The Mourning After; Preparing for Trump’s Presidency

By Kurt Suchman
On November 9, 2016

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Flickr

Two hours before the results of Tuesday night’s election came in around midnight, I received a harrowing text from my partner: “I’m driving up tonight, I can’t be at my parents place tonight.” With that he set out on a two hour drive from Brick to campus in the middle of the night, all in fear of a Trump presidency. My partner arrived about 20 minutes before the results came in, and he fell to his knees the second it was revealed that Donald Trump is to be the next president of the United States. We cried all night long, still all in the sickening fear of a newly elected President Trump.

Even Clinton’s detractors went into the night expecting her to sweep the nation. As the first results began to roll in, I figured that Trump was only leading in the southern states that would never elect a Democrat. I kept telling myself as Trump kept emerging victorious, Clinton would sweep the west coast out and win from behind. As the night drew to a close, I tried to dispel my anxiety by assuring myself that the electoral college would never let Trump anywhere near the White House, but my certainty plummeted rapidly as the night drew to a close. This visceral, immobilizing fear was shared by people across the country, entirely due to the fear of a looming Trump presidency.

Just the idea of Trump taking office has reduced the entire election to a reality television show, where we are more comfortable seeing him in. And now thousands across the country are living in a fearful reality. This fear is not the reaction people should have against a new president. Disagreement and anger is one thing, but the uncertainty of what could happen under a Trump presidency with a Republican House and Senate is nothing short of torturous for too many American citizens.

I personally fear for the livelihood of my partner and I; we stayed in bed the whole following day in fear of what could happen outside. I fear more for the people Trump attacks regularly: women, people of color, immigrants - the list goes on. I am scared for the people that cannot hide their differences. I have no idea as to what could happen to the country under a four year Trump reign, and that is what scares me most of all.

I know many voters were at odds with themselves over deciding between who they believed was the lesser of two evils this election, but I am left without a clue in understanding this vehement hatred towards Hillary Clinton. While Trump spews his jingoistic, racist, sexist propaganda toward anyone different than him, Clinton’s worst actions seem to be her assumed lies and corruption, two traits that fueled the careers of every politician. Clinton was by no means perfect, but I can objectively say that she was the most qualified candidate we have seen in years, regardless of her gender.

Though Donald Trump has made threats against much of the country's population, I still do not hate him as much as people seem to hate Clinton. Though people may say they supported Trump without supporting his bigotry, the two go hand in hand whether his supporters believe it or not. To those women, people of color, LGBTQ+ folk and others, the result will continue to sting for quite a while. This election has been a wakeup call for minorities across the country, but it is in no means a time to give up. Though I cannot believe this is a looming reality, we must take this time to heal and prepare before Trump’s official inauguration. We must take care of ourselves before we tackle the bigger issues.

ksuchman@ramapo.edu

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