Before I start, might I remind you all of the reason I write. As Charles Bukowski puts it, "It's simple. You either get it down on paper or jump off a bridge," and if I don't speak like I did in the booth, then I would be doing a great disservice to myself and possibly for others. The reason I write for the Odyssey, as taken almost verbatim from my application, is to bring different opinions to the forefront and to spark discussion about topics and viewpoints that may not otherwise be considered in the face of daily and then more serious conflict.
Below I would like to say a few words to those who may or may not have played a role in the election results:
To the Trump supporters: Congratulations, and thank you. Thank you for showing us that there are serious changes to be made in the way we present ourselves as a nation. Thank you for highlighting the inherent issues with racism, sexism, preserving free speech on both sides, prejudice, and the rights of every group that does not consist of old, rich, white heterosexual cis-gendered Christian males. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to improve as a nation that is likely far beyond our comprehension as a nation at this point in time. I do concede that the nation will be stronger as a result of a Trump presidency, but in the sense that we will ultimately learn to cope with it if these are even the final results. Several states have reported recounts due to the incredulity of the results, and people till believe the Electoral College can keep Trump out of office as easily as he was voted in.
To those who wrote in Harambe: Shame on you for not only disrespecting the Cincinnati Zoo's many requests for people to let the community grieve in privacy, but also for not taking something so sacred as the right to vote--something that was not recognized as a right for all citizens of age until just 50 years ago--for granted. I generally believe it doesn't matter who you vote for under the stipulation that you make your voice heard, but a dead gorilla shouldn't be on the ballot if people's lives are at stake upon you doing so. One could argue that these people would not have made an educated decision anyway, but they probably had the capacity to, therefore the vote was wasted.
To the baby boomers who ultimately decided our future: It is understood that your right to vote should not be infringed upon solely due to old age, but they say that the old have the most wisdom. It can also be said that some of you have the least motivation to make a difference in the world, though understandably so. There are many who took the chance to vote for someone they thought would be a historic candidate--if the Chicago Cubs won the World Series after 108 years, then why is it that we can't elect a female president after 240? Why is it that the first African American president ever put into office was put into office only eight years ago, after 232 years (from 1776)?
As a young college woman, I am frightened for my rights. As a friend and relative to other women, blacks, Muslims, Latinos, and LGBT folks, my heart beats for you all. I will continue to love and support you in any way I can and my thoughts and best wishes go to all of you.
We can't point and laugh at the way our future could very well be going, but hope it doesn't get any worse. Haven't we learned that the two-party establishment has only really given us the insecurity of choosing between one party or the other to make all of our decisions for us?
We have the first majority Republican government since before the Great Depression, and the rest was history:
-The stock market crashed
-Discrimination was morally permissible at the very least
-Widespread poverty as a result of this lead to:
*elevated crime rates
*a loss of jobs that created a need for unemployment checks made with money that neither the government nor the banks had, much less social security
-Women didn't have the right to work in the first place unless it was absolutely necessary for them to do so, much less rights in the workplace or even in school
I am not necessarily saying that these things are bound to happen, but don't be surprised if they do. Don't be surprised when you struggle to explain to your children how no political experience is needed to get your name on the ballot. The problem is not that Trump hadn't all the written prerequisites to be president, but that we had very minimal requirements in place in the first place. There are no stipulations for said candidate to have any prerequisite in law training, though it is still strongly encouraged.
Despite all of this, I am not about to say that we have lost as a country, that we have died, or even that we are compromised as a country because I believe that this one individual in waiting can't impact us directly as much as it seems he could. We are still our own governors of our own actions and our own beliefs and, despite constant backlash and a recent spike in hate crimes, we will fight as we have in the past, and we will eventually win that fight.
As a friend told me when I was walking out of class, we can still fight for what's right and the Constitution is written so that not even the President of the United States can change that. While I am scared for the future of our country, I am not scared to do anything within my power to help protect my rights and those of others, should they be infringed upon in this upcoming presidency.