Why I'm Sad That Donald Trump Won The 2016 Election

Why I'm Sad That Donald Trump Won The 2016 Election

I'm not here to pry your political stances out of you. I'm here to tell you my own opinion.
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Just hours after the final polls came in for the nail-biting, nerve-wrecking election, I can't help but think about what is so wrong with this final decision.

Donald Trump has just been elected President of the United States for the next four years and although his presidency doesn't officially start until January 20, 2017, the course of the next few months will be not only scary, but extremely saddening.

No, I am not here to tell you it was wrong of you to vote for who you voted for. I'm not here to pry your political stances out of you. I'm here to tell you my own opinion and why I am sad that America has decided to elect Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.

I am sad because, for the first time in history, we had the real opportunity to elect a woman as president. All political stances aside, we had that opportunity. For so many years, women fought hard for their rights. It wasn't until August 18, 1920 that the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote. For years, women suffered. Donald Trump speaks of "taking America back" and "making America great again," but what exactly are we taking America back to? Have you people not realized that in the years to come, women may have those rights revoked?

From all of the crude remarks Trump has made toward women, to his accusations of rape, to his sexist comments during political debates and political events, he has never been afraid to show his outdated views of women on national television. I don't care if you're a Trump supporter or a Hillary supporter. Women are scared for their lives and they should be.

Come January 20, 2017, a sexist, who has been acussed of rape, who wants to take away a woman's right to things such as abortion and Planned Parenthood will begin his term in the Oval Office. I am saddened because we had the opportunity to make history, to vote for a woman president for God's sake!!! But we failed to accomplish this.

I am sad because I go to a school where sexual assault on campus is widely discussed because it is happening too often. I am sad because Donald Trump has been accused of sexually assaulting women before, and now because he will be president, people might deem it okay. People might deem rape okay. The president did it, so why can't we? It's so scary to think that the man in charge of the country, the man who is supposed to stand by us and stand for us, potentially has raped young women before and people still elected him. People still stood by him. I am saddened because women do not feel safe anymore. I am saddened because rape, in today's society, is becoming more and more common. I am saddened because just two days ago, in my FYE class, we watched a video on women discussing their rape and how administration reacted to their charges. I am sad because it relates to so much of now and so much of what is to come. "Well, what were you wearing?" "Were you drinking?" "Did you lead him on?" I am saddened because women will have fewer and fewer people to turn to now. I am saddened because if a woman is raped and becomes pregnant, she might not have the pro-choice opportunity, or something like Planned Parenthood to turn to, because of Donald Trump.

I am sad for the people of the LGBTQ+ community. We finally, finally, made progress by legalizing gay marriage within the United States within the past year. I am saddened because Trump opposes marriage equality. And as for transgender people, Trump has stated that he will choose not to enforce federal civil rights laws that would allow a transgender American to be treated equally under the law of the US. I am saddened because I have seen posts on social media of people fearing that conversion therapy will be legalized in the entire US and that they will have to go through it. I am saddened because I have friends of the LGBTQ+ community and I have classmates of the LGBTQ+ community, and I fear for them. The LGBTQ+ community has suffered enough and just as we got things going, just as we made a step to equality for them, America elected Trump. That step toward equality for them will be pushed ten steps back as soon as he hits the Oval Office in 2017.

I am sad because I see posts of young women going to vote and encouraging other women to vote because our ancestors fought so hard for this right. What makes me so sad is that some of these same women voted for Trump. I am saddened because these women are blinded by the hypocrisy of their statement. If you are so passionate about a woman's right to vote and are encouraging other women to go out and vote because "we fought so hard," why on earth would you ever vote for a man who has made so many sexist comments and has been accused of rape? I don't care if you don't like Hillary; your opportunity for advancing women's rights was standing right in front of you. Donald Trump claims he has a great respect for women, when all we have seen is him belittling us. How can you stand by a woman's right to vote and then vote for him? I just don't get it.

I am sad because men who aren't even supporters of Trump voted for him because they didn't want a woman as president and didn't think a woman was qualified enough to be one. What would be so wrong with having a female president? Women are just as qualified as men are to be in office. Hillary Clinton has more experience in politics than Donald Trump ever will, even after he's served his time in office. I am saddened because America chose a businessman, who has filed for bankruptcy numerous times (which shows how clumsy he will be with the American economy) and has no political background, as our new leader. I am saddened because he promised things to Americans that he will not be able to follow through with because of his absence in politics prior to this election. The gender gap that still exists in the United States needs to end. I am saddened because with Trump as president, it will not.

I am sad for the different races that made the United States who we are. Donald Trump has made numerous racist remarks and given many examples of what he will do to "Make America Great Again." "We're building a wall between here and Mexico," he states while claiming a judge was biased because he was Mexican. I am saddened because Donald Trump's discrimination against African Americans is astounding. He has questioned whether or not Obama is an actual citizen of the United States, and even requested he show documentation of his birth certificate. I am saddened because I have seen posts of Muslims fearing for their lives, and even removing their hijabs to avoid violent and racist remarks from Trump supporters. I am saddened because he doesn't want to allow refugees from Syria come to the United States for a better life and wants to stop immigration to the US. Back in the late 30s and 40s, World War II was going on and Jewish citizens were put into concentration camps by Adolf Hitler. When they were finally able to escape, many of those refugees came here to America for a better life. The United States is a country built by immigrants. During the Colonial Era, people immigrated from around the world to the now United States seeking better opportunities, whether they were economic, religious, or social goals. How can we block immigration to the United States when the majority of our ancestors immigrated here in the early years of the United States when it was first being built?

Lastly, I am saddened because as an 18-year-old woman and first time voter, I cast my vote for not only women's rights, but the future of the United States as a whole and the progress that could've been made. Instead of the majority vote standing with me, I will now, for the next four years, have to fight for women's rights and the future of the United States instead of standing by its success. We had something good going. Progress was finally being made. And now, that progress disappears as we restart to "Make America Great Again" under a republican-run Senate, House, Supreme Court, and Presidency come January 2017. It is truly a time for all citizens of the United States to fear what might be coming, and take action as individual citizens.

Cover Image Credit: ABC 7 News

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Marco Rubio, Do Your Fucking Job And Stop Letting Kids Get Slaughtered

Marco Rubio basically got a standing O for showing up to a test he bombed, because that's where America is right now, I guess.
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It has been a week and a half since the Parkland Shooting, five months since Las Vegas, a year and a half since Pulse, six years since Sandy Hook and almost nineteen years since Columbine. Yet we are still no closer to effective gun control. 19-year-olds affiliated with white supremacist groups are still able to buy AR-15s without a single red flag going up. Children are still dying in mass shootings. Politicians are still being bought out by the NRA and refusing to take preventative measures.

Marco Rubio, you have been a representative for Florida since 2000 and have done very little to prevent the Parkland shooting. In fact, you have a history of trying to loosen gun laws, ultimately. Most notably, you voted against a bill that would prevent people on the terrorist watch list from getting guns less than a month after Pulse. You opted instead for a policy that would require a measly three-day waiting period.

You continually claim stricter gun laws will do nothing to protect us from mass shootings (even though they work in every country that has them), but you've barely even tried (tweets don’t count, just by the way). In fact, you've rejected a number of bills aimed at making it harder for people to get guns used in these mass shootings (usually based on party lines). And your constituency is over it.

You also claim that shootings like Parkland are the cause of mental illness. However, not only have you done nothing pilot efforts for getting accessible comprehensive mental health care but, according to Orlando Weekly, you also voted AGAINST a bill that would prevent people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns.

I guess this is just what happens when you receive $3.3 million from the NRA, according to the New York Times. Or maybe it's because you're too scared of losing Republican support. It doesn’t matter to me either way; I'm just sick of your shit.

This isn't good enough anymore. Not for me, not for students in Florida schools, and not for the victims and their families. Your thoughts and prayers are doing jack shit. We want action. We want a policy change. We want you to do your fucking job.

So here is my proposition: if you propose a bill that will actually do something to stop mass shootings, you might just get to keep your job for another six years. And I mean a real policy suggestion. I don’t care if it's imposing age restrictions, ID laws, or even mental health care.

All I'm asking is that you stop with the passive responses to tragedy or dodging criticism with NRA sponsored answers and protect us and our children and our families from totally preventable mass shootings. All I'm asking is that you do your fucking job.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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We Need To Rethink Gun Control, This Isn't Normal And It Needs To Stop

We need to move beyond knee-jerk reactions.
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Yet another mass shooting.

This is something we're all pretty used to. I've come to realize just how numb I've become to this, how I have to fight to not let this be something I simply shrug at and move on from. I grew up with active shooter drills that grew more and more complex as the years went on.

My generation, I suppose, is uniquely numb to the possibility of dying in a massacre; we all went to school post-Columbine, post-9/11. I personally don't even remember Columbine, and 9/11 is one of my earliest memories. Both have always been givens to me. Of course we have troops in the Middle East fighting an unknown enemy. Of course I might get gunned down during any given school day.

One of the most consistent commentaries on this the last couple years has been about the cycle of shootings, calls for gun control, and then forgetting. After Sandy Hook and the utter lack of any meaningful action that followed, most of us resigned ourselves to the fact that nothing was going to change. If the slaughter of 20 six and seven year old children and six of their teachers didn't drive us to do something, nothing would.

But herein, I think, lies the problem. There is a major shooting; then cries to "do something". While understandable, this approach misses two important realities.

The first is the fact that most gun deaths in this country are not in mass shootings. These events attract the most attention because they are so shocking and public and thus considered newsworthy. But we have forgotten the thousands upon thousands of lives lost to suicide and urban gun violence every year, which far outstrip those taken in mass shootings. By focusing our response to gun violence entirely on mass shootings, we attempt to prevent an anomaly while ignoring an everyday occurrence.

The other problem here is the impulse to "just do something". We should, of course, do something about our obscenely high gun violence rate. But most of our knee-jerk legislation winds up doing nothing to stop gun violence and simply puts more black and brown men in jail. If we're serious about doing something about gun violence in this country, we're going to have to actually address the root causes of that violence- something that requires far more patience, effort, and investment than simply banning whatever looks scary, filling our schools with cops, or blaming mental illness.

This, of course, is not an attractive thing. It's far easier to make a big show about gun control, push some nonsense statistics and analysis, cite policies in other countries that seem to prove their point, get the liberal base to tweet about it, and then not actually do anything. But to continue to approach gun violence like this is irresponsible.

That's not to say there's no role for gun control here. There is a need for smart, reasonable, empirically-based gun policy, including expanded background checks and enforcing the existing laws against domestic abusers owning firearms. These sorts of policies need to be combined with intervention programs like Ceasefire, as well as with more fundamental solutions to economic, educational, and racial inequality (yes, I am implying that capitalism and toxic masculinity are largely responsible for gun violence).

And one last thing: our culture of violence certainly does not help. Our collective cultural conscience is convinced that the way to solve our problems is through force and violence. (If you don't believe me, take a look at the way violence is depicted in our movies and television, particularly the sorts of outlandish scenes you find in films featuring Steven Seagal, James Bond, Bruce Willis, or any other famous action character/actor.)

And when the church of all places - the group of people who follow a crucified savior who overcame death by submitting to imperial violence and then rising from the grave - is filled with people drooling over guns, we must take some time to examine our hearts. As John Piper so wisely put it,

The issue is not primarily about when and if a Christian may ever use force in self-defense, or the defense of one’s family or friends. There are significant situational ambiguities in the answer to that question. The issue is about the whole tenor and focus and demeanor and heart-attitude of the Christian life. Does it accord with the New Testament to encourage the attitude that says, “I have the power to kill you in my pocket, so don’t mess with me”? My answer is, No.

Amen.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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