I’ve spent a good deal of time debating whether or not to write this post. I generally make a point to avoid politics in all but personal discussions. The reality, however, is that the result of the 2016 election, and the inevitable effects to come has transcended the world of politics. The potential of what is to come during the next four years has become a human issue, and I have a few things I’d like to say about it.
I feel like I need to state the obvious before I begin. I am a straight, upper-middle class white male who by all rights will be the least affected by a Trump presidency. It would be a lie not to admit that this fact leaves me conflicted as to whether or not I have a place to comment on the many issues that have been called to forefront of society with the election of Trump. Again, I return to my whole-hearted belief that this has now become a human issue. Something that s
hould not cannot limit the response to only those effected most by what has unfortunately become the reality of today’s America.
As result of growing up in a post-9/11 era, spending the majority of my young adulthood navigating the The Great Recession I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that America on the cusp of disaster. I try to avoid such statements at all costs but for the first time in my life I find it to be the truth. What happens, and is likely to happen, over the course of a Trump presidency is likely to define America and the people who populate it for decades to come.
This is a charged topic to say the least, so I will do my best to stick to what I know and not speak for others. It is not my intention to offend. I would like to believe I will do this respectfully, but I do not believe I can hold myself to silence or inaction and their are some painful truths this country is currently grappling with.
The morning following the election brought a lot of hard-hitting realizations and even more questions for me.
- Donald Trump, who is openly racist, a repeatedly accused rapist, misogynistic, global climate change denying reality television personality with literally zero political experience was elected president.
Look I’m not trying to get into an argument as to which candidate was better. The election has happened and this is now the reality we have to deal with.
- My soon-to-be wife and I would love to have children in the future. They will be biracial. We would love to have a daughter. I cannot say what it will be like for them to grow up in a Trump or post-Trump America but I can say that I would not have chosen that environment for them.
Kids are a ways down the life plan but I’ve reached the point of adulthood where you begin to think about the parent you will be, the choices you will make for and about your children, and the type of world you hope they will have to be a part of. All of that just got a lot more complicated and much more of a difficult landscape for us to help them navigate.
- Global Climate Change has long been undeniable phenomena. It is, by all accounts, the most important issue to humanity as a species that we have ever encountered. Trump has claimed that Global Climate Change is a Chinese hoax and, at the time of this writing, is said to be considering a prominent climate change denier Myron Ebell as the one to handle the administrative transition at the EPA.
I don’t even know how to handle the vast implications of this decision. After campaigning on the promise to promptly shred the Paris Climate Accord, all signs point towards Trump trying to make that a reality thereby bringing the demise of the most comprehensive world-wide initiative in regards to Global Climate Change in the history of humanity. Again, this may not affect me directly, but it will surely affect my children and my grandchildren.
- Trump won an election that had a voter turnout of 58.6% of eligible voters, or just under 134 million people. Regardless of the fact that Hillary won the popular vote (debate about the electoral college is for another time), the fact that over 60million Americans voted for Trump – see litany of complaints above – pales in comparison to the number of Americans who did not vote against him.
The fact that there are people who support Trump comes as no surprise. There is no secret that a large part of the country agree with many of the ideals and principle that Trump embodies. What is truly disheartening is the large number of people who did not feel the need to stand against those ideals and principles. And before you get offended at that statement, take a look at the quote from The Daily Show‘s Hassan Minhaj below. It put a lot into perspective for me.
At the end of the day I think this is where I land. I think that a lot of people simply haven’t thought through the implications of a Trump presidency. Those hoping for a Trump presidency might not have cast their vote because they agree with Trump’s racist, sexist, xenophobic, science-denying policies or because they agree with his personal believes or support the actions taken in his private life. What they did not account for was that a vote for Trump was an active vote against the millions of people his beliefs and policies will adversely affect. It was a vote against the future of global climate action. It was a vote against religious freedom and security in America. It was a vote against the right for your mother, or wife, or daughter’s right to equality and healthcare. It was a vote against my future children. It was a vote against the progress that this country was making towards becoming a truly great in the eyes of history.
Few things have made me more proud than my vote against Trump. But in the end it didn’t succeed. I don’t know how I’m going to help yet. I just know that I need to do something. I want to help lay the groundwork needed to rebuild after this. To help secure a path forward instead of simply allowing us to slide backwards.
Thanks for making it through this. I appreciate your willingness to listen.