He Is Our President, but We Don’t Have to Be Happy About It
On November 9th, while I was on my way to school, as I thought about all of the bad things that would happen to good people in the coming years, I started crying. When I got to school, I tried to stop; I went into a room alone and tried to calm myself down, but nothing worked. Because I live in a big, liberal city, many people shared my fears, and many of those people took to the streets in protest. Despite my disgust for Donald Trump and my fear of what he would soon be doing, I decided that going to a protest would only be hurtful. When Donald Trump was talking about the election being rigged, and Democrats were sure we would win, one of my biggest anxieties was the way Trump supporters would react to a Clinton victory. In order to protect democracy, we need to accept the results of elections — even the ones we don’t like. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that. Instead, I saw #NotMyPresident all over Twitter and the same sort of divisive sentiment at protests all over the country. Not only does that go against democratic norms, it only fuels the clear divisions in our country.
Everyday, at some point, usually when I look at Twitter, I think “Holy shit. Donald Trump is going to be our president.” But that’s just the thing: he will be our president. The Electoral College is a terrible, outdated system that has screwed Democrats two times in five elections, but it is the system that we have always had. Even though the rules are stupid, Donald Trump won fairly. A Donald Trump presidency will not be stopped by protests, change.org petitions, or an election audit — and imagine what would happen if a recount found Hillary Clinton to be the winner. On January 20th, Donald Trump will be our president.
Because of that fact, I find myself doing something I never thought I’d do: rooting for Donald Trump. He will soon hold the highest office in America and affect the welfare of millions of people. Starting on the day he is sworn in, his success is our success. He has inherited an economy that is on the rise, and I hope he can keep that trend going. However, I’m not optimistic about the good he will do for the country. I think that as our president, Donald Trump will only do things to enrich himself and people like him. This is not to say that we have to take this lying down.
Because Donald Trump will be our president in a few weeks, we need to work hard to make sure that we have elected officials that will stand up to him and pass good policies. Republicans have a majority of Congressmen, Senators, State Legislatures, and governor’s mansions. They have all of those majorities despite the fact that the plurality of Americans are Democrats. We do have a few things going for us, though. In 2016, Millenials passed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation. Hillary Clinton got 2.5 million (and counting) more votes than Donald Trump did. The Pew Research Center predicted that the 2016 electorate would be the most diverse one ever, and that trend is only going to continue. Even though we have those systemic advantages, we’re not putting them to good use. We can win if we try, and maybe the 2016 election will be the catalyst. But positive change, especially in terms of policy, doesn’t come from protests or tweeting. If you want to make America a better country, donate money to your preferred political candidates or non-profits, vote every two years, volunteer for causes you think are important, or even run for office.
The 2016 election was a failure, but it isn’t the end. If Trump isn’t going to look out for all Americans, we need to make sure that other people will. If we work together, we can make sure that something like this past election, and the failures of a Trump presidency, won’t happen again.