With the results of the presidential election already done and over with, you’d expect that everyone in the nation can breathe a sigh of relief that the one year-plus ventures of campaigning, debating, and talking about politics are finally out of the way, right?
Here’s the deal: Trump won.
I repeat: TRUMP WON.
…let that sink in for a moment.
Over a year ago, no one took him seriously. No one expected Mr. Trump, businessman and president of The Trump Organization, to have gone as far as he did with the presidential campaign, let alone won the prestigious seat in the Oval Office for potentially the next four years (and then some).
Really, what happened? How did the presidential campaign end up turning into some kind of game of name-calling and bullying of your own fellow citizens, no matter what gender, race, or sexuality that they happen to be? What ever happened to taking heavy issues of war, poverty, and racism seriously and finding ways to fix them? What ever happened to the professionalism of holding your tongue and letting others speak for a change? What ever happened to manners?
I am ashamed that American politics had to come down to this, from the highly-televised debates that made us the laughingstock of the world to the shocking results just this past Tuesday. I am ashamed to call myself an American, as I know that I’ll have to face dozens of people abroad who are interested in talking about, even making fun of, our country, when it won’t really affect them on a first-hand basis. My students and teachers have expressed to me both laughter and excessive sympathy on the situation, and while it’s tolerable for now, I don’t think I can deal with that in the long term. Imagine if your country ends getting taken over by a potential dictator: would you be laughing then?
What does this mean for Americans, like me? So much, how can I begin…
First things first, things will turn conservative. Period. And not just conservative- extremely conservative. To the point that immigrants will be forced to leave the country, along with their natural, U.S.-born children, and thereby depleting our resources for agricultural labor (which is problematic in itself, but from an economic standpoint, this will really cause trouble). To the point that Muslims and other minorities out there will face discrimination and harassment even more so than now, because Trump had made it clear that it was “okay” to do so. To the point that women will fear for themselves whenever someone wants to take advantage of them, just because “grabbing her by the pussy” is a justifiable thing to say on live-television. In other words, those who are non-white, not female, and even not LGBTQ+ will have the decades of efforts to gain their rights stripped from them in one presidential election.
For me, a first-generation Asian-American queer woman, it pains me that my efforts to vote overseas have been for nothing. As well as for the millions of people who went out to vote for the sake of preventing a huge mistake from happening. Unfortunately, it has happened, and for that all of this campaigning against *ahem* one particular candidate has been completely useless.
True, Mr. Donald Trump is the future face of our nation, but he does not represent our future. At least, not the bright, shiny idealism that comes with previously-elected presidents, whom we had come to accept regardless. I don’t think I can fully accept the fact that Trump is our soon-to-be president, let alone see a hopeful future for the United States, which is already riddled with problems (e.g. trillion-dollar debt, unresolved racial tension, refusal to control guns, etc.).
Funny enough, I had joked with my parents that, if Trump were to be president, I would not choose to live in the United States any longer. Now that it has become a reality, I am seriously contemplating it. True, it’s not realistic since I don’t have nationality anywhere else besides the United States, as well as having virtually little money to completely support myself (I’m also currently in grad school, which certainly isn’t helping my financial situation…). As I had read online, our only hope is that Trump will get impeached as soon as he is sworn into office, because I cannot fathom a “nice, moderate” Trump ever running our country in the years to come.
I could go on and on about how this is absolutely ludicrous, or even the fact that Trump isn’t even considered a true conservative, let alone Republican and is instead just making up his own rules along the way. Really, there isn’t much we can do except complain. Even though I’m currently in France and miles away from the disaster, still, it really shocked me.
Alas, we’ll have to move on, find ways to make sure that our voice gets heard, every time Mr. Trump decides to propose a law prohibiting our rights to free speech and expression. “Anarchy” is not even the closest word to expressing the state of our nation now (or soon-to-be), but until I am forced to return home after my teaching contract ends, I will continue to take advantage of this opportunity to be physically removed from the situation, even though emotionally, I’ll have to deal with it.
As I am still a mess of emotions right now, I am pretty sure that this post has a bunch of gaps and hard-to-follow sentences. Apologies for that. More lighthearted stuff to come soon on my blog, so you can look forward to them!
À bientôt et bon courage!