The world of nonbigoted humanity, horrified as it is at the triumph of Donald Trump and his ugly populism in the United States elections, should perhaps pause a moment and consider some of the numbers. The simplest equation is that of the electorate’s divisions: half of those eligible to vote actually voted, and half in turn of those voted for Trump. That means only a quarter of the US’s active citizenry supports him, and many may do so only provisionally.
Such a view may at least comfort those who have been crying all week: “Has the US gone completely stark raving mad?”
No, only a quarter, and they may have been mad already.
It is also good to know that the youth vote was overwhelmingly in Hillary Clinton’s favour: they were prepared to step forward and make their mark for the nonsexist, nonhomophobic, relatively liberal candidate. This tendency echoes what emerged from Britain’s vote to exit the European Union: the youth went for the undeniably more progressive option, voting for their country to remain part of the continental body.
Their votes were not the ones that dominated, but it is they who will live with the consequences.
Still, it’s encouraging that the bulk of young people in the US and the United Kingdom are still hoping for a better future and closer links between people rather than isolationism. What we need to ensure is that the world we leave to these young people, and those who will come after them, is not further destroyed.