Senior at South
The campaign election and subsequent victory and decisions of now President-elect Donald Trump have had tensions running high at South. Regardless of what you think about Trump you can not deny he is a very polarizing candidate and it’s all but unheard of to come across someone who has a neutral opinion on the 70 year old former real estate mogul and businessman.
It hasn’t helped that the polarizing candidate lost the popular vote while winning the electoral college leading many to feel as though his election was really the result of an antiquated system as opposed to the will of the people. This has only highlighted disillusionment with the political system and lead many to take up the slogan “Not My President”. The day after the election many south students participated a rally against Trump and while official it was a rally to promote love and unity it was clear that anti-Trump sentiment the really reason we were marching.
But why exactly has the victory of Donald caused fear among much of the general populace at South. While for me personally a large part of discomfort caused by Trump is due to his antiquated political ideals. This should be evident even in his now infamous slogan “make america great again” where much of his political ideals seem to be harkening back to the past in a manner that is genuinely terrifying. A large part of this is Trump’s stark opposition to globalism and his belief that America is perpetually getting the short end of the stick trade wise. To many americans myself included this seems unhealthy and his repeated threats to do things such as pullout of NATO seem to dated isolationist policies that would not legitimately benefit the economy and are starkly anti progress.
Even more troubling is the fact that bigotry has been a building block for Trump’s campaign since the beginning. Trump’s cries to ban muslim immigration and build a wall both invoke great similarity to far right, nationalist, and sometimes fascist movements in the early 20th century. Trump has proceeded to further alienate many African Americans due to his stance against the black lives matter movement, and by doing little to address the allegations that he discriminated against African Americans and Latinos by dining them housing in his buildings. Many of South’s LGBTQ students have also been put on high alert due to his running mates vocal support of conversion therapy and extreme religious views.
Trump’s subsequent cabinet picks and talks as president elect have only served further or uneasy and add to our confusion. After his victory Trump has proceed to backtrack on many of his proposed policies leading many to wonder what he actually believes. Trumps cabinet picks have also been cause for concern as well. As a Jew the fact that he would appoint a noted Anti-Semite such as Stephen Bannon to his cabinet is horrifying.
Since South is a predominantly liberal school it is unsurprising that many have been upset by Trump’s victory and his subsequent actions. This has led to an atmosphere of preparing to fight for your rights over the next four years, as many South students feel as though their civil liberties are being encroached on.
As someone, who had the opportunity to vote the election has made made me question whether or not voting is even worth it, as a candidate who lost by the largest margin in over 100 years ended up losing due to system that few people support and even fewer understand in its entirety. This combined with the controversial nature of Trump’s candidacy has heightened tensions at South and left many myself included hoping for the best but expecting the worst.
Sophomore at South
Unlike many others, I had no worries before the election because I had complete faith that America would not be polarized enough to elect a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, orange creep with no political experience over an accomplished secretary of state. But of course, America had to prove me wrong. Way to go, America. The outcome of this election has triggered many negative feelings across the U.S., including the 11.5 million Americans who are part of the LGBTQ community. While Trump has certainly shown no love for LGBTQ or their rights, what is causing more unrest amongst the LGBTQ comminity is future Vice President Mike Pence and any of the three potential conservative Supreme Court justices Trump will appoint.
In case you were somehow missed it, Trump’s second-in-command is basically the walking definition of a homophobe. Whilst he was running for Congress in 2000, Pence recommended that the federal money going into HIV/AIDS research and prevention should instead go into conversion therapy, a psychological treatment or spiritual counseling designed to change a person’s sexual orientation that has been proven by both republican and democratic psychologists to be complete and utter bologna.
For these reasons, the election initially frightened me, but as time as the election gets put farther into the past, I remember more and more who Trump is up against. The LGBTQ community is not just gonna roll over and let walking personifications of white male privilege throw away our rights. After fighting decades of discrimination and hate, we are not going to let an orange lump push back all the progress we have made or stop any human being from having equal rights. Trump and his administration might be a setback, but they have helped show many Americans that our country is not the utopian land of the free we sell it to be. Now is the time for people to open their eyes and make their voices heard and help show the world how great our country truly is. So President-elect Trump, we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re done cowering in fear.
Senior at South
By all pragmatic, scientific, rational reasoning, the next four years will be a disaster of unprecedented proportions. We will have a president who brags about sexual assault, a vice president who believes that evolution is false, an EPA administrator who denies the existence of climate change, and countless other objectionable persons in positions of power. No matter what social strife the coming administration causes, climate change will overshadow all other issues. Mass deportation, at least, will not wipe us from the face of the planet.
Despite all of this, there is no reason to be upset. What do we have to be angry over? It is done. We have no magical power to change the past. The coming years will only differ from the status quo for the people who care.
Certain people have been asking themselves what they will do under the coming administration. We will do what we always do: survive. Sometimes, life gets complicated. Sometimes, life gets worse. The world is a cruel place, and it will continue to be cruel. Expecting otherwise at this point is not optimism, it is naivete. As a general rule with few exceptions, life does not get better, it gets worse.
What should we do then? We return to our lives. We attend to our friends, our hobbies, our passions. We work at whatever we enjoy. Why would we devote our energy to a vast, uncaring world when we could devote our lives to the things we love?
We thrive in adversity. Our birth was painful, our death will probably be painful, and the parts in between will be much of the same, but we flourish despite that hardship. We have grown strong due to our painful lives, so why should this election even register as something to worry over? We will survive worse.
Senior at South
As a woman and a person who cares about the needs and rights of other people, I cannot say that this election has or will ever sit well with me. You know from my last column how I feel about the president-elect. However, despite the atrocious situation that white America has ignorantly placed this country in, it is not in our best interest to be complacent and dwell on our sorrows. Sitting behind a computer and complaining about our political situation will do next to nothing. Instead of complaining, not leaving our houses, or moving to Canada, what should we do? The simple answer is that it is now our duty as decent American citizens to fight for the .rights of the people around us. To my relief, movements are already heavily underway around the country to not only stand up to the bullies in the Oval Office, but also to show others around us that they are loved and appreciated.
One special movement produced from our country’s recent hate crimes is the Safety-Pin movement. This movement is a wonderful, peaceful, and simple way to show minorities and individuals under attack that they are wanted and will be defended. It is extremely simple to participate. Simply accessorize an article of clothing with a safety pin to show your support for anyone who feels unsafe in their own skin during these trying times. The safety pin is symbolic for the link between those of us who support each other and how strong that link can be if maintained. Although some may criticize the movement for not doing enough, I believe that it is never a bad thing to show support for other people in trying times.
During the difficult times to come, the most important and impactful thing we can do for each other is not to yell or rant on Facebook, but to turn to the people around us and remind them that they are loved and supported. Furthermore, it is important to go out and physically act in order to support other people. Stand up for someone, tell someone that you are here for them, or give out hugs freely. It is time to join hands and form links that cannot be broken.