November 9, 2016
Let's Talk About This Election
If you have been anywhere near social media today you will most likely know that Donald Trump has been elected the next President of the United States.
This completely shocked me. Most of the polls before the election showed Hillary Clinton with a lead, and I think that social media led me to believe that most Americans agreed with millenials (a majority of whom voted for Clinton).
I don't know where I'm going with this post, but since the election my thoughts have been racing and I know that once I write down all of them I won't feel as anxious and overwhelmed.
First I'd like to talk about my own voting experience. I live in Michigan, which was one of the swing states that usually votes Democrat but voted Republican this year. It was a very close race in my state and I feel so ashamed that I wasn't able to vote.
I went to my local voting booth and began the process--I showed my driver's license to a lady, got a ballet, and saw another lady who searched me in the voting database. I wasn't listed in it.
I was incredibly confused because I remember filling out and mailing the voting application. When I told my parents about what had happened, they also remembered me sending the application. It had been about twenty days before the primaries several months ago; I remember that distinctly because I had wanted to vote in the primaries but couldn't because I hadn't sent the application early enough.
A different voting booth worker pulled me into a separate room to see if my paperwork had gotten lost, but he couldn't find it. By this point I was very embarrassed and I was starting to doubt whether I had mailed in my application. I was eventually turned away with a new application and I cried in my car for a few minutes before finally going home. This probably seems like an overreaction, but I've been very involved in politics for the last few months and I'd been nagging my sister and friends about the importance of voting, so for me to not end up voting myself I felt so ashamed and hypocritical.
I still don't know if it was my error or a township error, but my vote likely wouldn't have made a difference considering Trump won my state and the election. What frustrates me the most is that in America it is possible to win the election without winning the popular vote, and that's what happened last night. Yes, that's right: more people in America voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, but Trump is going to be president anyway. I personally think that is a slap in the face to democracy.
Now let's talk about Trump and his policies, almost all of which I don't agree with. I can see how some people might agree with parts of his platform. The second amendment (the right to bear arms) is important to a lot of Americans. The threat of Isis scares a lot of people. Many people think that Clinton is a liar or even a crook. I understand that, and I understand that a lot of Trump supporters don't agree with everything that he says. But they supported him anyway after everything that he has said and wants to do.
Donald Trump is racist. He accused a Hispanic judge of being biased against him because of his race. He wants to ban Muslims from entering our country. He wants to make 'stop and frisk' policies legal nationwide. He insulted the family of American war hero Humayun Khan because they are Muslim. He has called Mexicans rapists and criminals. He continually demonizes the people who were born with nothing while he was born with everything.
Donald Trump is sexist. He has bragged about sexual assault. He thinks that women who are experiencing workplace harassment should find a new job. When women don't agree with him, he insults them on their appearance, calling them "pigs" and "dogs". He thinks women who get an abortion should be punished. He normalizes rape in the military because, "what else can you expect when you put men and women together?"
Donald Trump is homophobic. He's against marriage equality and wants to elect a Supreme Court judge who would overturn it. After the Orlando shooting, when 49 people were murdered in a gay club, he thanked his supporters for the congratulations about being right about Islamic terrorism. His vice president, Mike Pence, wants to use tax dollars to fund conversion therapy to turn LGBT teens straight. Conversion therapy often leads to suicide.
So, yes, I understand that most Trump supporters aren't racist, sexist, or homophobic. But by voting for this man they are promoting everything that he believes in, everything that doesn't belong in 21st century America.
It frustrates me that a huge majority of young voters did not want Trump to be elected. The older supporters, who likely won't have to deal with the long-term effects of this election, are his biggest supporters. They won't have to clean up the environment and pay off the estimated 2 trillion that Trump's plan will add to the national deficit over the next ten years. And that's a conservative estimate, many believe it will be up to 7 trillion!
For almost half of American voters to prioritize guns, a wall, and emails over the lives of women, minorities, and non-heterosexuals is astounding. My heart is so heavy today and I want to do everything in my power to prevent this monster from accomplishing his discriminatory plans, but I don't know what I can do. I'm terrified for the future of this country. We just elected a racist, sexist, homophobic reality TV star who insults war heroes to the highest position in America.
To quote Hillary Clinton and end this depressing post on a somewhat positive note, "Let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary. Let us not lose heart. For there are more seasons to come and more work to do."
To every non-Trump supporter: we will get through this. We will not give into hate. We will not give into fear.
I will be remembering the defeated, hopeless rage that I experienced today and I will be channeling it into progress for the future. I hope those of you who agree will join me.