What Now?

Multimedia Editor Arheghan considers future political climate


Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2016.

America was founded on basis that all citizens were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I’d love to say that this election goes against that notion but I can’t. Those ideals were never intended to include people like me in the first place.

What I can say is that it’s no longer 1776.

Before last year, I wouldn’t have been able to get married or adopt children with a partner in all 50 states. Two presidential terms ago, I couldn’t even fathom the idea of an African-American man or a woman holding office. We just got to the point where we as a nation decided healthcare should be a universal right. My biggest question is, if America isn’t achieving its greatest days in the present, what does Trump consider greatness to be?

Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra worries me because I have a sneaking suspicion “great” from his perspective would be detrimental to my way of being.

I’m 16, just old enough to understand the severity of this election, but not old enough to do much about it. The next four years of my life, my transition into adulthood, has been decided for me and I am furious with the result.

As an African American, as a woman, as a member of the LGBTQ community, I’m terrified right now.

I’m living in a world where my country just elected a man endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. I’m living in a world where our president-elect has been accused of rape and sexual assault multiple times. I’m living in a world where the man slated to be our vice president has outwardly supported conversion therapy.

In so many different words, I’m living in a world where my identities aren’t safe.

Even if Trump enacts no political change, that doesn’t change the fact that a man who possesses no political experience is going to have access to our nuclear launch codes. It doesn’t change the fact that with 98 percent of the popular vote counted, 59,088,024 people voted for a man who has polarized our country in the worst possible ways throughout this election.

It doesn’t change the fact that America let him get this far at all.

Right now, I’m doing the only thing I know how: starting a conversation. I’m urging those who are at a lesser risk of being directly affected not to sit on the sidelines.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,” South African civil rights activist Desmond Tutu said. “If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

I have no idea what the next four years hold. Maybe the checks and balances system will work and we will be able to recover from this as a nation and maybe it won’t. Either way, we as communities have to stand out in solidarity against hate, bigotry and ignorance in order to survive.

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