Why is there post-election depression in America?

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Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Why has this American Presidential election result caused so much wide-spread angst, anxiety, fear, anger, crying, Trump inspired vandalism, profound disappointment, disillusionment, outrage, and deep depression in the American society? I was awake up to 1.30 hours during election night and went to bed with profound depression that Hillary Clinton had lost and Donald Trump had won. I have lived through so many Presidential elections here in America since 1980. The vast majority of American citizens and I have never felt this way about any Presidential election results in recent memory.

 

The usual run of the mill explanations will not do justice to understanding this massive wave of national consternation. In America some say Hillary Clinton, the liberals, the media, and the Democratic Party lost. They had ignored and thumbed their noses at those white poor working class in the rust belt and rural areas who had lost their jobs in the 1990s and from 2,000 due to American manufacturing companies moving away and out sourcing jobs from America to countries where labor costs are much lower. That way the companies could make super profits.

 

Others in America say that Donald Trump and the Republican Party outwitted the left, bamboozled the Democratic Party and won the election in a stunning way. Somehow these explanations sound hollow and do not seem to explain this deep national depression and wide spread uncertainty about the future of government.

What are the true feelings among the tight circle of Trump aids about the win? What are the true feelings of Trump supporters, and Republicans? Are they truly very proud, giddy and elated about how this result was achieved? Can the Republicans and even those swing voters in the rust belt who apparently swayed the election, be truly jubilant and proud about the outcome? I doubt that too many Americans are happy about the outcome of the elections. 

 

Why is the nation profoundly deeply depressed? It is because whatever political party each citizen voted for including about 44% of the population that did not vote, we all have one feeling: we all feel we have participated in a very intense, dirty, emotionally exhausting, muddy, and tiring, gutter level excruciating competition where the whole nation is swimming in a deep sewage of moral filth. The process usurped our energy, deeply divided the nation, and compromised our public morals. All the normal rules of everyday behavior were broken. We were hoping and expecting that our collective confidence in the electoral system to vet and weed out a horrible candidate would work. The Republican primaries failed to weed out the candidate and so did the general election. Indeed, up to the time of the counting of the votes, we were hoping and all the polls told us that he lesser of the two bad candidates would prevail at the end. As Trump began to win with the counting of the votes up to the wee hours of the morning, the despair sank deeper into our very souls.

 

The reason we are so deeply disappointed and depressed is that virtually all both liberal, conservative, left and right deeply held fundamental values may have been destroyed during this election. There is an equivalent of an earth quake and we are buried in the rubble of the political mayhem. Everyone is trying to cope or make sense of what has just happened over the last 18 months. We just don’t know what to believe any more about American values. This is what is most upsetting and causing the most depression.

 

Donald Trump announced his candidacy on June 15 2015 by insulting Mexican Americans who sneak across the border as drug dealers, thieves, and rapists. Racial bigotry, xenophobia, the Ku Klux Klan white racist support, you name it, Trump has done or condoned it or looked the other way. During the 18 months the whole nation has had to endure one outrageous insult after another. His bullying of the fellow 17  Republican Party Presidential candidates rivals during the debates and campaigns during the primary elections was horrible. He called candidate Florida Senator Marco Rubio “Little Marco”. He called Texas Senator Ted Cruz “Lying Ted”. He later called the opposition Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton during the general election: “Crooked Hillary” as large Trump campaign crowds chanted “Lock her up”. Trump was caught on video boasting that he can forcibly grab women’s genitals because he is famous. This is sexual assault against women. The New York Times published over 2 pages of insults Trump had directed at virtually everybody and hundreds of lies he had told publicly and openly told during the 18 months of campaigning.

Everyone is shocked and wondering why people still voted enough for him to win the Presidency. Americans are now asking that since Trump has won, how we can tell our children that bullying others and lying are wrong. What are we going to teach our children? What will be our private and public morals among the youth and the young in colleges and universities? Does honesty, right or wrong matter anymore? Do the moral values we hold dear matter anymore?

 

Karl Marx said: “Religion is the opium of the people”. He meant that religion prevents the exploited masses under capitalism to realize their conditions of hardship. A similar question is: “Has the capitalist desire to win at any cost embedded in Donald Trump and in the American ethos finally stripped us of all our morals here in America?” What is winning a job without morals? What is winning the Presidential election without morals? What is building the wall to keep out illegal immigrants without any national ethos of morals? Is it that the internet, Face Book, and Twitter have unintended consequences? There are so many fake stories now on the internet that it is difficult to know what is true. The story now is that the internet, including Face Book, may have spread so many fake or false stories, that they may have helped Trump win. Does honesty and telling the truth matter anymore? Indeed, one can ask the biggest question, “What is the meaning of all our lives when most of our morals may have been stripped not just here in America, but the cancer will now probably rapidly spread all over the world due to the internet and  globalization?”

Dr Mwizenge S. Tembo is a professor of sociology

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2 Responses to Why is there post-election depression in America?

  1. Mwizenge, Zambians who do not originate from your Eastern Province still feel dispondent here in Zambia. Your tribe’s man Edgar Lungu is worse than Trump. A least Trump won fair and square.

    Lungu did not win he actually committed a treasonable offence.

    We Zambians from North Western, Southern, Western, Lusaka, Central and parts of Copper Belt are seriously aggrieved to what your brothes Lungu and Ruphia Banda have done to our hard earned democracy., by raping it

    Fred chola
    November 20, 2016 at 3:37 pm
    Reply

  2. Mr Tembo, I see a sense of despair in your article. You keep on referring we this, we that as if you are an original American. We know you married a white woman to get a green card. Now you crying this and that. Ask your wife to write about those elections.

    Come and see how Lungu your brother from Petauke has killed democracy here in Zambia. Don’t tell us about Trump, we watch CNN, BBC, Jazeera, CBNBC, CBS and fox news.

    Thank you for your rubbish

    Bezel Simukonda
    November 21, 2016 at 4:56 am
    Reply

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