I know I speak for many Australians when I say "WTAF just happened?" How did a man who talks about grabbing p***y and Mexicans being rapists, and a woman who word-for-word copied part of a speech from Michelle Obama, become POTUS-elect and FLOTUS-elect?
Did Americans not visualise Trump's smug orange face (that is not racist, because he is not orange by birth) in the Oval Office, feet on the desk, fat cigar in one hand and nuclear codes to annihilate the world in the other? Or even worse -- holding swatches of animal-print fabrics to re-upholster the White House?
Did no-one care that Trump, as a billionaire, will have about 7000 conflicts of interest when he combines his public service position with his day-job? Or that he's proudly claimed that he will be saving Americans millions of dollars each year because he has his own private jet and thus won't need Air Force One? Was that statement alone not enough to scream "I am a total narcissistic douchebag"?
However, Trump has been elected to be the 45th President of the United States. Democracy might have hit an all-time low, but this is happening, people. As I incredulously watched all the television coverage and refreshed my Twitter feed every five seconds yesterday, my initial reactions included absolute horror, total disbelief, heart breaking for the future of humanity, trying not to vomit in my mouth, and grief because it could have been SO GREAT. We could very well right now have the first ever female President-elect. But we don't. So now we have to move on.
1. Spend big -- buy shares and American currency and anything else whose value has been obliterated by the mass exodus of faith in the American economy. The world may feel like it's imploding now, but it will recover, and when it does, maybe with wise investments, you too could be flying in your own private jet and gracefully declining the use of Air Force One.
2. Watch early seasons of The Apprentice. Trump was actually kind of cool in those early days; he seemed forthright, and appeared to know what he was talking about regarding business, people's characters, and life in general. Maybe he could be that man again -- although I'll admit this will take a lot of denial/positive thinking, because we now know too much about him. (Another caveat with this tactic is that I was married when I was watching the series, so even I am not sure that my judgement was sound back then.)
3. Perspective. My nine-year-old son said to me this morning, "Don't worry mum. It's only four years." Perhaps there is something in that. If someone said to you that you'll get a million dollars in four years, that wouldn't seem so long, right? And with Trump's track record, I'll bet he'll be risking impeachment long before his time is up. So there's hope.
4. Clinton has been spared. Let's try to be zen about things -- it was not the right time for a female POTUS. She would have been torn to shreds. Hopefully one day in the not too distant future, there will be a chick POTUS, possibly even a black one, or a gay one -- at a time when the world will be more receptive to the idea of equality, and that person will be able to effect real change. I'll admit this is a long shot -- the kind of delusional reasoning that people who have been dealt a bitter blow apply to comfort themselves -- but give it a go.
5. Stay off social media. In fact, turn the TV off, and delete your Twitter and Facebook (but not HuffPost, obvs) apps. The media is not helping right now. Some things we just don't need to know. For example, watching Obama gracefully address a national disaster significantly bigger than Australia's equivalent of Richie choosing Alex was absolute torture. Don't do it to yourselves. But do Google "Funniest responses to Trump election", because it will restore your faith in humanity.
Good luck, everyone. We're going to need it.