This election will forever stick in my mind as the one that resembled a choose-your-own-ending Goosebumps book.

The children of the 90s will know exactly what I'm talking about. "Reader beware, you choose the scare!" the covers trumpeted, and we devoured them, following the instructions at the bottom of each page and trying to avoid a painful, gruesome death.

As the final hours melted away on Wednesday (Tick Tock, You're Dead) I sat trembling in front of my computer screen.

If America followed the correct sequence, the world would escape from the Carnival of Horrors in one piece, if it made the wrong decision at the bottom of the page, we'd all be condemned to fall through space forevermore, likely foreshadowing the obliteration of the planet following Putin's 2017 jab about the size of Donald's penis and the resultant nuclear fallout.


I wished I could put the book down and pull the covers over my head.

I poured myself a scotch instead.

It didn't help.

Fox News gave Florida and North Carolina to Trump.

The New York Times went all in early and gave the election to him.

Markets plummeted.

Twitter hosted a wake for human decency.

Then CNN flipped the script, giving Clinton a lead in the Electoral College votes.

My head began to spin, and it had very little to do with the whisky.

Three days later and it hasn't stopped spinning.

When Trump was finally announced as the president-elect, it was MSNBC's Rachel Maddow who summed up best: "You're awake, by the way. You're not having a terrible, terrible dream. Also, you're not dead, and you haven't gone to hell. This is your life now. This is us. This is our country. It's real."

Those scary Goosebumps plotlines that had kept me awake as a child now seem like sweet, gentle nursery rhymes compared to the sickening turn of events America has unleashed upon the world.

Forgive the millennial slang, but you seriously can't make this shit up.

It speaks volumes about the absolute absurdity of this election cycle that the fact that for the first time in history a woman was in the running to become the president of the United States was rendered a sideshow to the main event - whether or not America would vote to trigger the apocalypse.

Much of the presidential election had focused on women, be it Clinton's historic nomination, or Donald Trump's p***y-grabbing.

If the reasons for electing Trump were purely economic, Clinton would've been a much more logical choice.


With pre-election polls favouring the former Secretary of State, it seemed that the progress achieved by the first black president would be continued by the first Madam President.

How wrong they were.

Over the course of the day, I heard a lot about how the disaffected "silent majority" had finally made itself heard.

There is undoubtedly dramatic inequality in the United States, and this was apparently the working poor taking its country back.

I don't dispute the explanation, but I also cannot understand how disaffected working class Americans could vote, purely inspired by economic concerns, for a tax-evading billionaire who has a long and well-documented record of stiffing employees and contractors.

I can't begin to fathom how such a man - a man who has benefited beyond belief from the very system that has screwed American workers, who manufactures his products in China, Bangladesh, Honduras, India and Vietnam, who comes from immense privilege, and has never struggled for a day in his life - could possibly be a hero for the working poor.

Economic unrest and anger at the elites can only account for a fraction of the Trump victory, especially as Clinton's policies would've reduced inequality, improved healthcare, opened a pathway to debt-free education and increased the minimum wage.

If the reasons for electing Trump were purely economic, Clinton would've been a much more logical choice.

It stands to reason that there were other motivating factors, not least fear and bigotry.

Many white men have disagreed fervently with me on this point, but to assert that racism, xenophobia and sexism played no significant role in Clinton's defeat is to completely underestimate the depth of the fear that grips white America in a time when non-white births recently outnumbered white births.

It is to ignore the black voters who found their voting rights eroded with the 2013 weakening of the Voting Rights Act.

It is to mansplain to the women who came forward to share stories of how Donald Trump sexually abused or harassed them, and to the thousands of women who've experienced similar horrors at the hands of men, that the patriarchy doesn't exist.

It is, frankly, bullshit.

If you need further evidence, take Trump's biggest policy proposals.

He's promised he'll build a wall to keep the Mexicans out, ban Muslims from entering the country and elect Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade.

Racism, xenophobia and sexism all combined into one great unholy trinity.

If you're still not convinced, consider this: the Klu Klux Klan endorsed Trump for president.

As for the result, it is hard to put my disgust into words.

As much as I wanted to believe that love would trump hate, I was wrong.

I underestimated the power of ignorance and panic.

I erroneously believed that bigotry was slowly dying out.

I feel like I was sold a lie.

Raised on a wave of girl power, in a nation with bicultural foundations, seeing the legalisation of civil unions and then marriage equality, watching Helen Clark bring refugees to our shores while ever-regressive Australia cruelly turned its back, I actually believed that humanity was making progress.

I was duped, as was every person who voted for Hillary Clinton.

I can only hope that next year, when it comes our turn to decide who will lead our great nation, we will remember this week.

If there's one thing we must learn from Brexit and Trumpism it is that no one is immune - not even the most developed liberal democracies on the planet.

Screw "God bless America". God save us all.