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What are the results and faults of Trump’s campaign, and how to deal with democracy?

When I first saw US election results, I refused to accept it: I thought it was just not fair that Hillary Clinton, who had prepared herself her whole life to be the president, who has a vast experience in politics, whose campaign had a focus on human rights and social equality could not have been chosen. Instead, the victory was granted to a multi millionaire, who thinks he can say and do whatever he judges right as far as he has money.

However, the decision was made and there was no coming back: American citizens had chosen their fate for the next four years. I kept thinking of that, and some conclusions on Trump’s campaign came to my mind.

1. Money does not give you unlimited power

Money makes you no better than anyone, it is just a material thing, a piece of paper. Of course it can open you doors and give you some happiness, but it is just ephemeral.

What really stays are the things much worthier: character, honor, politeness, education, love. These are the things money cannot buy, because it is free.

I remember once reading a very inspiring quote by a Brazilian psychologist and writer called Augusto Cury, in which he says: “Money can give us comfort and safety, but it cannot buy a happy life. Money buys the bed, but not the resting. It buys sycophants, but not friends. It buys gifts to a woman, but not her love. You have to conquer what money cannot buy; otherwise, you will be a miserable even if you are a millionaire.”

2. You cannot blame people for aspects they have no guilt about

Before we were born, no one asked us if we really wanted to come to this world, we were simply given our lives. For that reason, we are not able to choose in what circumstances we are going to be born in, who will our parents be, our nationality, our colour, our religion.

We do not have the right to judge someone for aspects they did not choose. Actually, we must accept people the way they are, and respect them regardless of anything.

We do not know what that immigrant working in our country went through so to be there. Maybe he has left his family behind so to give it minimum conditions of surviving; maybe he might be starving, or facing terrible emotional problems.

The same happens with refugees; they cannot be blamed for their government’s  faults. Children are dying, families are being destroyed, and all these people want is a safe place where they can live, work, eat, rest, get education and have peace. We as humans cannot be neglectful to their situation, we cannot just ignore it.

3. Freedom of expression must not be taken as a right to say anything to anyone

Liberty of expression is a right which must be assured as any other; however, it cannot be misunderstood by hate speech. A hate speech attacks based on intolerance and hatred, what is a threat to any democratic society. It is a coward manner to offend someone, for it justifies itself through irrational responses, it just does not make sense.

It is even worse when it is someone of great influence who professes a hate speech. By doing so, this person is contributing to an heritage of prejudice and hostility; it gives support to supremacist individuals, who are ignorant enough to think that gender, ethnic origin, religion, disability, or sexual orientation are valid attributes to segregate someone.

When it is an insult to a woman, a hate speech has the power to ruin decades of fight for equality and rights.

When it is an offense to an ethnic, it has the ability to delegitimize centuries of a fight against exploitation, racism, humiliation, servitude and violence. When it is an attack to a person’s origin, it has the power to negatively contribute to stereotypes and segregation, which leads, for example, to bullying with latin boys and girls in American schools, where their colleagues shout at them phrases such as “build that wall!”.

A hate speech must not be overestimated, for it is powerful, it spreads through a nation and poison its people. As said by Nelson Mandela, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

The weight of democracy

In the end, however, democracy dominates, and we should accept its weight. What we must not do, on the other hand, is to accommodate ourselves from now on. Democracy works for us and through us, and our role right now is to accompany politics and make our own conclusions about it.

We as citizens must debate what is best for the community, and fight so that our voices can be heard. There is still hope, there is always hope.

Luiz Felipe Moraes is an Editor for Brazil in the Naked Opinion section of The Pavlovic Today. He is a Yale Young Global Scholar 2016. His interests revolve around International Relations, humanities,...

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