The shock is wearing off and the reality setting in – Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States. There has been a lot going on over the past few months, so much that Trump’s election seemed impossible, especially after more and more accounts of his vile behaviour came forth, and his lack of understanding of world affairs became more obvious. Today, millions woke up to the result and thought, “how on Earth has this happened?”. I was among them. During the aftermath of the initial dread and lack of comprehension, I have begun to realise what scares me most about Trump’s presidency. It isn’t the worry over what he’s going to do, or what the global consequences will be. It isn’t the daft bloody wall and his blatant disregard for other human beings. It’s the fact people actually voted for him.

Trump and his disgusting, racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist comments are one thing; the fact people heard them, knew his intentions and his opinions, and either refused to see what he was like or simply didn’t care is what shocks me the most. The world is coming to something when people feel like he’s the best pair of hands for such a monumentally important role. This is a man on trial for rape, who clearly has no respect for women or, put simply, for other members of the human race. He has discriminated, offended, provoked outrage – every aspect of his campaign was flawed. But here we are! A terrible joke gone too far; a dreadful slap in the face for those who believed that when it came down to it no one was crazy enough to fall for him, and a huge step in the wrong direction for Western progress. The hopes we had for equal rights, the cry for change from the Black Lives Matter movement people were beginning to hear, the slow progress – but progress still – we had seen in Obama is all but wiped clean.

People have said that to say we could face World War Three is an exaggeration, and I hope with every inch of my being that they’re right, and that Trump in practice is not as dangerous as Trump on paper. However, we must still face the fact that somewhere along the line we have gone terribly wrong. Trump has been allowed to happen. Hillary Clinton, the Democrat we thought so likely to defeat Trump, was clearly the wrong choice for nominee. Unfortunately, her reputation as a warmonger and her email scandal were enough for the American public to lose faith. Trump and Clinton proved a choice between rock and a hard place for most people, but surely her crimes paled in comparison to his? Surely she could at least be trusted to some degree, with her political experience and the fact she was (to be blunt) not Trump? (I vehemently fear the possibility that there were people who simply couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a woman, but I pray that is a small figure.) The media, again, has let the public down. It wasted time, focused too much on the sensational, and as a result the facts were never laid bare. People could not be expected to make an informed decision when the media cared so little about what was at the heart of the important questions. Trump spelt outrage, drama, hashtags and good sound bites. By making him out to be shocking and isolated, they created a monster founded in people’s natural tendency to gravitate towards the object making the most noise, as they so clearly ignored his policies.

Trump is nothing other than a particularly horrible man who has somehow been allowed to get away with something most horrible men would not do so easily. Perhaps by not attempting to cover up his more appalling opinions, he managed to create the image of being someone who says what they think, an appealing quality for those who are disillusioned with politics. (With this in mind, it is maybe a good time to think more about the debate around transparency and honesty in politicians.) What happens over the next few months will be interesting, and surely he will start as he means to go on. Will he begin attempting to deport huge numbers of people? Will he build his wall? Will he change his tune once the reality of his position hits him? I don’t know, and although I hope the world isn’t going to fall off the precipice, I hope more than anything this doesn’t spell the end of our humanity.