Trump will win
A slap in the face from Colombia
Carla Giraldo Duque
Many of you will say he won’t. Many of you are certain that this absurd can never become a reality. Many of you want to believe democracy would never tell a joke so cruel. What? President Trump? President of the United States? No, no, no.
But yes, Trump will win.
Polls said that UK would continue in the EU. And there you have it: a country divided because of the knavery of a populist speech that convinced the masses. Polls said Colombian people would vote “Yes” to the peace. And here you have us: a country divided by the pettiness of some politicians who appealed to the deepest fears of Colombians.
Polls say Hillary will win. But no, Trump will win.
And Trump will win because he is a political animal who knows the same Boris Johnson and Alvaro Uribe know: that in the world of visceral emotions is their triumph, that facts and data are not of the masses’ interests, and that you only have to touch their deepest emotions to obtain from them what is wanted.
They dominate all the forms of fear, and are masters of the hate language. They are experts in lying, manipulating, stoking up passions and dividing us brutally. They are the lords of obscene triumphs.
“Lili, the ‘No’ will win”, I said panicking to one of my closest friends the week before of the plebiscite for the Peace Agreements between Colombia’s Government and the Farc guerrilla. “Are you crazy? Don’t be naive. Who would vote ‘No’? The ‘Yes’ has to win”.
The campaign for the ‘No’ in Colombia has been the dirtiest political move in recent times. Also the cruelest of all as it played with hopes of peace in a country that is been engulfed in a 52 year war. A war that has caused at least 220 thousand Colombian deaths and has forced more than 6 million people to leave their homes. The leaders of the “No” option bet on deceiving and creating terror, and they won.They said President Santos, a capitalist who has privatized important public companies in Colombia, was a communist who would surrender the country to the Farc. And people believed it. They said Rodrigo Londoño, aka Timochenko, Farc’s Commander, would be the next president of Colombia. And people believed it. They took advantage of the terrible crisis Venezuela is going through, and said Colombia would have the same luck, that “Castro-Chavismo” and subversion would take over and in a few months we would not have toilet paper or any food to eat. The ‘No’ campaign leaders said absurd things, but many believed them and went voting in shock.
“I will vote ‘No’ because my priest said the Peace Agreements go against the Church”, my 80-year-old grandmother said. “I will vote ‘No’ because I don’t agree with gay people adopting children”, a homophobic neighbor said. “I will vote ‘No’ because it is unfair the guerrilla receive the money of the retirement funds”, my uncle said.
Not every vote for the ‘No’ was a result of deception. Saying so would be of an ignorant. The truth is that some Colombians voted ‘No’ because, after reading the accords, decided they disagreed with some issues. They didn’t want war, they wanted peace, but thought the peace offered by the agreements was imperfect. Those votes for the ‘No’ were conscious, but were just a few. Most of the votes for the ‘No’ were pure and plain manipulation.
We thought the ‘Yes’ would win; we believed the absurd would never prevail, but it did. And we all lost, even those who voted ‘No’ consciously, because an imperfect peace is more dignified than any war.
David Cameron lost because he thought he’d win.
Juan Manuel Santos lost because he thought he’d win.
And Hillary Clinton, you and all of us will lose if we keep believing Trump can’t win.
Trump, the women stalker; Trump, the misogynist; Trump, the racist; Trump, the xenophobe; Trump, the warmonger; Trump, the tax evader; Trump, the vulgar; the Trump who is the shame of the reasonable Americans. That Trump will be the next President of the United States of America, though Republicans themselves scream, cry and shout.
Fill the media and social networks with your complaints against Trump; remain outraged by each of his scandals; leave irate comments, dislikes, and share a thousand times his worst videos. Celebrate every time Michelle Obama calls him out in her speeches; laugh at his stupidity as Hillary does. Feel proud of your own intelligence and good sense of humor. Think of yourselves as morally superior to those “crazy, naive or ignorant” who will vote for him. Applaud a triumph you believe yours, and let me say: you have already lost. Let me tell you what my little sister told me the night of October the 2nd when I, dressed in white, thought I’d celebrate:
—Sis, the ‘No’ won.
—Lina, don’t mess like that.
—Sis, the ‘No’ won.
—Lina, it’s not funny. Don’t joke about that.
—Sis, don’t cry, I’m sorry. The ‘No’ won.
Don’t do this to yourselves and don’t do this to the world. The presidency of the United States is so important to leave it in the hands of a human being like Donald Trump. I know you know this already, but seriously: don’t do this to yourselves.
In Colombia, the ‘No’ won because those of us who wanted the ‘Yes’ found in the media, the social networks, the public debates, the polls’ forecasts, and in the conversations with friends and acquaintances, plenty of reasons to believe ourselves winners.
We assumed that a reasonable thinking would not let the ‘No’ win. We gave arguments, reasons, we stuck to data, facts, and thought that would be enough. We thought democracy would be in our favor. But no, democracy does not believe in good or bad intentions. Democracy only believes in those who go out on the street as possessed insane people, to vote at 6 am, no matter if it’s hot or cold outside, or if they have to wait in line for several hours.
And guess who those would be. Guess who will go out on the street as possessed insane people, to vote at 6 am, no matter if it’s hot or cold outside, or if they have to wait in line for several hours. Don’t fool yourselves; there are still people who no matter the scandals, how misogynist, racist, warmonger, etc., Trump is, will still vote for him. There are people who will never listen to reason, nor are they interested in doing so. They will go out and vote, and they’re not just a handful.
“Lili, Trump will win”, I said to my friend after the ‘No’ won in Colombia. “Yes, Trump will win. I’m scared. What do we do?”, she asked me. “Right now, stop laughing at him and start sending distress calls to any close galaxy, because this stopped being funny a long time ago”.
Yesterday, I went out on the street with a white flag. And me, a pacifist Colombian journalist howled as if I were going to war; I screamed as if each of my screams was building peace in my country, in Syria, in Iraq, and the rest of the world. “No more war! No more war!”, I screamed from the top of my lungs. Me, my friends, and thousands of Colombians, marched and shouted together. It was raining, but in Medellin, the city I live in and where the ‘No’ won, nobody cared about getting wet.
So why, why, why? Why if on Sunday, October the 2nd, the day of the plebiscite, and it was sunny, we didn’t go out and vote with the same vehemence and strength with which we now march and demand peace?
There’s no protesting, cursing and crying afterwards. There’s just voting. Going out and voting as possessed insane people. Do it. Fill the urns. Vote for all those who can’t vote against Trump.
Go and vote against sexism, racism, warmongery, corruption, carelessness, arrogance, and stupidity. Vote against those politicians who want to divide us with fear and hate. Vote against those lords of obscene triumphs. Vote, all of you, those who can still vote.
Translated by: Sebastian Ríos.
Artwork: Heidi Smith.