At the Democratic headquarters last night in Albuquerque, the final election results rolled in and Hillary Clinton’s victory failed to materialize.
Mayeen Mohammed was one of the last people in the ballroom watching two giant television screens. She had her shoes and her purse on the ground in front of her and was kneeling on the carpet as hotel employees came to break things down.
“Me and a couple of other Democrats were joking at headquarters about how there might be a sudden Brexit change,” she said. “But we never thought it would happen with this just because all the polls predicted that she would win. And so seeing this rapid change at the end is just really depressing and disheartening, and just makes me lose faith in the political system.”
The surprise ending reveals a hidden racism, Mohammed said, that people may have imagined was dissipating. It’s good to know the truth, but since she’s a minority, she said, it’s also frightening. She’s most concerned about foreign policy under a Trump presidency.
“In 2015 I was freaking out about this just when Trump had announced his nomination, and everybody thought I was crazy,” she said. “And then I was scared in the beginning of Spring. Everybody thought I was crazy when he got the nomination. I was scared. So I’m just afraid of, I don’t know, what’s going to happen to me and my family and the public perception of America in the world.”
David Ishmael says we have many unresolved issues in America, and we need to get to the bottom of what’s pulling the country apart.
“As a member of the LGBTQ community, I believe that a Trump presidency will mean I will have to fight a little bit harder to make sure that the protections we’ve garnered over the last four to eight years maintain their integrity and are upheld,” he said.
But you win some, you lose some, Ishmael said, and that’s the way of democracy.
“You know my personal feelings aside, this country has a whole has a lot of room to grow, has always had a lot of room to grow,” he said. “I feel like no matter what happens, my goals are still going to be the same: To fight for what I believe are the rights of every American—the rights of inclusion, equality and happiness, and the right to a job—the ideals that hold this country together.”
Ishmael says the fact that a woman made it so close to the White House makes him proud to be an American.