Donald Trump as Our President

Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency shattered, and continues to shatter, the dreams of millions of Americans. 

For young girls who grew up lacking female role models, it shatters their dream of seeing the first woman get elected to the White House; it takes away their hopes and dreams when they realize that they were born and raised in a society where they are not viewed as being equal as their brothers, fathers, and male friends. For those children of undocumented immigrants who didn’t make a choice in coming to this country, they are frightened for their lives. The American Dream that their parents instilled in them is now shattered. Their parents, who came to a country where they didn’t even speak the language, who worked for hours a day and contributed to our government billions of tax dollars, received nothing but a threat of deportation. Their children fear being deported, having to leave the only country they know, and never seeing their parents again. For those Muslim Americans who have served this country and been contributing citizens, all they received for their patriotism is the label of criminals and terrorists. What about their dream of religious freedom? For those black children who are growing up listening to their parent's dialogue of “having to work twice as hard to get half of what they had,” what is this election telling them? It tells them that they are not working hard enough to fight against the prejudices and the racist institutions that existed to oppress their black bodies. It tells that no matter how hard they work, the American Dream is unattainable for them due to their skin color.

Clinton supporters on election night, Nov. 8th, 2017.

The dreams deferred tell many different stories. This election put a girl like me, a girl who has just entered college with a lot of dreams and aspirations for life, who wanted to use her educational privilege to make differences, who wakes up every day reminding herself that she cannot ever forget where she came from and how many people have sacrificed to make America a place that’s possible for her to achieve her dreams, through a psychological crisis. All I have fought for, all I dream for, and all that my people have sacrificed for, seemed to be meaningless at the moment that Donald Trump, an epitome for every injustice that exists in this world, won the presidency. It shows that in this country, there are approximately 63 million Americans who believe in his White supremacist ideology and patriarchal mentality, or, at the very least, these Americans condoned and tolerated his behavior and racist remarks.

And, when people are in crisis, they fight back.

This election has not set women back in politics. The defeat of Hillary Clinton has prompted women across the U.S. to become more motivated in participating in politics and taking gender inequality into their own hands. At different college campuses, female college students have become more dedicated to learning about the roots of women’s underrepresentation in politics. As a consequence of Clinton’s loss, successful women from various industries now have a new sense of obligation that thrives them to seek for elected offices. Hillary Clinton failed to break the glass ceiling in the presidential election. However, at the congressional election, numerous of female Democratic Senate candidates made history. From Illinois, Representative Tammy Duckworth becomes the first Thai-American elected in the Senate. Kamala Harris, a Democrat, who was born by Jamaican and Indian parents, becomes the first black woman to serve in the upper chamber in nearly two decades. Catherine Cortez Masto, from Nevada, is the U.S.’s first Latina senator. From the state of Florida, Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat, becomes the first Vietnamese-American woman elected as the House member.

Catherine Cortez Masto, Tammy Duckworth, and Kamala Harris

The percentage of women of color in Congress increased from 6.2% (2015) to 7.1% (2017) (Source from Center for American Women and Politics).  

Instead of repressing marginalized groups, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, Muslim Americans, and undocumented immigrants, these individuals and communities have become more resilient in fighting the "white lash", also known as Trump’s victory. This month alone, there were 11 nationwide protests held in response to Trump’s immigration reform. Across universities and colleges, professors, students, and faculties showed their support for undocumented immigrants, those who are also their students and classmates. Across the country, college students signed petitions to ask school administrations to provide sanctuary campuses in order to protect undocumented students from law enforcement. On March 2, at Cornell University, 250 students and faculty members protested to demand funding and a sanctuary campus for all immigrant students, for those who are either under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or otherwise undocumented. Pro-immigrant groups across the country are organizing a second nationwide “Day Without Immigrants” strike on May 1, 2017. The first nationwide “Day Without Immigrants” strike was on February 16, 2017. This day aims to emphasize the importance of immigrants and minority workers to our economy and to our society as well as to protest against Trump’s threat of deportation.

Instead of perpetuating the criminalization of undocumented immigrants and Muslim Americans, Americans across the country have stood up, protested, and fought for their fellow Americans, for those who have been labeled and treated as criminals and terrorists, for those who have been denied their human rights due to their nationality and ethnicity.

On Trump’s first day as President, more than one million people marched through Washington, D.C. and in numerous cities across the country to support women’s rights and protest against Trump. On February 21, 2017, protesters across the country marched on the streets for “Not My President’s Day.” After the Trump’s executive order that banned people from seven Muslim countries, protesters across the country gathered in cities, streets, airports, and government buildings, carrying banners that read “No Ban, No Wall”. To this day, an estimated 2.6 million protesters have participated in 673 anti-Trump marches in all 50 states and even in 32 foreign countries. 

Trump’s approval rating is 39.8% (April 4, 2017). The ineffectiveness of Trump’s administration has been shown through protests, the media, Trump's unsatisfactory takeover of the Legislative branch, and the 22 incompetent executive orders that lack partisan and popular support. Federal judges from New York, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington have all blocked the travel ban order. Nearly 100 major tech companies, including Apple and Google, filed court cases to oppose the ban. On February 6, 2017, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision to block Trump’s immigration executive order. In response to Trump’s threat to repeal the affordable Obamacare and replace it with TrumpCare, Republicans—with the help of Freedom Caucus—killed the bill before it even made it to the House.

The seriousness and responsibility of the presidency seem to have hit Donald Trump as well as the American people. It has been for only two months and his incompetence in unifying the divided America and lack of political experience are demonstrated through what he has (and has not) accomplished as the President. His major accomplishments as the President have been the accusation of President Obama of illegally wiretapping his phones, giving the “Trump Card” to his daughter for making her debut in politics by providing her a position in the White House without undergoing Civil Service Exams or federal workers' procedures, keeping 2,000 vacant Executive branch positions due to his aversion to hiring any Republicans who have opposed his campaign platforms, and the increase in tension between the U.S. and Russia. In short, his performance over the last two months has fallen short of his mandate from the people; a chance to lead.

As has been exhibited by Trump’s conflict with Republican politicians, this is no longer a battle between Republicans and Democrats; this is not about conservatives and liberals. Donald Trump’s presidential administration and leadership have and will continue to drive this country backward. Donald Trump’s presidency harms everyone Black and White, Democrat and Republican, documented and undocumented immigrant, America and other countries, and minority groups and LGBTQIA+ people.

As U.S. citizens and residents, we have to hold our elected officials accountable. The media has the responsibility of reporting the truths and holding our government and politicians responsible for those truths. Our elected officials need to understand who they are serving and acknowledge that, in most cases, that is not the President, nor their party. 

The 2016 election is not an end. It is the beginning of an era of social, political, and racial awakenings. It makes us realize that we, as young people, are the future of this country. We are the ones who are going to make this country greater. We need to restore and defend our American values and redefine patriotism because our president and those in power have distorted and misinterpreted those values. The true American value is in this country, everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve his or her dreams. Because this country originally belonged to the Native People, everyone else, besides the Native People, is an immigrant. The immigrants of this country have included the White people whose ancestors are the European and British colonizers who conquered this land and stayed here to pursue freedom and escape monarchy's oppression, the Black people who were brought to this country as slaves, the Asian-Americans who came to this country for economic opportunity and to escape war, disaster, and religious persecution, the Muslim Americans who came this country in hope of religious freedom, and those undocumented immigrants who came to this country with the vision of the American Dream. The differences in our skin colors, ethnicities, nationalities, languages, and cultures cannot override the fact that we (besides those who are Native American/indigenous) were once immigrants and now, are American. If Trump' deportation agenda and immigration reform are implemented, then all immigrants, including us, should be deported. Indeed, we should return this land to the Native People. 

We need to learn more about other's struggles. We need to educate ourselves about race, intersectionality, the American history, and the unjust institution. This country was built on the struggles of the Native people, slavery, oppression, and sexism. Now, it continues to build on the struggles of undocumented immigrants, Muslim Americans, and black people. We, as the younger generation, cannot fall into the illusion of the non-American value that this country belongs to one group of people

As per our American principles, everyone must have the same opportunity and equality to prosper and to pursue happiness. The government, our elected officials, and leaders are responsible for providing equal opportunities for everyone

We cannot change the fact that this country elected Donald Trump; however, we have to ensure that there will not be a second or third Donald Trump elected.

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