On November 8, 2016, I learned that the world I thought I was living in doesn’t actually exist. It’s something very different, something I maybe chose to ignore or maybe was too insulated in my own social circles or too naive to believe.
Throughout this entire saga, I maintained that Trump could never be elected. Not today. Not in 2016, after decades of socially-progressive momentum, of civil evolution, that valued global citizenry over small-minded nationalism, not just in the U.S., but around the globe.
That is the world I grew up in. It had its ugliness still at times, but it was always moving forward and upward.
I believed that Americans, for the most part, were rational, compassionate human beings who understood the great responsibility that comes with being citizens of the most powerful nation on Earth. I believed that, despite their penchant for collective insanity at times, they would do the right thing. For the sake of us all.
But that’s not the world I’m living in. I’m living in a world shaped by an unrivalled imperial force that, even after 240 years, is so divided, so narcissistic, so collectively anxious, and so selfishly-reckless, that it could elect that a man like Donald J. Trump, a man so morally bankrupt, so devoid of human decency, so predatory to the progress made by civilized culture to this point, it could elect this man to lead the world.
Because, don’t kid yourself. America rules the world, for good or for bad, and sets the tone for the whole of Western Civilization and, by association, the entire planet.
And this makes me very sad. Because for the first time in my 30 years, I feel like I’m living in a society on the decline. For the first time in my life, I’m scared for humanity. I’m terrified that I’m going to be alive to watch civilization throw itself off a cliff, not because of global warming, nuclear war, peak oil, or a Michael Bay asteroid.
But because 300 million people responsible for keeping this whole thing afloat decided that ME is more important than WE.
Trump might not destroy the world. But he might, too.
And 71 years ago, the people of the world made a deal that human civilization, however imperfect, was more important than what I want and what you want.
Today, America broke the deal.