Look Forward, That's Not the Way We're Heading

By Danny Friedman (Harvard College Undergraduate)

“Make America Great Again” — the slogan of the Trump campaign — was a blatant indication of the direction of its movement: backwards. 

The policies of the Obama administration — the policies that raised by my generation politically — were forward-thinking. The administration saw where we stood and it tried to raise us higher. It looked to extend healthcare to people of all incomes, marriage to people of all sexualities, and citizenship to people of all ethnicities. 

Obama supporters voted for his slogan as well: “change”. Trump supporters weren’t voting for change, but for a regression to the past. Americans came together and affirmed Trump’s backwards views: that climate change is a theory, that health care is a privilege, that Mexicans are rapists, that Muslims are terrorists, and that women are objects. 

Trump has shifted our nation’s gears to reverse, a fact that much of my generation, privileged with forward thinking our entire political lives, has trouble accepting. But even for those of us who don’t buy into the misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and demagoguery, the answer is not to look forward because that’s not the way we’re heading.

It’s hard to understand that the values that Trump supporters hold, and until now we could think of them as nothing more than values. But those values are no longer contained to a block of voters. those values are now the principles that will guide our policy, and it’s hard to imagine the policy they will guide being absent of anger, hatred, and intolerance. 

To only look ahead is to deny what lies behind us. If you don’t feel the sting of the election of Donald Trump, look back and see why others do.

Scott Kall