Two weeks. Fourteen days. Three hundred and thirty six hours. Twenty thousand one hundred and sixty minutes. At my time of writing, this is how long it has been since Donald Trump was declared President Elect of the United States, in a victory which sent ripples through the establishment and proved to the world that an outspoken, offensive outsider is capable of winning office.
I watched the results roll in at Trump's newly opened hotel in DC, among a sea of Republicans with the odd Democrat and tourist standing in awe. It was clear looking around the vast reception that the real estate mogul's appeal was far wider than the media would have you believe. Immigrants, women, men, the young and the old, all of varying class and creed, came together to witness a monumental moment in history.
I went to America for the election, with an intense desire to understand Trump's popularity. The media would forgive you for thinking that he appealed only to the ignorant, the racist, the sexist and those so privileged politics is below them. The reality could not be more wrong. I spoke to a taxi driver, who, in a fifteen minute journey, showed more understanding for 'forgotten America' than millennials with a degree could ever dream of knowing.
You see, if you live in an echo-chamber (achieved by deleting those on Facebook for daring to hold a view which counters your own), you can't expect to have your finger on the pulse. We live in a world where being offended is a borderline crime and a difference in political opinion is met with scorn and contempt.
A minority of Hillary Clinton supporters who were part of the 'Love Trumps Hate' brigade have incited violence against Trump supporters, encouraged men to rape Melania, attacked police and damaged their cities. A much larger section of the tolerant Left regularly show contempt for the uneducated 'anti-intellectuals' - those who have lived through policy and are directly affected by it, yet are dismissed as not having the knowledge to know what is good for them. Mocking race and religion is rightfully frowned upon, yet ridiculing those without a higher education certificate is apparently fair game.
It is this worryingly patronizing trait, too often embraced by the Left, which explains exactly why 'progressive' politics is losing around the world. The people, or 'the plebs' (as much of the losing side would rather have them described), are tired of being told what to think, what to do and that their opinion doesn't matter by the elite and the 'experts'.
The reality is, the vast majority of voters did not vote for Trump for his alleged sexist and racist views - they voted for him in spite of these. People voted for change. People voted against the status quo. People voted for hope. The same can be said for Brexit, where many remainders would have you believe that the average Leaver is either a racist, a bigot or a combination of both, rather than a person who believes in sovereignty, controlled immigration and a democratic voting system.
Nevertheless, we have world-leading universities offering safe spaces to those who cannot cope with the democratic outcome of the election. Female Trump supporters have been described as suffering from 'internalised misogynism' (yes, really). We have people mocking the second ever immigrant to enter the First Family, who, despite speaking six languages and running a successful jewellery business, has been dismissed as a gold-digging bimbo.
The hypocrisy is as real as the election result. A Trump win was always going to result in hysteria on a scale that dwarfed Brexit, but two weeks later I am still reading articles likening Trump to Hitler and condemning democracy. To dislike Trump is understandable - indeed, I was never an ardent fan and found elements of his campaign pretty unsavoury. But to truly believe that the millions of people who voted for him - many of whom were women and ethnic minorities - are racist or intellectually challenged, sets a very dangerous and deluded precedent.
The world has never been more polarized, with Trump and Brexit representing a movement that has only just begun. Get strapped in and leave your textbook and pious social media posts at the door - it's time to understand and embrace change.
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