Millions of us are trying to come to terms with the fact that Donald Trump is now the President of the United States.
I have to be honest here. It has been and probably will continue to be a painful struggle to reconcile this fact in my mind.
I won’t resort to name-calling, as much as the less-mature side of me would like to. The reality is chilling enough, anyway. A man who promotes some of the most incendiary and downright dangerous beliefs has been elected to become the President.
This is a serious issue for many, but most especially for people of color, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, women, and non-Christians. No matter how many ways Trump’s supporters insist on spinning it, he has made it seem as if his policies will not include those groups of people or be in their favor.
One argument I’ve seen fairly often is the idea that “politicians don’t ever do half of what they claim they will during campaigns.”
Do I disagree with that? No. However, this isn’t a situation where he insisted he would raise taxes on the wealthy during his campaign (which I’m not trivializing, by the way), and then left us wondering if he would truly come through on the promise.
This is about his assertion that he would deport millions of undocumented immigrants, implement stop and frisk policies in major cities, and repeal a healthcare act that has provided coverage for millions, to name just some of the most contentious.
Shouldn’t that worry us? Sicken us to our very cores as human beings? That he fed on fear, prejudice, racism, xenophobia, and sexism in order to gain supporters and win an election?
Everyone has a right to their opinions, absolutely, but I feel that the issue of Donald Trump moves far, far beyond an opinion. We’re discussing human rights and freedoms, and a man who gained power by stressing how enthusiastic he is about taking those away.
All of us–every single person in this country–deserve to walk down the street without fear of judgement or, God forbid, physical attack because of how we look, what we believe in, or the person whose hand we’re holding.
The current President does not believe that. He stoked the flames of division and negativity throughout his campaign, and it isn’t far-fetched to expect he may continue that agenda during his term.
Already, in his first week as President, he’s attacking women’s rights with the executive action he signed regarding abortion and completely disregarding the people of Standing Rock, North Dakota by supporting the advance of the Dakota Access pipeline.
All of that being said, we do have three branches of government, as well as a system of checks and balances. That, if nothing else, gives me hope that we can all make it through the next four years.
Until then, I’ll remain cautiously optimistic — but I won’t remain silent.
Bradleigh is a co-founder and content curator for The Sirens Rise with a BA in Media Studies. Her favorite things to do are listen to music, get lost in a book, write for hours, and eat way more chocolate than one human being ever should.