Rose Lamberti is a student in high school. She here describes her personal encounters after the presidential election of Donald J. Trump.
I remember the US presidential election between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in 2012. Before I went to bed on election night, I whispered under my breath, “Please, I don’t want to grow up in a Mitt Romney-governed world” and then fell asleep. I woke up when my mom came in to tell me Obama would be in office for another four years. I think that was the only time I actually ever felt a sense of pure relief. But last November 8, 2016, I was older. I was more educated in politics and I knew either way this election went, there would be consequences. But I did know that Trump would probably be the worst thing to happen. I tried it again that night. “Please, I don’t want to live in a Donald Trump-governed world” yet this time, with tears in my eyes. I thought of all the discrimination that could fill the minds and hearts of society if Trump won. I woke up at 3 a.m., drenched with the sweat of fear. I checked Snapchat first and saw his face on the cover of the Daily Mail story.
Both my parents are journalists, and I’ve been taught to go to certain news sources for the straight truth. I didn’t react right away, praying that maybe this was what Trump would call “fake news.” I checked Twitter, and Trump was trending. I thought maybe Trump had done some other foolish act, but no. The New York Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, and many other credible media were tweeting about his win. My heart fell heavy and I think I cried for a good two hours. I went to school that day, nervous to see all the reactions from kids my age, 15 to 16-year-olds. There were several kids wearing suits with Trump’s “signature” red tie, kids cheering down the hallway, and to me it was horrifying. I would hear racist slurs from the mouths of these kids over the years, homophobic remarks, and anti-women’s rights comments, but I never believed they would actually want to live in a world where that was the norm.
I think for teens, Trump's presidency has taken a toll on the way we act and think. More hatred and bullying have become more prominent, or some kids just choose to disregard its importance. Donald Trump's governing is going to change the world we grow up in. We will finish our education, raise our families in the society he's building up, or tearing down? That's scary to think about.
For several weeks nobody at school really talked about it. Obama was still in the White House, so people still had some hope. On the day of Trump's inauguration, my music teacher streamed it on the projector. I was trying not to cry. I thought we were done, that this was it for human decency. I left the class early because I couldn't take it anymore, and my music teacher told me to take a breather. She is the sweetest woman I think I’ve met so far. Hoping to escape the sound of Trump’s voice, I put headphones in to avoid it, but the inauguration was being shown on TVs throughout the school. I saw girls in hijabs crying, students in the LGBTQ community in fear, and my female teachers in shock. It got to me; It got to everyone. I barely slept that night, I was scared for humanity. I was trying to come up with scenarios where Trump would step down, be impeached, or maybe this was all just a dream. The next morning, I checked Twitter, read about the “largest inauguration in history” from the egotistical child himself. But I was happy and proud of the women's marches. I felt a feeling of relief as people were resisting his win. I felt as if maybe we the people, maybe we were going to be okay.
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I’ve met my fair share of Trump supporters. Some of them are even relatives. I’ve spoken to them. I have argued with them. I have walked away from them. It hurt my head a little bit hearing their reasoning for supporting him. But I like to remind myself that to understand the world, people need to see it from every angle and every perspective, and that’s a moral I follow. We live in a democratic world, and Trump is trying to get rid of that. At this point, we all understand that Trump is a child who has no idea what he's doing, he just wants the good ol' days back. To back my point of his child-like behaviour, did you see how he wouldn't shake German Chancellor Angela Merkel's hand? How he shoved world leaders out of his way to be the centre of a photo? Oh wait, did I forget how he believes in a myth that says climate change isn't real? Come on Donald, you can't deny the obvious. Hurricanes, water levels rising, and polar bears dying isn't just "natural", it is an ecological crisis.
Now, I'm only an adolescent with a half decent knowledge on economic reform, government, and just politics in general. But I've read enough of the New Yorker to understand that what Trump is doing – taking away basic human rights to throwing tantrums and firing FBI leaders – shows he is the most unfit person to be president. I'm looking forward to see if this impeachment case goes through, although is Mike Pence really any better as replacement?
Trump's impact on the world has been controversial. On one side, it has given voice to radical groups like the KKK or neo-nazis. They threaten and even kill when they face people who aren't the same as them. On the other side, it has caused people to come together and fight for the rights they feel they deserve basic human rights. The world is a mess, but with this resistance, I believe the world can overcome this hump, or should I say, overcomb.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2017 Rose Lamberti