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of rape, to his sexist comments during political debates and political events, he has never been afraid to show his outdated views of women on national television.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.