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Why I’m Not Ready To Start Respecting President-Elect Donald Trump

by share

The day we’d all been waiting a year and a half for finally came. Election Day. I woke up Wednesday morning and nonchalantly Googled “Who won the election,” without an ounce of fear, because I knew there was no way his name would come up. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

When I saw Donald Trump’s name along with the number “279,” chills ran up my spine and a million thoughts went through my head.

I have yet to completely figure out who I am, and for that reason I don’t consider myself a Democrat or Republican. But I didn’t think it took affiliating with a political party for Americans to realize how monstrously terrible Donald Trump is. Today felt filled with lament and mourning. A day of mourning the loss of all the social progress that has been made for anyone who isn’t a white, heterosexual male in the top 1 percent of the economy, and, if Trump gets his way, all of this will soon be setback.

I wish I counted the number of times I heard, “He won’t win so it doesn’t matter” throughout this election. Not only was it my peers saying this, but also adults who actually could vote. “The s**t he says is racist, homophobic, misogynistic and xenophobic, but he won’t win, so it doesn’t matter.” “I know Trump is worse than Hillary, but she’s a crook and a liar so I won’t vote for her. Plus, he won’t win so it doesn’t matter.” His campaign practically started out as a publicity stunt. Even he didn’t think he would win. And slowly but surely, the nightmare became a reality.

After the words that have come out of his mouth, I will not be respecting s**t. He won, and that’s something I have to accept since the peaceful transfer of power is a cornerstone of our democracy, fine. But by no means will I “respect” it.

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A phrase I’ve heard throughout the duration of this election has been “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.” Nine out of 10 times I would fall under that category. However, with this election, you simply couldn’t be that. Because by voting for Trump, you aren’t just supporting his economic plan, which, by the way, a majority of Republican economists have said will fail, but you’re also supporting everything else about him. And I’m tired of hearing “Stop generalizing all Trump supporters as being racist, misogynistic and homophobic.” You might not be, but by choosing to support him, you are categorizing yourself under someone who condones those things since Trump has publicly made derogatory comments towards gays, women, people of color, the list goes on.

If you aren’t a heterosexual, white male in the top 1 percent of the economy, and you aren’t scared, then I am scared for you. Whether you realize it or not, he has said or done something that should make you think “What the f**k?” The game changer for me was listening to Trump’s lewd comments toward women and how he can do what he wants because “they let you when you’re famous.” That recording made me rethink everything.

If you don’t want to be a feminist, fine. Don’t be a feminist. But for God’s sake, if you’re a girl or a woman, and you weren’t terrified after listening to our new president-elect say those words, then do you have any respect for yourself at all? How do you imagine teaching your future daughter to respect herself and her body while supporting a man who not only makes repulsive comments toward women but is also being accused of sexually assaulting them? All because, according to Trump supporters,  he “speaks the truth” and “defies the system” and will “make the economy good again,” right?

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I didn’t realize why a lot of people got offended by his ignorance until I heard the comments he made toward women, because I am a woman and those comments directly affect me. This ultimately helped me understand why other minority groups feel scared by his words. For example, the derogatory stereotype Trump made when referring to the majority of Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug lords, or when vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said “gay couples signaled ‘societal collapse.’” Even if you personally don’t feel threatened by him, or offended by anything he says, Trump has given other people legitimate reasons for feeling scared and threatened and that’s something that needs to be respected.

Lastly and most importantly, I’m tired of hearing “He’s the president-elect and there’s nothing we can do about it so stop talking about it.” This is America, where freedom of speech is not only a granted right, but also strongly encouraged. Part of what makes this country so great is everyone having the right to their own opinions. It’s undeniable. And to tell people to stop talking about how they feel, whether it be a day after Trump wins, or a month, or a year, is downright wrong.  Discussion is healthy and motivates people to do more research, which in the long run, only makes them more educated. People are scared, and with good reason.  So next time you want to say something along the lines of how liberals get “easily triggered,” keep in mind people don’t have control over their emotions, and more often than not there are legitimate reasons for why people feel a certain way.

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Roya, 16, attends North Atlanta High School.  Illustration by Elizabeth Mori, 16, North Atlanta High School.

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