The world’s oldest democracy has now marched into a new era, a great era, an era that will be new and great, and mark a ‘yuge’change in the times to come. (You can sense how and where this is going.) But before the inevitable acknowledgement of dropping ‘Obama’ after the word “President,” let’s take a moment to remember Hillary Clinton. The Democrat will, for a long time to come, be remembered as the one who lost to Donald Trump. She would have been the first woman president of the United States. The few hours before voting though, were jubilant and full of hope. Pollsters predicted quite the opposite in terms of outcome, and the Clinton camp showed much confidence in their fun PSA video #MannequinChallenge that she posted from her Twitter account. You can see her closest campaign aides, including husband and former president Bill Clinton and singer Bon Jovi, aboard a special flight, frozen mid-action. It was posted with the caption: “Don’t stand still. Vote today. #ElectionDay”.
But as the results came in, memes and photos resurfaced, yet again, of her Wellesley College commencement speech from her graduation in 1969, with a bittersweet note to many of her supporters as to the promise she’d held.
Backing this very promise (especially in stark contrast to the callous, and often disrespectful statements that Trump had made in the run up to the elections of 2016) were a whole group of A-listers. When journalist Barkha Dutt went to the US just a few days prior to 9 November, she’d sat on a park bench with Padma Lakshmi, Top Chef host and former model, to talk to her about why she backs Clinton. For Lakshmi, it wasn’t a fight of ideology, but of personality. “I’ve been campaigning for Hillary, but I’m not a registered democrat, I’m a registered independent,” she said. On voting day she tweeted:
Brown, proud and voting loud!!!! Immigrants make this country great. Vote no for bigotry and yes to love vs hate! pic.twitter.com/eLDCFSU7hw— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) November 8, 2016
A few hours before the results came out, she’d retweeted a New York Times post quoting Trump as saying “If we don’t win, this will be the single greatest waste of time, energy and money in my life,” with the following comment:
Yes it's all about you Donald...actually it's not, it's about OUR country, and who we want our kids to look up to. https://t.co/eXu9XOUSMe— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) November 8, 2016
While Lakshmi has not yet tweeted after the final results, author J.K. Rowling seems to have kept a close watch from London. She retweeted publishers Little, Brown and Co.’s image of a huge cookie embellished with the American flag after they’d cast their votes, then went on to take down a troll or two, shared a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them promo video, and then finally as the results rolled in, she was compelled to take down a few more haters.
Hey, I know I can't compare to the president elect. He has the deepest thoughts. So deep you'll need a big shovel to get at 'em. Bigly deep. pic.twitter.com/Ie074mCspR— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 9, 2016
Because, as she said to a well-wisher, “…tonight of all nights I’m going to say it. Ignoring spite, and hate, and bullying, doesn’t work. The easy thing is to be silenced because you don’t want the insults. The easy thing is to look the other way when it’s happening to others.”
Earlier, in September, director Joss Whedon (Avengers) brought together a group of celebrities in a video called ‘Important’, a PSA against Trump. Led by Robert Downey Jr., the cleverly done video has a whole host of actors, big and small, advocating that you vote against “a racist, abusive coward who could permanently damage the fabric of our society.” There is a healthy dose of self deprecative humour, repetition of words for obvious effect, and slow piano music playing at the back. “We cannot pretend both sides are equally unfavourable,” says Martin Sheen, who has previously acted as American President Josiah Bartlet in the unforgettable cult-classic series by Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing.
Post the results, actor Mark Ruffalo, who was also in Whedon’s video, posted a fighting message.
You know what we do now? We finish building what we started and we FIGHT BACK! Lift your heads up brothers and sisters.— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) November 9, 2016
Kal Penn, an actor, who identifies as an Independent, had tweeted out a picture of him standing next to two life-size cut outs of the Presidential candidates with the caption “Current mood” accompanied by the hashtag #ImWithHer. After the results though, the actor, who has served as the Former White House associate director of Public Engagement, made a similar appeal as Ruffalo.
No matter what happens: this is why it's important to volunteer & knock on doors & get more involved in things. We have to do better. 🇺🇸— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) November 9, 2016
Pop singer Kay Perry tried summing up her feelings through some existentialist humour.
Gonna cry my false eye lashes off tonight. ❤️🙏🏼🇺🇸— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) November 9, 2016
She did however send out a series of tweets after this, in all capitals no less, including “POWER TO THE PEOPLE” and “WE WILL NEVER BE SILENCED #LOVETRUMPSHATE.”
A whole host of A- list musicians who came out in support of the Clinton campaign—especially the likes of Jay Z, Beyoncé, Big Sean others who’d put up a free Get Out the Vote concert rally just five days before election day—are yet to tweet, post the results which were final only around 3AM EST. Beyoncé however took to Instagram to post a video from the concert.
Fittingly, we are going to let Captain America have the last word today.
This is an embarrassing night for America. We've let a hatemonger lead our great nation. We've let a bully set our course. I'm devastated.— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) November 9, 2016