I feel like that is how we will remember this year. Since 2016 began, we have endured many tragic events with the joyous ones few and far in between. Notable figures passing away (David Bowie, Alan Rickman); the worst mass shooting in American history; Brexit; terror attacks in Europe, the Middle East and not to mention the on-going war in Syria; and last, but not least, the 2016 U.S. presidential election fiasco.
And let’s take a moment to remember that there is still a month and a half left before 2017 welcomes us with President Trump. So, let’s enjoy these last few days we have with Barack and Michelle Obama. We’re going to be nostalgic for them very soon.
I haven’t written in what feels like months and it’s been about a year since I posted on this WordPress blog. However, following the results of this election, I felt that I couldn’t remain silent. I’m currently in North Carolina, one of the states that sadly went to Donald Trump last night, sipping on a glass of New York wine as I type my thoughts away. I will be going back to Chicago next week but I partly wish I was in an urban area right now to join in public gatherings and protests to express my outrage over the outcome of this pathetic election. Since that isn’t possible for me to do, I will express my thoughts one of the only ways I know how and feel most comfortable doing: writing.
Before I begin, I’ll warn you that I am the last person you want to be asking about politics. My knowledge in the subject is limited to none and despite me turning 18 in 2012, this is the first presidential election I actually voted in (sad, isn’t it?). So, keep that in mind while you are reading this and if something seems a little off, that’s because it probably is. I’m going to try to make sure all of the information in this post is accurate before I post it though.
It’s hard to even know where to begin, honestly. As like everyone else in America and even the rest of the world (because, yes, even though some people like to forget but America is not the only country in the world that matters), we have all been anxiously waiting together for this election to be over. However, when we were rushing for it to end, this is not the result we were hoping for.
As I was watching the election last night, switching back and forth between CNN, MSNBC and even Fox News, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what people felt when they were watching the 9/11 attacks unfold on live television. That may be a grim comparison and if I offend anyone reading this I’m sorry but that is how I felt last night. This was the first election I really put an effort into watching and learning as much as I could about because it was honestly one of the most important elections of our generation and probably will be out of my life.
For most of the night, I kept having hope Hillary would prevail. She lost Ohio. It’s OK. She won Virginia. Shit. She lost Florida. It’s OK. She still has Michigan and Wisconsin and she’s sure to win Pennsylvania, right? (by the way, thanks for nothing, home state).
Then, as my relatives went to bed one by one and I was practically left by myself to watch Donald Trump win the rust belt and give his victory speech, I kept hoping I would wake up from this nightmare. It’s not an exaggeration when I say that this presidential race was a reality show, not a real presidential race. The whole thing was amusing and none of us thought Donald Trump would actually get to The White House. But, perhaps that was our biggest mistake. Not having faith in Trump’s perseverance and his supporters, who all came out to vote on November 8th to assist him with this historic victory.
I went to bed feeling lost and hopeless. I know everyone, including my dad, was telling me that it would be a new day tomorrow. The sun is going to rise. Life goes on. But what kind of life? What kind of world is waiting for us tomorrow? In 2017? On Inauguration Day? These are important questions and the fact that some of my family members aren’t concerned about this astounds me. I’m legitimately terrified and to be honest, we should be.
For the first time in recent memory, the future of our country is truly undetermined. The future of the world is unknown. This election was not only significant for us as Americans but for the world. As much as I hate to admit it, America is a substantial country and makes up a good amount of the world’s population. We have an impact on what happens in the world. Our relations with other countries, big or small, are incredibly important. How we handle certain regulations such as climate change or national security, are important. Like it or not, the world looks to us for guidance and eyes are on us constantly because of the influence American culture has on the world. Last night, the world watched us attack ourselves. We weren’t attacked from overseas this time. We took all of the progress we had made in the past sixty years and crushed any remnants of the American dream that was still left.
Last night, while Donald Trump was claiming his victories in several swing states, the news anchors kept stating how on this date, November 9th, back in 1989, the Berlin Wall was being destroyed. How ironic. Nearly thirty years later, and we don’t seem to have learned from history’s mistakes. We have just elected a man, who is not only not suitable to be the President of the United States but someone who (I will say this again because of how important this is) that has time and time again, shown his true colors, and yet it’s OK because 1) he’s a white man and 2) he’s “only saying what we’re all thinking”.
Well, I for one, am not thinking anything that comes out of this despicable man’s mouth.
The American people have just elected a racist. A misogynist. A xenophobe. A homophobe. Someone who doesn’t even respect women and that’s something we’re supposed to learn, what? In elementary school? This man has no self-control, no common sense, no idea how to run a business, let alone a country and yet, has just become of the most powerful people in the Western world.
I feel like I could go into all of the hypocrisy in America and his supporters but that could be a separate post in itself. I think I will start to end this rant before I write a book about my outrage.
I guess the point of this post was to get everyone thinking about what we have just done as Americans. Instead of making America “great” again, we have just set ourselves back to the 1950s. And, unless I have to remind all of you, things weren’t really that “great” back then when you look at all the hidden racism and homophobia that was around. I guess things never really change, do they?
Honestly, as a member of the LGBT community, I am terrified of the months to come and what will happen over the course of these next four years. My brother stated it well that, as a Caucasian male, he isn’t going to directly see the full effect of this election because of his skin color. He isn’t going to feel what his Muslim friends feel. What his gay friends feel. What his African American friends feel. How any of the minorities feel. I have friends who worry they are no longer going to be welcome in this country. My brother has friends with children who they have to now worry about listening to a President Trump speech because of the potential vulgarity. How sad is that when the president can’t even be a role model for your children?
I don’t know about you, but I refuse to endorse this man for president. I don’t know how I’m going to handle these next four years but I am not going to be silent for them. And I trust that everyone who contributed to the popular vote for Hillary isn’t going to be quiet either.
Some type of revolution is coming. We thought that all those movies like “The Hunger Games” and “The Purge” were amusing but are they really that far-fetched when we look at the state of American society right now?
All I can say at this point is, I can’t wait to count down to 2017. Sure, a President Trump will be in my future, but I’ve had about enough of the year 2016 that one can take. Anything has to be better than this, right?