The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As a proud Democrat who’s been canvassing for Democratic campaigns since 2008 at the age of seven, when Obama and Biden first ran for office, I will be ecstatic if Biden wins this election. No, wait, I’ll be more than ecstatic – I’ll be jumping for joy. We’ll be saved from another four years of a misogynistic, narcissistic president who only cares about himself, his image and the depth of his pockets. Relief will wash over me with the strength of a tsunami rip current.
But I won’t pop the champagne.
I wish I could say that my faith in democracy will have been restored after this election, but I can’t because it hasn’t. This election is too close for triumph. I can’t look the other way when I see how many Americans actually voted for Trump.
So far, over 68 million Americans have cast their ballots in favor of Trump, and I guess I’m a bit confused. I feel like the last four years have been anything but stable, showing Trump as unfit to be president. He’s an ego-obsessed man who only ran for president simply because he likes winning. Plus, he wanted to secure his finances, and at this point, I’m sure he wants to stay in office as long as he possibly can. The moment he steps foot out of that door, his fraudulent tax returns and 2016 campaign violations will surely sting him in the butt – like that scene in Bee Movie – and he’ll have to roam the halls of prison in a doughnut. Right?
But that’s tangential.
I’ve been grappling with this number for days now, and I just can’t shake the impact it’s had on me. 68 million? Trump put children in cages at the border, separated them from their parents, and there are still children who have yet to be reunited with their families. Trump turned children with parents into orphans, simply because their families were searching for a better life. And that’s really just one of the hundreds of violations Trump made during his time in office. Plus, these violations have occurred outside of the country, too. After spending time abroad in France and England, I’ve seen how we are looked down upon by the rest of the world. And I get it. Trump backed Putin and sidled up to nuclear-power-obsessed Kim Jong Un, among other things. I’m sure this isn’t news to you – and if it is, I hate to burst your bubble – but Trump turned the US into a joke.
Hence why, on the day Trump was elected, my friends and family all swore we would move to Canada. But we didn’t. The truth is, we didn’t really want to move to Canada. We’re from Connecticut (blue state, let’s go!!), and we love where we live. I may think Trudeau is highkey the most attractive Prime Minister around, but what I want is to live in the US. I want to love New York City with all my heart, and I want to explore the vastly different cities and cultures America has to offer. I want to be a proud American. But after the last four years, and the saddening truth of how many Americans voted for Trump in 2020, I can’t do that. And to be honest? I don’t know when it will ever be possible to love America again.
I’m sure many of you have seen the New York Times exit poll data floating around social media. The statistics are appalling. Out of 15,590 voters who were surveyed after they cast their ballots, to see that 55% of white women surveyed voted for Trump shattered my heart. And to see that 50% of white college educated women surveyed voted for Trump is even worse. With a college education behind you, how could you possibly believe that Trump is fit to be president? I am a white woman, and I believe in supporting and caring for all people. All people deserve rights. I show this in my actions, and I showed it with my Biden-Harris 2020 vote. So who are you, white educated women, who want another four years of this? Four more years of a president who denies rights to you and supports rapists, who’s a racist and doesn’t care about the fact that being a single mother should give you more taxes than a married mother or that you don’t deserve to have a say over your own body? Why are so many women voting for Trump?!
I’ve truly never been so disappointed.
This splatters some ugly paint on the canvas of the American identity. And in truth, I don’t think we even have an identity anymore. The US is just one giant mass of red, thickly bordered in blue. There is no ‘bridging the gap.’ We just aren’t a united nation.
In the past two days, I’ve been asking myself hard questions I don’t have answers to. Where does this leave me, my family or my friends? How can we move forward? How can I continue to even call myself an American? And it comes down to this: I don’t want to affiliate with Americans who have lost their compassion. I don’t want to affiliate with Americans who believe that there isn’t racism in this country, or that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t real, or even that climate change isn’t threatening our earth’s near future. But I also don’t want to move. I don’t want to leave my favorite cities behind or abandon our country in my privilege, instead of sticking around to help those who must stay. I don’t want to leave the pockets of blue that I have cherished and the communities that lift each other up.
I want to love America. I really do. But I just can’t find a way to do that right now.
I think I’m probably as lost as many of you must be right now. I don’t know what else to say, except a huge thank you to the Black voters. After everything the Black community has been through, they still showed up in 2020 to vote for a brighter future. I can only hope the rest of us can live up to that incredible standard one day.