November 3rd Is Not The End

The house at the end of my road has the biggest Trump flag I have ever seen. Although I won’t be home until after the election, I believe that they will still be flying that flag regardless of the results. Trump is not just a president – he symbolizes the 46% of Americans who believe the media is lying to us, science can’t be trusted, immigrants are criminals, all lives matter more than Black lives do, and that somehow he is making America great. If Biden wins, we will be a step closer to a more just and safe America, but it will not be the end of the fight.

Trump’s presidency has enabled people to accept and embrace a culture that, to me, seems undemocratic. He has protected his image by labeling critics in the media as “fake news.” By doing so, he has allowed Americans to conveniently ignore or deny facts that they dislike. Under this culture, people are able to deny the very real threat of COVID-19 and the science that tells us a vaccine won’t be ready for months but wearing masks and staying home can help. As a result of Trump’s deliberate misinformation campaigns and four years of “fake news” culture, the U.S. leads the world in COVID-19 cases.

Trump Coronavirus Photo by Charles Deluvio from Unsplash Trump uses propaganda to keep himself and other white men in power. But Trump is more than someone with media attention and influence – he has power to make long-lasting decisions that will impact many people for a long time. As of mid-September 2020, Trump has appointed 216 federal judges who hold life terms on the court. These federal courts may block contested cases from even getting to the Supreme Court. However, if a case is brought to the Supreme Court, Trump has now appointed three Supreme Court justices, creating a 6-3 conservative-liberal leaning on the highest court in the U.S. As the court that granted equal marriage, upheld reproductive rights, insured Americans’ health, and protected immigrants, a strong conservative leaning for decades to come threatens the rights of marginalized groups.

One marginalized group that is particularly hurt by the Trump administration is Latin American immigrants. Trump’s paints immigrants as criminals, rapists, and thugs. He once even proposed a moat filled with alligators and snakes around his infamous border wall. He wanted border patrol soldiers to shoot anyone trying to cross the border, despite the fact that this is illegal. Promoting the idea that we need to keep people out of the country for some sort of security has made some Americans hostile towards anyone that they think is not American – typically people of color, especially those that do not speak English as a first language. While Trump has been only able to build parts of the border wall, his rhetoric has built a social divide that will be much more difficult to tear down.

Wikimedia Commons The parts of the wall that Trump has built have already caused and will continue to worsen environmental degradation. The physical barrier separates habitats of endangered species, thus limiting their food supply and ability to repopulate. The wall also contributes to increased flooding as it acts like a dam and causes water to back up, therefore damaging nearby properties. The Sierra Club lists 40 laws that were waived in order to build walls in the U.S., including the Clean Water and Clean Air acts, despite the fact that Trump has boasted the “cleanest air” and “cleanest water” during the presidential debates. Again, Trump’s rhetoric simplifies environmental issues to clean air and water puts us in danger because it ignores and denies that climate change is a serious global issue. Not to mention, wildfires linked to climate change on the West coast have produced dangerous air quality levels.

November 3rd is a chance for us to reject this culture and begin again on a path towards progress. Joe Biden is not the perfect presidential candidate, but no politician ever is. While voting for Biden and other democratic candidates may be a step toward progress, we can not forget that 46% of the country voted for Trump. During his four years as president, he has further legitimized racism, sexism, and blatant lies to the point that it threatens our national security. Moving past Trump’s presidency on November 3rd is much more than voting him out – we must condemn hateful language and actions, trust in science, and continue working towards progress despite Trump’s literal rollbacks on progress.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 45

Photos: Her Campus Media