In discussions concerning the looming possibility of a second term for Trump, the response I hear time after time is something along the lines of: "America has survived presidents like Jackson, Nixon, and Reagan; another Trump presidency will be hard, but it won't be the end of the world."
These remarks are innocent enough — they're a refuge for those who have only been affected by Trump in very minor ways, a way to reassure themselves that life as they know it will go on regardless of who occupies the White House. And, for a portion of the American population, this sentiment is quite true. But for too many people living in the shadow of the American flag, the Trump administration has already done irreversible damage.
The people who have "survived" the administration's war on marginalized groups are the same people who "survived" slavery, the Native American genocide, and the Great Depression: financially secure white citizens with little to no real stake in the game. They may be vehemently opposed to the administration, and they may be actively working to improve conditions for those victimized by Trump's decisions, but, when push comes to shove, they will make it through another Trump presidency with hardly a scratch.
The rest of America is not, and has never been, as fortunate when it comes to incompetent, hell-raising presidential administrations like this one. So far, Trump has waged wars (be they verbal, legislative, or physical) on women, immigrants, asylum-seekers, the disabled, the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, sexual assault survivors, veterans, scientists, and political opponents, just to name a few.
In the administration's attempts to limit reproductive freedom, thousands of women across the country are left without any access to affordable reproductive healthcare, especially women of color and those living below the poverty line.
So far, at least 24 people have died in ICE custody due to the inhumane conditions encouraged by the administration in detainment camps.
U.S. drone strikes have ramped up under Trump and continue to kill innocent civilians in the Middle East, and we don't even have a definitive number of casualties thanks to Trump's 2019 executive order which revoked the prior requirement that this number be publicly reported.
People all over the world are suffering at the hands of this administration, and those who have been lucky enough to make it through most of this term cannot depend on their survival should Trump be re-elected.
More than anything, America herself cannot withstand another four years with Trump in office.
Crumbling international relations and rapid reduction of domestic patriotism will only continue to worsen until this country is unrecognizable. America has never been perfect, but a president who fails to recognize its imperfections and work tirelessly to improve them is not a true leader of his people. If Trump goes on to serve another four years as president, the damage to this country's name and reputation will be virtually irreversible. And if America as she was founded dies, with all her hopes of equality and freedom and justice, no single American citizen can claim to have been a "survivor" of Trump's devastating reign.