We have woken up this morning to the most shocking news. An extreme nationalist has won the US presidential election on a campaign filled with racism, misogyny and hatred.
This is a very frightening day, first and foremost to people of colour and other minorities living in the United States. We express our solidarity with them, and urge them to stay strong and united through this nightmare.
But we need to do more than mourn. This election result is the consequence of decades of ‘market knows best’ economics, through which ordinary people have been valued only for their ability to make the richest richer still, and everything we value has been turned into a commodity to be traded in the global marketplace.
Inequality has soared to unprecedented levels, communities have been hollowed out, their voices marginalised, the planet is being pillaged and burnt – all in the name of profit. And when, in 2008, this system was demonstrated to be utterly unsustainable by the collapse of the banks, the poorest were forced to pick up the tab, while the super rich went about their business as usual.
Trump provides no answer to these problems. He is himself a billionaire tax avoider who flaunts his ill-gotten wealth as a badge of honour. But he has successfully played on the unhappiness and frustration of millions of people in the most despicable way imaginable. He has fuelled a wave of hatred aimed at those already marginalised and discriminated against.
That’s why the markets and elites will try to come to terms with Trump. But we cannot. We will resist everything he stands for. But we can only do that by building something better. Only in a society in which everyone has their needs met and which is built on openness, on community and on equality, can we truly defeat these ideas.
On a day like today, we can all feel weak and powerless. But by coming together we can be powerful. We’ve seen this only recently in our campaign to beat TTIP, the biggest trade deal the world has ever seen, despite the concerted efforts of an army of corporate lobbyists . And we see it in countless examples across the world from landless struggles in Latin America to those against sweatshops in south Asia and agribusiness in Africa. We win small victories every day.
We believe the humanity inside us will win out – if we stay strong, stay safe and stay together.
Nick Dearden is the Director of Global Justice Now