‘I want to live in a tol­er­ant so­ci­ety’

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Rachel Horn­ing (26)

He­li­copters and po­lice sirens out­side her apart­ment in down­town Los An­ge­les mark yet an­other of a num­ber of protests against Trump in Cal­i­for­nia, which is Demo­crat blue.

Fresh from an evening spin­ning class – “it helps me cope” – Rachel Horn­ing is itch­ing to go and join them.

Two days af­ter the elec­tion, she is still de­jected. She has cried a lot – like many of the 60 mil­lion Amer­i­cans who voted for Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Clin­ton wasn’t even her first choice. “If you’re un­der the age of 35, you were root­ing for Bernie San­ders in the pri­maries.”

She has been a fan of Clin­ton too, but San­ders was seen as the can­di­date who could rein­vig­o­rate the Demo­cratic Party.

Horn­ing is a com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pol­icy edi­tor for the Los An­ge­les County Busi­ness Fed­er­a­tion. She also has her own tech busi­ness.

She is one of an army of young, univer­sity-ed­u­cated peo­ple who voted for Clin­ton.

Trump’s plans to with­draw from in­ter­na­tional trade agree­ments would make the US a “much more closed­off, na­tivist, in­su­lar coun­try, with­out more jobs be­ing cre­ated”, she says.

Sil­i­con Val­ley is no fan of Trump, and its res­i­dents wanted Cal­i­for­nia to se­cede from the US if he be­came pres­i­dent.

Horn­ing, whose Jewish par­ents also voted Demo­crat, served on the elected stu­dent body of the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley. She was also in­volved in the Oc­cupy move­ment against global so­cial and eco­nomic inequal­ity.

Trump’s win has spurred her to be­come in­volved in pol­i­tics again, and maybe even run for of­fice one day.

“I feel like my DNA changed last night. I feel like I’m ques­tion­ing my en­tire Amer­i­can iden­tity. I just don’t un­der­stand Trump vot­ers, but I want to,” she says.

She blames her lack of in­sight on geo­graphic, tech­no­log­i­cal and so­cial di­vi­sions in the US, adding that the me­dia, so­cial me­dia and the in­ter­net has only made di­vi­sions worse.

“We’re not try­ing to un­der­stand each other any more. Peo­ple are so quick to write each other off,” she says.

“Trump sup­port­ers have been de­scribed as id­iots and ig­no­rant Mid­west scum­bags who don’t even un­der­stand cre­ation­ism ver­sus science. And al­though I’m not see­ing it, they are prob­a­bly talk­ing about us ‘elite ur­ban­ites’ too.

“There was a need for change, clearly, and al­most half of Amer­ica has agreed to that. And here we are; we elected some­one with zero ex­pe­ri­ence. My whole real­ity has been flipped up­side down, in­side out.”

Horn­ing says many of her dreams for the US “have come crash­ing down” af­ter the elec­tions.

“I want to live in a very in­clu­sive and tol­er­ant so­ci­ety, but Trump’s rhetoric has been the op­po­site.”

She wants the US to be part of a glob­alised world, but Trump is in­ward-look­ing.

She hopes Trump will “watch his mouth”, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing com­ments about women’s bod­ies, “as this could en­cour­age other men to fol­low suit”.

“The up­side of a Trump pres­i­dency could be the re­forms he is promis­ing to bring to Congress, such as term lim­its for con­gress­men.

“When it comes to gov­ern­ment trans­parency, I’m on board for that.”

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