The Weight of “President-elect Donald Trump”

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The Weight of “President-elect Donald Trump”

Credits: Gage Skidmore

Credits: Gage Skidmore

Credits: Gage Skidmore

Credits: Gage Skidmore

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The U.S. presidential election has been an enormous topic of discussion in 2016. When the time for the final vote neared, Clinton and Trump became the leading candidates. Consequently, for the entirety of this week, the fierce battle between Democrats and Republicans did not cease, that is, until Donald Trump claimed his victory through 279 electoral votes, a 51 seat majority in the U.S. Senate, and 239 seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Although Clinton won the popular vote by a very small margin, Trump became president due to the higher number of electoral votes. The world has reacted with utter shock because the person who had initially been ridiculed has now ascended to presidency and control of the United States of America.

To every ethically conscious human being, nearly every word that has ever come out of Trump’s mouth will have sounded like absolute gibberish. The man has claimed his “rights” about grabbing women by their genitalia, and he finds it rightful to generalize and oppress the black community, Muslims, Latinos, queer people, and immigrants. The man who spawns hate towards other ethnicities—towards other human beings—is now the leader of the most influential nation in the world.

According to columnist Jonathan Freedland, Donald Trump’s administration could be dangerous to not only the targeted minorities in the U.S., but also to the rest of the world. Referring to the United States, Freeland comments that “Instead of hailing its first female president, it seems poised to hand the awesome power of its highest office to a man who revels in his own ignorance, racism and misogyny.” Freedland further states that minorities are in despair that Trump’s claims about deportation, banning Muslims from entering the United States, vetting anyone just for arriving from a “suspect land,” setting up his giant wall on the Mexican border, and punishment and denial to women who need abortion might actually become true. As for the rest of the world, Freeland carries on to question if a man who has declared his love for war and has claimed that he would solve the conflicts with ISIS by “bombing the sh*t out of them” is truly qualified to lead the United States.

On Sunday, Austyn Crites, a 33-year-old self-proclaimed Republican in Reno, was peacefully protesting with a sign that said “Republicans Against Trump” when he began to get kicked, punched and choked by the surrounding people. For merely holding up a sign of protest, Crites’ life was put at stake, and he was saved only when the police arrived and people were pushed off him. Crites says that he does not resent the people for acting so violently upon any opposition to Trump, but he blames “Donald Trump’s hate rhetoric” and his demagoguery that misguides his supporters and turns them “into animals.” Crites concludes by announcing that he fears for what a president like Trump can make the people do and wishes deeply that the country will be okay.

Yesterday, on the 9th of November, CNN’s Van Jones called the event a “whitelash against a changing country. It was whitelash against a black president in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes.” Jones proceeded to declare that “Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all the people he insulted and offended and brushed aside.” Jones spoke about pain—the pain of the people who now have to live in fear of their safety should be taken seriously—the tears shed by the Clinton supporters last night, and the pain of the 59,731,599 Americans who won the popular vote and are still unable to look at their current president and feel represented.

Despite the grief, the people who have fought and lost today should not give up hope. There is one thing that Trump said in his victory speech on the 9th that must be done to reunify Democrats and Republicans in the country: “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.” Furthermore, the outcome of this election should not be a sign of demotivation for young girls, for as Hillary Clinton noted in her concession speech, young girls must remember that they are powerful and valuable and “deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve [their] own dreams.” It is the duty of the united American people to have a peaceful and respectful transition of power, no matter how much division the clashing rhetorics spurred. And as President Obama said right before election night, “No matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning.”

Sources: The Guardian, CNN, The Huffington Post, BBC, Aljazeera, Independent and Human Rights Campaign, Los Angeles Times, Vox

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