Donald J. Trump is the 45th president of the United States of America. When I first admitted that, the words burned my tongue like if I was gargling a bottle of hydrochloric acid, but there is nothing I can do to change that.
For almost a year and a half Donald Trump has spewed hateful rhetoric that has divided much of our country being sparse on his policies (except for those that incited the most controversy). After Election Day, I spent some time trying to figure out why Trump is our president. Honestly, I am just as confused as anyone else: the pollsters, the anti-Trump zealots, and Hillary Clinton. The fault of Trump’s win isn’t on the fault of the white man or the rich corporate sponsors, it’s the problem that our nation faces. From the left and the right sides of the political spectrum, distrust of our government is at a high point.
This anti-establishment bubble has been waiting to pop for years with the revelations that the government was spying on its citizens, the 2008 recession, and the lack of WMDs in Iraq. But, this year the bubble burst. Senator Sanders emerged as the anti-establishment symbol of the left-wing movements, and when he did not receive the nomination many supporters did not agree with the alternative, Secretary Clinton.
Meanwhile on the right side of the spectrum, hateful rhetoric has been building since the 60s with Nixon’s initial Southern strategy to alienate “urban” culture. Lately the Tea Party movement helped grow this hate speech into candidates like Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin. But, instead of one of these politicians yanking the nomination, many disgruntled supporters yearned for a candidate that would give a gigantic “F*@# You” to the establishment, like Donald Trump. This made Donald Trump, essentially, a symbol of their anti-government hatred who was put against someone who represents the governing establishment to a tee, Hillary Clinton. Despite his harmful and offensive rhetoric, Trump’s supporters looked past that because they were fearful of an establishment candidate.
To counteract the hate spread by the Trump campaign Clinton did not fight Trump with strong policy ideas, but she instead relied on a “I’m better than him” campaign (which is not a high bar to pass). Reverting to ad hominems like calling Trump supporters racist or a “basket of deplorables” does not change their minds, just as much as them calling Clinton a “nasty woman” or “Crooked Hillary” wouldn’t change the minds of any of her supporters. Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” Instead of lashing insults against him, Clinton’s campaign should’ve been about policy to counteract Trump’s lack thereof.
But now, Trump is the president of our country coupled with a Republican majority in the House and Senate. We can’t sit on our asses complaining about how Clinton should’ve won, we should work together and hope that Trump will do well in his presidency. You do not have to support him as a person (hell I don’t), but you do have to respect the office of the presidency. The protest going on across the country spread a clear message that our country is not united under this presidency, but do not alienate and discriminate against Trump supporters lest we not forget the horrible effects of McCarthyism during the Cold War. We are United States of America. When the going gets tough, we should be able to adapt as a nation and not obstruct ourselves from progress. Do not give up on this country because our work as future Americans is just getting started.