Nation of Fear: Thoughts on the 2016 Election

Well, it happened. Not only did the Cubs win the World Series, but Donald J. Trump is now our 45th president-elect. Would the latter even suggest that something is going to turn out well?  

Most Americans are certain that the depths of Hades have frozen over and are weeping for their futures. No matter how people chose to take the news, one thing was clear: this nation is living in fear.

Part of the fear comes from the fact that now that Trump is the president; he can choose which laws to repeal. With that in mind, there are laws that have been passed that Americans, especially women, American Muslims, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and those from the LGBT community do not want to repeal. Considering that he has not said any positive things related to any of those demographics, it could cause people to be scared out of their minds.

Based on Trump’s lewd comments made during his campaign, many Americans are unsure of what he will be like during his presidency. Whether it was wanting a database on Muslims in this country; being incapable of comforting a family of a fallen soldier; or encouraging grabbing women’s genitalia without consent to get what everyone wants; or expelling millions of immigrants from the country, his prospects don’t look promising.

Worse still, there was no way to avoid the awful things that Trump had said throughout his campaign. Late-night television hosts such as Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, and Jimmy Kimmel had poked fun as well as called out Trump on his lewd etiquette. While their take on the issue is hilarious to watch, the jokes came from a depressing and fearful state of being.  

Now that the nightmare is going to get sworn into the Oval Office in January, there could be the possibility of certain bills that we passed getting repealed. Immigrants who had built a life in America might not be able to stay much longer here in America. The future of civil rights for any race could be put in jeopardy. Here is where the chaos had taken root.

In some parts of this country, people have gathered together in protest. Cities such as Chicago, Seattle, and New York City have people taking to the streets to express their fears and disappointment. They called for justice for what they believed was unfair.         

These post-election days have been hard for everyone, and Millikin was no exception. People needed any kind of comfort that they could find. Some students gave hugs to people crying. Their tears were for the fact that Clinton didn’t win the electoral college, that hope seemed lost, or at least one significant other or person they know voted for Trump. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of the future: those are only echoes of what came out of that post-election day not only at Millikin, but across the country.    

In my Critter class, my professor said that some elementary schools called assemblies to calm the fears of young children. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t know what to tell my cousins about what could happen in the future, and I’m sure there are many other American citizens who have been put in that kind of position.      

Quite a few classes were canceled. Even if classes were still going on, some teachers didn’t take attendance. Those that were not canceled either had discussions about the election or tried to move on the best they could. Teachers reached out to students in case they needed someone to talk to. It was as if everyone on campus knew that this election was going to wreak  havoc on our emotions.

The future is uncertain for many Americans. Whatever hope that can be found now must be upheld because here’s the thing, we still live in America. The future may be uncertain, but that’s how it has always been at the end of every election. Barack Obama even stated that the sun will always rise in the morning, which gives us hope. Even though Trump had a hideous track record, there is always a chance that things might get better.

No matter who ends up in charge, America is the land of the people. It’s not just the President who can control things. There’s still Congress, and even then, the people in the GOP and the Senate aren’t the only ones who have a say in what happens in this country. If I were to give anyone comfort, not only would I bake cookies for them, I would also leave them with this quote from FDR, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Never have words been more true.