Donald Trump is President.
I know; I still can’t believe it either.
I still remember the day that everything came to fruition: I was sitting in a study room at school, pretending to study for my Operations Management midterm the next day, instead continuously flipping back and forth between Twitter, Politico, and NBC News to track up-to-the-minute. I remember assuring almost everyone that asked me that Hillary Clinton would surely win the election. I remember watching as the possibility of that slowly diminishing, from likely to unlikely to impossible. I remember that after the result was (essentially) final, I messaged my dad, asking if Trump’s election meant bad things for my future, and also whether or not it I should buy any stocks in anticipation of a market decrease.
He left the answers to both of those questions up to my own judgement, which, to his credit, caused me to do a lot of extra research into Trump and his policies, even more than I had when deciding which candidate to vote for back in November. The reality? A lot of Trump’s policies seem, as they did in last year, pretty damn good. Repealing the Affordable Health Care Act, Barack Obama’s well-intentioned but increasingly complicated attempt at universal health care, and replacing it with a less economically burdensome one will decrease many premiums for individuals in desperate need of federal health care. His views on taxes, both for individuals and corporations, show that he is dedicated to increasing both the sheer volume of American business and the amount of money that people are able to use after being taxed. He is also incredibly passionate about keeping the jobs that drive American business in the country, instead of seeing them outsourced to foreign places. Trump has also advocated for an increased interest in bolstering our national defense and easing the burden of child care on lower income families, something that Democrats have not addressed in detail over the past few months. He is fiercely protective of America and is looking out for its best interest, if his campaign slogan wasn’t obvious enough.
The protests over his election, both here and internationally, have reeked of hypocrisy—many protesters have displayed immense happiness, and see nothing wrong with, the enormous numbers of people that have disrupted the frosty, yet cordial, relationship between conservatives and liberals, and the dramatic, vulgar actions that have taken place at their gatherings. They see no problem with decrying past protests of radical Democrats being elected, shutting down the voices of any detractors to their beliefs, and believing in things, and people, they know little about—their champions, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have been working incredibly hard to bring about progressive change for their entire lives, and only now people are starting to care?
Of course, people across this country, like me, have done their homework on Trump. They’ve seen the potential success that Trump’s policies could bring. More importantly, though, they’ve seen his blatant lies, unabashed racism, and poor morals.
And that’s the incredibly scary thing: there were enough people that valued brash “patriotism” and a little more cash in their pockets over honesty and the well-being of every citizen in the country. That regardless of how contradictory Democrats have been over the course of the past year, that enough people overlooked Trump’s deficiencies and elected a man has put our reputation as the land of freedom and opportunity at serious risk.
Of course, having some extra money doesn’t seem like a bad thing, and that isn’t to say that fierce passion for our country should be overlooked—in fact, it is underappreciated now as it is. Increased patriotism, on all sides, may be the only significant positive that he and his team have been able to generate so far.
However, the majority of that patriotism has not come from what Trump hoped that it would, but instead because of the stark realities that tens of millions of people are now having to face now that Trump has taken office.
It’s a sad reality that so many people feel the need to establish safe spaces so that they can feel comfortable in their day-to-day lives.
It’s also a depressing reality that the safe spaces are even necessary for any group of people- be they African Americans, Muslims, LGBTQ+, or any other marginalized group that are often faced with such a plight.
It’s a horrible reality that Trump is pushing forward with repealing “ObamaCare” without an immediate replacement, possibly leaving hundreds of thousands of people currently dependent on health insurance to fend for themselves.
It’s a sobering reality when marches of women who are fearful of having their rights lessened in the coming years had larger turnouts than the inauguration itself.
It’s a scary reality for many immigrants, people who fought long and hard to come to this country legally, who are being persecuted for seeking out the American dream.
But all of that is reality. And all of those things have come about because of Mr. Trump, and the supporters of his that take the vile messages he spewed on the campaign trail to heart.
I have hope for the entire country’s future, under Mr. Trump in the future—not in his core values, but in his realization of the importance of the office he holds and how crucial it will be to work for every American. Not in the extremists or nut jobs like Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani that have come front and center, but in the moderates, like Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, and John McCain, to guide Trump and make real progress on the issues plaguing our nation—and not just the economic ones that Republican congressmen and congresswomen will surely address, but those .
That hope, though, is rapidly slipping away. I have thus far been incredibly disappointed by how Mr. Trump has been handling the biggest office in the world. His focus in the days since he has taken office has been incredibly bad—poor Sean Spicer has been beaten up by the press recently for conveying Trump’s views, and his press conference today will only continue the torrent of mockery—and many of his cabinet nominees have looked more and more incompetent the as the finer details regarding their appointments have been made public. Even I, a white male going into business, a person that should have a secure future under a former businessman, have a building fear of our new leader hindering any true way forward for the country, and leaving us even worse off than we were under Obama.
The Trump Presidency is only just getting started, though. We cannot definitively say that it’s going to help us or hurt us—we have only our opinions.
So I guess we’ll just have to wait to see what happens.
See you in 100 days.