at the sense of it being so hermetically sealed and distanced from the rest of a world that it so intensely influenced. The one hope is that the Republican party that he has split will have the good sense to control him. If not the dangers are huge.