Ohio Feels the Sting of Trump Election
New Ohio legislation mirrors Donald Trump's sexist and discrimination ridden campaign. Nevertheless, love will not be trumped forever.
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Two months after the nation elected Donald Trump, the oppressive, intolerant behavior America rewarded with its vote has contaminated Ohio politics.
I opened a live election tab on my phone around 6 p.m. while I did my homework on election night.
By 11 p.m., I was glued to the TV screen. Donald Trump was winning the race to 270 electoral votes. I felt fear settling under my skin.
I continued gaping at the screen until 1 a.m., when I managed to pull myself away and try to sleep. Only one word was on my mind the entire time: maybe.
Maybe this was all just a nightmare, and I would wake up to a Nov. 8 morning again. Maybe the few states that were not called yet would go for Hillary. Maybe I had just read the numbers wrong.
But my hopes were shattered the next morning as I stared at the live election tab on my phone, still open from the night before.
The headline “Donald Trump won the Presidency” glared at me.
The fear from the night before collapsed on me — like a piano from a window above. The result sounded ridiculous, impossible — not something I should ever have to accept. But it happened, and now I was left to deal with the consequences.
Donald Trump was going to be my next president? After every awful thing he has said about Mexicans, women and disabled people? The man who boasted about sexually assaulting women and claimed it “was absolutely disgusting” that a protester chanted “Black Lives Matter”?
How could enough Americans vote for racial profiling, sexism, sexual assault, belittling and hatred to make the man perpetuating these behaviors president?
Regardless of voting for Trump for “change” or “breaking away from the establishment,” a vote for Trump meant a vote for all of him: the racism, sexism and bullying, too.
I am astounded that so many Americans felt their wish for “change” and their frustrations were worth more than the the rights and dreams of every black, Latino, female, disabled, Muslim or Asian citizen.
How can this country hold so much hatred and self-absorption?
The sexist, oppressive political mindset has begun to poison our state government.
The Ohio legislature passed the “Heartbeat Bill,” which was intended to ban abortions after the heartbeat can be detected – which is around six weeks. This bill essentially banned abortion, because most women do not realize they are pregnant at six weeks.
The “Heartbeat Bill” intended to rob every woman of the right to her body and give it to the government — signifying to women that the government believes women are not entitled to making decisions concerning their own bodies.
The “Heartbeat Bill” included no exceptions for victims or rape and incest; it would force rape victims to have their rapist’s child, regardless of the victims will.
The reasoning house Republicans gave for the bill was Trump’s election. The election proved belittling women is rewarded in politics.
House Bill 48, passed by the Ohio legislature in December, will allow concealed weapons to be carried in day-care centers and in colleges — but not into the Statehouse. Respect and empathy for other people, even children, has disappeared from the Ohio legislature. Why is putting children at risk by allowing guns at day-care centers permissible? Especially when the adults creating this law sit safely in the gun-free Statehouse.
The bills highlight the bigotry and disregard for people’s autonomy and safety that is becoming a more blatant standard in American politics.
Love, empathy and hope lost in this election and appear to be fighting a losing battle against more drastic, and frightening, bills. But they do not have to lose forever.
The “Heartbeat Bill”, for example, was vetoed by Governor John Kasich following multiple petitions, including petitions by the Ohio Democratic Convention and National Abortion Rights Action League and more than 39,000 calls and emails to legislators, according to the NARAL.
As a country, we have made hundreds of small steps towards equality: ending segregation, ensuring women’s rights to decide what happens to their bodies, extending the right to vote to people who are not white males.
Steps backward are painful, but there is no reason to believe we will never move forward again.
If everybody who shares the dream of a country defined by love, hope and equality joins together, love will trump hate.
In four years there will be another election, and next time I hope that love will win and we will elect a president and state representatives who truly have the best interest of our entire nation in mind.