Casablanca - I still can’t believe that Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
Casablanca – I still can’t believe that Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
The Donald Trump who called a deaf actress “retarded.” The Donald Trump who was accused of sexual assault and then said the accuser was not attractive enough to assault.
The Donald Trump who said: “You have to treat ‘em like shit” in reference to women. The Donald Trump who said women should be “punished for having abortions.” The Donald Trump who made fun of a journalist with a disability. The Donald Trump who called for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S and called global warming a “hoax caused by the Chinese.’”
The Donald Trump who was endorsed by the KKK. The Donald Trump who doesn’t know how many articles are in the Constitution. The Donald Trump who used his Twitter account as a bullying device, until it was confiscated by his own staff. Yes, that Donald Trump. Wow.
A lot of people have asked why I am so affected by this election. Though I’m not American myself, I feel close to the American community, having grown up attending an American school and having spent the last five years living in Massachusetts and New York. As a Muslim international student living in cities like Boston and NYC, I was lucky enough to never truly be subject to any outright discrimination.
The U.S. quickly became a place I cared about a lot, a place where I felt at home, a place where I studied, worked and built incredible friendships. And regardless, people everywhere should be worried about Trump soon becoming the leader of one of the most powerful, influential nations in the world.
Since the very beginning of this election, Trump has done nothing but spew hateful, divisive rhetoric (see above). He has made anyone who wasn’t a white, American male feel like “the other.” And not only did his xenophobia, racism and sexism shine through during the entirety of his campaign, he also proved himself to be dangerously unintelligent in terms of politics. During a primary debate, for example, he didn’t even know what a “nuclear triad” was. This is a person who’s going to have access to nuclear codes.
When asked about foreign policy, Trump has recycled through statements like, “We’re going to defeat ISIS”, as if that should happen as easily as a Trump business goes bankrupt, and “I don’t want people coming in from the terror countries,” as if whole countries, whole communities and whole populations are to be charged with terrorism.
Trump wants to “Make America Great Again.” But what kind of greatness is he trying to get back to? Let’s be honest, America is the greatest it’s ever been, and it’s not even that great. The nation still has a lot of issues to resolve in terms of race relations, equal pay, abortion rights, health care, and more. But it has never been better than this. And for someone as seemingly racist and sexist as Trump, I don’t know what kind of era he’s trying to recreate.
Of course, there were those who wanted Trump to win. And I wanted to believe that no one in my network of family and friends was part of that group. But alas, there were a couple. And I realized that a few of these people didn’t necessarily want Trump to win because they agreed with him, but because they just could not stand the idea of a Clinton presidency.
A friend of mine said he felt relieved when he heard about the Republican candidate’s win. He was content with the fact that Trump’s election would bring all of America’s tension to the forefront. He likened a Trump presidency to facing a disease head on and a Clinton presidency to taking a pill and trying to mask it for another four years.
But while I appreciate the desire to face the nation’s problems head on, I felt like Trump’s campaign was enough to show us the ugly side of the nation, the one that doesn’t see an issue in Trump’s divisive and hateful rhetoric, the one not savvy enough to see that Trump is not ready for a job this important.
I don’t particularly see how electing the candidate who brought this hatred out would serve to resolve the nation’s current divide. We all know there are many sexist, racist and xenophobic people in America. Four years of Trump won’t fix anything about that; it will only make it worse.
There were also those who said that they would rather “take a chance” with Trump than have four years of Clinton, knowing she would only make things worse for the nation and for the nations that would suffer at the hands of a Clinton presidency.
While I personally felt the Bern during primaries and most recently supported Clinton as a “Not Trump” candidate, I firmly believe that voting for Trump is not taking a chance — it’s a sure-fire way to divide the country and put the nation in the hands of an unknowledgeable, first-time politician and mediocre businessman.
Speaking of Trump being a mediocre businessman, I also imagine Trump voters as thinking, “But look, he’s so rich! He’s going to make the country rich!” Wrong. Trump’s economic plan includes one that would reduce taxes for the richest Americans and a trade initiative that will likely create tension with Mexico and China. USA Today recently reported that several economists have already predicted a recession by 2018.
In terms of third party candidate voters, as Rachel Maddow said during election coverage, it seems you didn’t particularly care who ended up winning the election. We all knew it came down to Clinton or Trump, period. And while you likely didn’t intend this, your Stein and Johnson votes helped Trump win.
And let’s not lie to ourselves. Trump’s victory isn’t just going to affect America. Electing a president so bigoted, racist and sexist, and yet so powerful is going to set the clock back 100 years. So if you’re one of those people who keeps asking non-Americans why they care, just stop. Everyone should care.
In the end, one can only hope that a Trump presidency won’t be utterly destructive for America and for the world. That somewhere, at some point, something good must come out of this. Right now, it sadly seems like a long shot.
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