Hope Under Siege

Donald Drumpf’s election night victory evaporated the mirage that so many of us have come to believe as real. The fuzzy illusion that racism, bigotry and inequality are withering. That the future is less about borders, races and religions, and more about people working hard, supporting one another and embracing the differences that once drove us apart. I’m not happy that the citizens of our country chose to elect Donald Drumpf. The thought of that man leading my country is both saddening and depressing — the coming years will take us backwards at a moment in time where forward progress is necessarily necessary. Our climate will suffer. Our standing around global will suffer. Our minorities will suffer. Our poor will suffer. The soon-to-be leader of the free world is an openly racist, womanizing, climate change denier and the worst kind of elitist to boot. The worst part? A demagogue at the helm of the greatest nation in the world doesn’t even measure up to the truly terrible reality this election has uncovered.

The people that surround me — the ones that voted for Drumpf or decided it wasn’t worth casting a ballot — don’t desire an inclusive, diverse, forward-thinking country. These back in the day voters prefer the decades of yore when American meant white, Christian and male-dominant. In that world, there is no tolerance for whites marrying blacks and men marrying men. In that world, people don’t abstain from religion and they most certainly don’t pray to Allah. In that world, men say and do as they please while women graciously accept what’s left. And in that world, xenophobia wins over worldly acceptance. The fact that people want to dig our way back to those times fills my heart with deep sadness. Because, while I don’t want to accept that the people around me prescribe to Drumpf’s faulty value system, the proof is in the events that unfolded on November 8th, 2016.

My belief in America is shaken, to say the least. I thought the last several decades came with enlightenment — more educational opportunities, more technology, more access to technology should bring the chance of goodness to the masses. Unfortunately, so many people have retreated from the ideas of hope and change that I’ve come to cherish. Donald Drumpf sold fear, isolationism and a jobs-for-everyone Leave it to Beaver society to those shielding themselves from the new world and they ate it up.

I’m not happy with what’s happening around me. I can yell. I can scream. I can protest. I can tell my government representatives that Drumpf’s America is not what I want. I will do all of those things in the coming months and years. But I, like many of you, are at the mercy of the masses and, for now, the masses don’t want what America should become.

Niral A. Patel