When I got the position as a writer for the Odyssey, I decided that it would be best to never write about politics, simply because of the potential backlash from the community. Every day since the election this promise has been harder and harder to keep. Every event that has taken place since the election – every scandal, and every choice for his cabinet – has pushed me closer to the breaking point. I've tried to understand why any American would vote for such an unqualified and contemptible human being, but to this day it still boggles my mind.
I can't stay silent anymore.
I am still not convinced that Donald Trump is going to "Make America Great Again." Not when this election has divided the whole country. I have noticed that ever since the election, tensions between the right and the left are even higher. I have noticed that racism, bigotry, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia have run rampant on multiple social media platforms. Even worse, there was a huge increase in hate crimes after the election.
You might be asking, What has Trump done to try to stop this hate epidemic? Absolutely nothing. He has not held a press conference urging the American people to come together and unify against hatred; all he said was "stop it." Instead, he antagonizes people who oppose him on Twitter, further fueling the fire, and making it okay for his supporters to attack those who don't agree with them. How is he going to make America great if America is completely divided?
He lost my respect when he began marginalizing immigrants and disrespecting women. He lost my respect even more so when he mocked a disabled reporter, and dismissed Congressman John Lewis as "all talk, no action." Not only are Trump’s words and actions extremely disrespectful and unkind, but they lead people to believe that this type of behavior is acceptable.
Not to mention that he has no experience in government and politics. I understand that is what his supporters wanted, to "drain the swamp" of corrupt career politicians, but how is having a person with no experience in domestic and foreign policy going to help us? He will be the first president with absolutely no experience in government and politics before taking office, and his lack of experience could have disastrous effects for our country and world. It seems as if he and his team just want to be “in charge” – they don’t have any interest in governing and leading, which is what a president should do. Just because Trump was able to run his own business (and some would argue that he didn’t even do that very well!), does not mean he will know how to compromise and talk to other politicians in this country and across the globe. Here is a great article by the Atlantic that elaborates on this idea.
In addition, his many possible conflicts of interests have come to light post-election. He won't release his tax-returns. He has been in many scandals and lawsuits, such as Trump University. He has a relationship with Vladimir Putin and may have been aware of Russian tampering in the election. How is that not considered corrupt?
Trump confused me when he began to flip-flop ideas from his campaign after being elected. For example, one of his biggest selling points was to build the wall, and that Mexico is going to pay for it. Now, he is telling us that we, the taxpayers, will be paying for that wall. Since the election, he has changed his opinions on LGBT rights, climate change, torture, and many other important issues. He just can't seem to make up his mind, and that is extremely concerning to me. How can people trust him after he has changed his mind on many of the issues?
I am terrified of his cabinet picks and his vice president. Mike Pence is extremely anti-LGBT and anti-woman. He wants to defund Planned Parenthood. He believes in conversion shock therapy. Enough said. Betsy DeVos has absolutely no experience in education, and her confirmation hearing reflected that. Scott Pruitt is a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, and yet he was picked for the E.P.A. Administrator. The story is the same for Ben Carson, Tom Price, and others. The majority of his cabinet is billionaire bigots with absolutely no experience. He said he was going to "drain the swamp", but he has selected most corrupt cabinet this country has seen.
I'm sure that many people will argue with me on this. Some people will say that he is going to "Make America Great Again." Some people believe that he will bring God back into our country, that he will bring jobs back, and that he will help the military and veterans. The problem is, he doesn't have concrete plans on how he is going to make this happen. I obviously don't know for certain, but considering he keeps changing his mind about many important issues, I wouldn't bet on it.
I am terrified for my grandmother who relies on Medicare and social security to keep her alive. I am worried about my roommate, and the discrimination she will face as a Muslim. I am worried about my boyfriend, and the discrimination he will face as a transgender male. I am terrified for all of the minorities in this country who are facing disgusting amounts of hatred. I am terrified for the children who will face the repercussions of Betsy DeVos as our Secretary of Education. I am terrified as a member of the LGBT community.
I really hope that I am wrong. I hope that Mr. Trump does a great job. If he does, I will admit that I am wrong with no hesitation, because that means that America is improving. In the end, that is all that I want for our country. Until then, I am remaining skeptical of his claim to "Make America Great Again."
If Trump or his administration tries to do something unconstitutional, they will be met with great resistance. I will never stop fighting for the rights of Americans. I plan on peacefully protesting every wrongdoing in any way that I can. I plan on paying close attention to politics from now on, and holding Trump and his administration accountable for their decisions. I am not going to stand idly by anymore. We have to take action.
If you are feeling hopeless and discouraged due to the election, just know that there are millions of Americans who feel the same way.
You are not alone.
Instead of sitting around and tweeting about it, go out and protest (peacefully.) Write to your local congressman and state representatives. The next four years may dark and dreary, but don't give up hope on America quite yet.
Trump is not going to "Make America Great Again." WE have the power to do that ourselves, if only we take the proper actions to do so. Stop the hate. Stop the violence. Stop marginalizing minorities.
Most importantly, never stop fighting for what you believe in.