By John Albinson
Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States. It still doesn’t feel good. I don’t think it ever will. It might, hopefully, get better, but I really don’t know. David Remnick of The New Yorker summed it up best in his article, “An American Tragedy,” written mere hours after Trump’s victory. I’m not going to try to be creative and come up with my own regurgitation of what millions of people feel about this election. It’s a tragedy. For the millions of people who voted for him, it’s obviously not. For the millions of people who voted for Hillary Clinton, it probably is. Clinton wasn’t a perfect candidate—there’s no denying that. But compared to Donald Trump? To the person who based his campaign off of racist and sexist rhetoric to appeal to millions of Americans who also think like that? To the person whose Twitter account can barely be distinguished from parody accounts? To the person who literally said “grab them by the pussy” in reference to a woman? Compared to that person—that boastful, ignorant, just absolute nightmare of a person—Clinton seemed a bit better.
Yet Donald Trump won the election, and there are millions of people out there who think the opposite of me. They have an endless amount of negative things to say about Clinton, and that’s fair. However, in my eyes Donald Trump is a terrible, terrible person who’s not fit to run a country. It’s downright embarrassing that for the next four years, he will be the face of the United States—a “leader” who retains no military or political background. Instead, he was born into wealth and has coasted off an obscene inheritance while possessing moderate business skills. It’s disrespectful that he’s mentioned in the same category as men like Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt—men who would (hopefully) be ashamed at who’s running their country. As I currently write this on November 13, Trump has just announced that Stephen K. Bannon—a noted anti-Semite—will be his chief strategist. It’s been five days since he’s been elected, and the country already feels much different for the worse.
Besides Trump’s victory being frightening, it’s sad. It’s sad that millions of Americans bought into his empty, hollow slogan of “Make America Great Again.” In the context of this slogan making “America Great Again” actually equates to bringing the country back fifty years. Of course, others voted for Trump due to economic reasons—he said he would create jobs and that message sounds pretty good to someone who’s unemployed. Obviously, everyone who voted for Trump isn’t a bad person; this would be an unfair judgment. You’re not inherently racist or sexist if you voted for Donald Trump, but if you did vote for him, then you did vote for someone who is racist and sexist. That is inarguable fact.
It’s sad that millions of Americans hated Hillary so much that they resorted to voting for someone who, when he first announced his candidacy back in June 2015, they said they would never vote for. It’s sad that millions of Americans voted for someone who wasn’t endorsed by any of the five living presidents. It’s sad that millions of Americans voted for someone who is openly endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. It’s sad that for millions of children around the country, this mockery of a politician and flake of a man will be their first impression of a president—a person who’s supposed to be morally sound, accepting of all people in the country they govern. Most of all, it’s sad that millions of Americans—blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, members of the LGBTQ community, and women—will feel that the president of their country does not care about them. They will feel hopeless and desolate in a country that was already riddled with bigotry before Trump was even elected.
I really, really hope Trump does a good job. I sincerely do. The worst thing to do right now, as a citizen, would be to leave the country in an act of despair. The only way to stop the normalized racism and sexism that will naturally stem from a Trump presidency is to fight against it. To fight against it, you have to be here. Nothing’s going to change the outcome of this election. As powerful as the protests may be, they can only do so much. Trump’s America doesn’t seem like the friendliest place—in fact, it kind of sucks so far, but in order for it to get better, we have to stand up and defend what we know is right. We may now be living in Trump’s America, but it’s still America, nonetheless. One person can’t destroy the morality of millions, but millions can surely combat the intolerance of one.