As of late, it is more than safe to say that the world is in chaos. Syrian refugees are in danger, the US has modern-day nazis, in addition to major social issues, and of course terrorism. The most crucial figure in the midst of all this is President Donald Trump, who is notorious for his outrageous campaigns and policies, and hateful things he has said. When so many people these days angrily lament the fact that he is president, or that they regret voting for him, all I do is shake my head in disgust.
"How could he possibly have gotten to this point?" they ask in desperation.
Or, "I didn't think he was going to do all this stuff!"
Well, I'm about to explain in detail just how he got to this point. Sit tight.
Two years ago, I knew Donald Trump only as some obscure businessman with yellow hair. But in May 2015, he kickstarted his campaign by calling undocumented Mexican immigrants drug dealers and rapists, and proposed building a wall along the southern border to keep them out. Of course this was met with outrage, because this is objectively a racist statement. Many undocumented Mexican immigrants work hard, whether in the fields or in stores, just trying to make a better life for themselves. Think this is obvious? Not to Trump.
In the next six months or so, Trump's campaign snowballed into a mess of him calling women all sorts of derogatory names, proposing banning all Muslims from entering the US (despite having said only a few months ago that he loved the Muslims), and mocking a disabled reporter on television, said climate change wasn't real, refused to release his tax returns, and assualted his ex-wife years ago, among other things. This is just plain discrimination. If you're a decent person and you didn't hate him before, you hated him now. He had no right and no excuse to be spreading this kind of hate, especially given his platform as a rich white man. At first we decent people thought his campaign was an actual joke and reassured ourselves he would never win. But he did. Why?
Because of his supporters. Here's the thing: recently before his campaign, racism was dormant throughout white America comapred to today. Of course they were racist, but they didn't really express it outwardly because of the politically correct atmosphere. But after Trump started spewing hate, white America realized, hey, if this rich white guy is saying it, it must be true! I can say it too! And so began the massive spike in hate crimes in the past few years. There were hate speech, hate graffiti, violence, you name it. This is called group mentality. Since it was becoming widespread to be a hateful bigot, white America released its pent-up tension and let it all out. One of their own had a powerful platform and was blaming minorities for America's problems. Since they already hated minorities, they decided to join in on the fun. Of course not all Trump supporters are active bigots. Many of them support him because they want increased national security and such like. But they actively chose to ignore all of the ridiculous inflammatory things he said about other Americans. They actively supported a hateful ignorant bigot in the name of their own hate-fueled interests and so they are complicit in his rise to power. And that is called a lack of empathy. Plain and simple. This is why nobody stopped him.
Trump would never have beaten all of the other Republican candidates and become the nominee if it were not for his widespread support. His supporters just didn't give a damn about women, minorities, or the LGBT community. Their lack of empathy is mind-boggling and taught from their parents and community. Racism and sexism and everything else are taught; don't ever forget it. People's unrelenting support for this man was alarming, as were the KKK marches and the swastika graffiti and racial slurs and violence. We watched it all go down, knowing those victims could be one of us at any moment, wondering why nobody stopped him.
The much-anticipated debates arrived and Hillary Clinton was educated and prepared, while Donald Trump muttered his usual fifth-grade-level nonsense. His support was elevated, while Clinton was called "Crooked Hillary" and berated. To be fair, all politicians are corrupt, but Clinton is so much better of the two. The debates went as quickly as they came.
Election Day arrived and everyone was heated. Everyone waited until midnight to find out who won. I kept track of it and panicked every few seconds, but eventually went to sleep. I woke up informed that Trump had won and it was then that I lost my faith in humanity. Everyone at school was up in arms that day. Some people were triumphant, and others worried for their safety and rights.
It was a tense few months until Obama gave his farewell address and Trump was inaugurated. He managed to sign a bunch of executive orders, yet only enacted the travel ban. This sparked protests all over the country, leading conservatives to loudly complain about why people were protesting for the rights that they took away from them.
We are now in the present chaotic state of the nation. As we look back on the tumultuous past few years, we ask ourselves, "He's so hateful and ignorant and foolish and a felon. Now just how did he get this far?" And I'll tell you the answer: nobody stopped him. That's how.