By Peter R. Clark Entertainment Editor
How could this happen? We elected a meme-lord. It was supposed to a joke, but this past Tuesday the joke backfired. Now, we’re stuck with Trump for the next four years. Perhaps it’s not all bad, at least the memes will live on. But at what cost?
The election proved many things, and it opened our eyes to an broader issue that most were probably not even aware of. This week’s feature explores the feelings of those who were caught off-guard by the recent news.
They express concerns over what the Trump presidency means for the future of this country, but also for the people living in it. They make it abundantly clear that we the people will not idly sit by during Trump’s regime.
With hope, perhaps the future will not be as bad as Trump promised during his campaign, but with the current state of uncertainty, we all live in fear of the words that Trump may utter next.
In any case, he’s here and so are we.
By Kaila Marie-Hardaway Music Editor
President Trump. President Donald Trump. President Donald J. Trump. No matter which way I say it, it feels wrong in my heart.
As a young, female, biracial, middle-class resident in Long Beach, California, most of those around me supported Clinton as soon as Bernie Sanders was no longer an option; the idea of Trump being president was merely a joke that many of us in the “liberal bubble” did not take serious enough.
On November 8, 2016, that bubble was quickly ruptured and I am uneasy and hurt.
I am uneasy because this decision, that was made by 59.6 million Americans, makes me question where our values are. There is a lengthy track record displaying various forms of racism, sexism, classism, and pure cluelessness from Trump.
He was recorded advocating sexual harassment. How did we, as a nation, bypass such inappropriate language? What else will he be able to get away with during his term? What line does he have to cross for those 59.6 million Americans to say, “Enough is enough?”
I feel hurt because those who I love, work with or are acquainted with no longer feel comfortable in the country they reside in. Trump is not a man of “The People,” and he is not supportive of many of those who reside in the United States. He has constantly degraded those in the minority, whether it’s women, Muslims, undocumented citizens or the LGBTQ+ community.
I am fortunate enough to not fear deportation, violence,or prejudice due to my culture or race. However, I know that many do.
In a country that is supposed to embrace “The American Dream,” cultural diversity and being united as one, we should feel free to be ourselves be comfortable living among others who do the same. Trump, in my eyes, does not embrace or support these ideals at all. How is someone supposed to lead a country to greatness if he does not bother to understand or support those who live in it?
Donald J. Trump is our new president and we will have to live with that for the next four years. Many of those that oppose Trump think, “It’s happened. There’s nothing we can do about it.” Wrong. Support and respect each other.
Many of us will continue mourning the results of this election. Because this election was so close, be mindful of those around you no matter what your stance is.
If you are a Trump supporter, please do not rub it in the faces of those who supported Clinton. If you were a Clinton supporter, respect the fact that we will be referring to Donald Trump as our president, but don’t silence your voice.
Continue to voice your opinions. Continue to protest. If you’re not happy, it is okay to make it known. But, be respectful of those around you. That is the only way we will continue to be united as a nation during a time of division.
By Jordan Daniels Opinions Editor
If you have to ask me why I’m scared, you haven’t been paying attention.
If you disassociate yourself from the array of possible socio-economic issues because they don’t directly affect you, then you are part of the problem.
You are why I’m scared.
This election has taught me one thing: roughly half of this country, to some extent, is either racist, sexist, misogynist, anti-LGBTQ+ or all of the above.
Because of this, I am scared. I’m scared for everyone that I care about who fall upon the intersections of these points.
I’m not as scared for myself because I acknowledge that my privileges will grant me some ability to blur the lines of how these issues might affect me.
Therein lies the issue. Because these issues may not affect you personally, you don’t care about them and that scares me.
I have friends who are terrified to leave their home while their families are considering leaving the country.
I have friends who are scared to wear their religious items or express their gender and sexuality.
And I’m scared for them. I’m scared for myself as well because one our upcoming leaders believes that he can shock away my queerness.
I’m scared for the future because I have no idea what it holds. I know that’s a bit existential and we never know what the future holds, but the fact that it’s not in my hands is the horror in this.
It’d be naive to ask me how I think the country will look like a year from now. Right now, all I see is red and I have no idea what color on the spectrum I’ll see next.
I think there will be a lot of ideas, a lot of tests and a lot of backlash. I think there will be a lot of protest and a lot of hurt. I think there will be a lot of bad before there’s a lot of good.
We may very well have a good presidency and economy, but I don’t want to even take those chances because they make me feel uncertain.
The only certainty we have is we’re uncertain at how this next year will play out.
Isn’t that the biggest twist of irony in all of this?
By Sheila Sadr Copy Editor
It’s been hard to sort through all my feelings regarding the election of Donald Trump as our next president last Tuesday. I was actually working in the Union Weekly office as the events of the evening unfolded. And as state after state toppled in Trump’s favor, the knot in my stomach tightened tighter and tighter. The fear that I had so easily brushed off before overcame me like a tidal wave.
Because it was at this moment that I realized that my liberal political philosophy was a minority in America. That my belief in social reform and the transformation of systematically oppressive cycles within our government was something that nearly 50 percent of the US would vehemently fight against.
But don’t get me wrong. I congratulate Trump supporters for the fact that you wanted to vote against the establishment. Trust me, I did too. Ever since I witnessed the blatant nepotism and manipulation implemented by the DNC in Hillary’s favor, I felt disillusioned with the Democratic Party that I once trusted. I am a Bernie Sanders supporter and I feel betrayed and bitter from his loss.
What I take issue with when it comes to Trump supporters is what is essentially being said by voting for him. And that is that you value the financial and consumerist well-being of America over the actual comfort and prosperity of other human beings that don’t look like you and their communities.
And I honestly don’t want to argue this with anyone. To me, it’s a blatant fact. You, yes you – the level-headed, logical Republican/Conservative who voted for Donald Trump – depreciated the basic humanity of countless communities in exchange for what you believe would economically be more beneficial for our country. You were willing to push past and excuse all the racist, sexist rhetoric; the weird, out-of-control Twitter feed; and, to me the most disturbing, the mockery of a reporter with a disability because you believed his policies were better than Hillary’s.
The fact that you even try to forgive or explain away his vindictive, demeaning behavior is problematic. Because to me, this isn’t really an issue about politics anymore. This is an issue of morals.
I say this because when you become so complacent and okay with Trump’s attitude, enough to even find it funny and worth voting for, I question the method by which you hold our political figures morally accountable. Like do you have any expectation for their humanity? I recognize that Hillary is no perfect flower by any means but Trump is and has always been a blatant bully. Like seriously. I have no liberal or media bias here. There is literal evidence of him belittling and mocking countless people for decades.
Why are you even okay with that? Really why?
Again, this circles back to the fact that Trump supporters value their own lives and lives similar to theirs over the lives of others who don’t live or look like them.
This reality is ridiculous. To me, it reveals a big and obvious flaw in our country: we have an education system that has failed us. This was actually my first thought when it first began to dawn on me that Trump was winning.
In many of the states that Trump won, an education is undervalued. Many politically red states favor going out and working. And since we are in the age of the internet, a lot of our education on history and politics is found online.
Depending on the area you stay in, the information you receive is always a little biased. I’ll be the first to admit that living in a large, multicultural city has definitely propagated a majorly leftist culture. In contrast, in predominantly rural, working class states, the culture has definitely gravitated towards heavy conservatism and what are considered the “traditional values” in America.
In my opinion, big cities are the epicenters of American diversity. They bring together people of multiple backgrounds, faiths and economic experiences. Allowing us to approach problems with more perspectives. We are exposed to more, therefore we learn more and we are considerate of more people. I firmly believe that we have a responsibility to expose all students, especially in rural areas, to diverse cultural experiences so that they can make more informed political and moral decisions in the future.
But my biggest fear since Trump’s win is very personal. I’m afraid of the thousands of people who now feel validated in their hate and may resort to violence. I am a first generation American. I come from a Muslim Iranian family. I’m scared that people will feel emboldened by Trump’s win and think it’s okay to hurt my parents. I mean, I’ve already seen some hate crimes in the news. And this fear is paralyzing. It’s what keeps me up at night. It’s what made me call my parents and tell them I love them and to be safe on election night. It feels like a noose that continues to tighten around my family’s neck and there’s nothing I can do.
Except rise up against it.