There are no words to truly describe the hurt and loss I am feeling this morning. Last night, I was in too much shock to properly address the emotions I was ravaged by, but today, with a clear head, I can definitively say that my heart is broken.
My heart is broken for the future of America. My heart is broken for the millennials who fought so hard for this election. We fought for justice, we fought for integrity, we fought for tolerance, which has clearly been lost in light of the outcome of the election.
Let me be crystal clear: I am in no way a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. I like her policies, I agree with her as a Democrat, I admire her as a woman, but she was not my preferred candidate. I, for the longest time, was a Bernie Sanders supporter, and I voted for Hillary Clinton because I knew that we, the millennial voters, depend on a Democratic leader for the sanctity of our future. A stunning 55 percent of millennials state that they would prefer a Democrat in office over a Republican, according to the Independent Journal Review, and many millennials fall in the “far left” spectrum.
The rampant left-leaning values in the millennial generation speaks volumes about our reaction to the election last night. Collectively, we are devastated. The election of Donald Trump and a Republican dominated Congress is an incredible loss for my peers and me, as we now will have to suffer and live through the consequences of this Republican domineered era, when we collectively disagree with the ideals brought forward.
I know, realistically, that Donald Trump will be unable to accomplish the vast majority of his radical ideas, such as building a wall and deporting all undocumented immigrants. However, for me, it is not Donald Trump, not Mike Pence, not the Republican-dominated Congress, I am terrified of. I am terrified of the supporters of this Republican era.
People are more likely to reveal their true colors in the comfort of privacy, as was apparent from the outcome of the private votes cast in yesterday’s election. By electing Donald Trump, I can only see people who knowingly support his bigotry, his hatred, his racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and other horrendous qualities. Mike Pence is just as bad, as he supports electroshock therapy for LGBT youth and genuinely believes that being gay is a choice (Trust me, it’s not. I would have chosen not to be bisexual years ago if I knew the amount of hate I was to face from it later).
While these candidates have their views, what terrifies me is that people bought in to this hatred. They knew their candidates were incredibly racist, sexist, xenophobic, what have you. They knew this. And they still voted for them. They saw nothing wrong with the actions of the candidates they voted for. They saw nothing fundamentally incorrect or awful about the things their candidate said about LGBT members, people of color, et cetera. And they voted for them.
So, no, I am not terrified of a Trump presidency. I know that there are Republicans who still despise Trump and everything he stands for. I know, realistically, he will not be able to pass all of the crazy measures he spoke of during his campaign.
I am terrified of the justification his voters now have due to his successful campaign. There are people who share the same values as Donald Trump who now feel justified in feeling the way they do, because their candidate won. There are racists, sexists and homophobes who now feel that their way of thinking is correct and justified, because the leader of the “free world” and “the greatest country on earth” shares the same sentiments.
I am not terrified of Donald Trump’s presidential policies. I am not afraid of what he will do in office. The power of the president is limited by Congress, and he will not be able to overturn our most fundamental rights without facing immense backlash from the public, as well as the possibility of losing the 2020 election. Trump will not be as radical as we fear.
We have been watching him for a year and a half. We have seen him spout horrific things about the people he does not like, and the people who he has differing values from. We have watched him disrespect women and be an all-around generally terrible person. There are people in America who share the same sentiments as Donald Trump who now feel fully justified in feeling so, because their candidate was elected president, and they will now feel more justified than ever to act upon these hateful sentiments.
I am scared for the people of color who will face more violence at the hands of racist Trump supporters who feel like it is their duty to uphold Trump’s sentiments. I am terrified for the LGBT members who will fear for their safety, as those who feel being gay is a choice are now wholly justified in their homophobic remarks and actions as Mike Pence presides over them. I am terrified for the immigrants who will have to explain to their young children what deportation means, and what could possibly happen to their family.
I am terrified for our future. This is not the America millennials wanted. I am terrified because there are now people who feel fully justified in being hateful, because a man just as hateful as them now holds arguably the most powerful political position in the world.