Post-election Thoughts: America, We Messed Up


Graphic by Carissa Lee

America, we messed up.

On Tuesday, we picked a man who has labeled millions as “rapists and criminals,” a man who has joked about disabilities and a man accused of sexual assault over the most qualified candidate in contemporary American history. Even if Hillary Clinton isn’t your idea of the perfect candidate, this election negatively defined our country.

By voting for Donald Trump to become president, we affirm racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and bigotry. We send a message that can’t be clearer to those Trump has targeted: we don’t care.

And to those third-party voters and those who decided on protest ballots: shame on you. The phrase “every vote matters” should ring loud now, especially considering that many of the states that decided the election were won by narrow margins.

Voting for Clinton instead of Johnson or Stein or writing in Sanders could have stopped Trump’s America from becoming reality. But for 2016, it’s too late.

The prospects of the wall we joked about a year ago, the ban of an entire religious practice, and the rollback of the rights of women, of LGBTQ people and of immigrants all loom in our future. With a Republican-held Congress and the conservative judges that Trump will appoint, checks against his policies are little to none.

Particularly sad, we were so close to electing the first female president, right after the first African-American commander-in-chief. We were so close to making history, yet instead we stayed in the past, allowing the bigotry we worked so hard to leave behind to seep back into a modern election.

There’s no questioning the fact that we have elected someone who will stomp on the progress of the last eight years. More than that, the stock market’s crash on Election Day was the first of many, as Trump’s uncertain domestic and foreign policy will now be at the forefront of our government. Yes, we made a mistake, but the single silver lining here is that we learn from our mistakes. We now know that anything is possible — Trump is possible — and sitting idly by doesn’t work. So, as we watch Trump break America apart, let’s make sure we bring in someone to put the pieces back together.