Donald Trump Voted to Become the Next President of the United States
After a long and arduous election season fraught with every kind of nastiness and conflict that could be imagined, the ostensibly nightmare scenario has been reached. So what now?
For many, this turn of events feels like the end of the world. This is a man that has made many claims over the course of his campaign, and many of them target minorities, members of the LGBT community and Muslims. From building a wall and making Mexico pay for it to having Muslims register with the government, it seems like the Great American Experiment finally failed and democracy is dead. Such fears are not unwarranted, but I would also argue that apocalypse has NOT come, democracy is NOT dead and America will survive. It’ll just require work and diligence.
First, we all need to understand that continuing the trend of division and hatred, among both parties, will do the exact opposite of fixing the problem. A lack of empathy and an unwillingness to understand each other resulted in an election where no one wanted either candidate. Most Trump voters did not vote for him because of his hateful rhetoric. They voted for him because he gave a voice to their problems which, until that point, had seemed to gone unheard by the government. The hateful rhetoric was unfortunate baggage that came with it.
Their reasons for voting for Trump were born of actual problems that need addressing. Their jobs had gone missing and healthcare was unaffordable for them, but no one seemed to care. In a democracy, ignoring the plight of a large section of the people cannot stand. Every policy and decision was based on the needs of those in the cities or coasts, which ignored the other half of the country which lived everywhere else. Trump getting elected because he promised them what they wanted to hear was not a failure of democracy. It’s democracy working exactly as intended.
So before you start pointing fingers and assuming every Trump voter is a racist homophobe, consider asking why they voted. Understanding and unity is what this country needs most at the moment, and those same qualities will prevent this from happening again.
On that same token, now is not the time to give up and give in to fear. Trump may have been elected by half of the country, but he will now be president of the ENTIRE country. As president, he answers to everyone and it is everyone’s duty to hold him accountable for his decisions. The same can be said for Trump supporters. For Trump supporters who claim that “they are not who they voted for,” they will need to live up to that claim. When a Muslim, minority or LGBT person is being harassed in public, they should step up and intervene for the greater good. When Pence tries to roll out conversion therapy for every gay person or when Trump tries to deport every person of Hispanic descent, these same Trump supporters should be the first ones to stand against it.
For everyone else, realize that democracy is not a “once-every-four-years” thing. Democracy requires continuous work. Give help, support and protection to those most scared by a Trump presidency. Participate in local government and get in contact with your representatives. Do what Americans do best and make your voice heard loud and clear, albeit in a legal and civil manner.
Trump may be president. But that means he answers to the American people now. We are his boss, and we are not a nice boss. He wanted the job, and he got it. Now he has to actually do the job. If he doesn’t do it to our satisfaction, he’s fired.
Our university is fortunate enough to be a diverse and welcoming campus that pays host to every kind of student across the spectrum. As a college student, you no doubt have your own thoughts and words about the election. We at the Mace & Crown would like to hear them! Send us your thoughts and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.