What Has Made You All So Angry?

By Erica Davis (Worcester Polytechnic Institute Undergraduate)

I'd like to share my view as a 19 year old, female college student living in America today. As a busy student at a technical school, I watch the news about once a week (more on school breaks), and I am not picky in my news source, so I watch FOX, CNN, or whatever else happens to be on. I am not taking any history or government courses, though I have in the past, and I am taking a very interesting course about healthcare, an unnecessarily confusing and complex system, a monster birthed from our ridiculous two party system. Mostly, I see stuff on Facebook and learn through conversations with my friends and family. So far, I have not replied online to anything I have seen because I am genuinely afraid of saying something that will tear my extended family apart. But, if any of you think that I am at all okay with what I have seen, you are mistaken. 

With my limited intake of media, I see a man in the White House who has said horrible things about multitudes of people and used phrases that would be cause for me to leave any conversation of which he was a part. He has been accused of sexually assaulting women. He has been accused of hiring people to work for him and refusing to pay them. My impression is that he essentially made a fortune and built a business empire by scamming people at every turn. He seems to me to be a hypocrite, wanting to come down on illegal immigrants while his own wife came to this country illegally. I hear that he and his party oppose Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides numerous services, including screening for breast cancer, a disease from which my own grandmother suffered. 

With all this and so much more taken into consideration, I and many others feel that those who supported the rise of this man to the most powerful position in the country are basically saying “we deem president Trump’s behaviors acceptable.” I personally would not elect this man to be my high school class president, let alone the president of my country. I am completely baffled that nearly half the citizens of this nation would elect someone with absolutely no grace or self control. I would like all of you to consider how you would feel if you actually met this insensitive person. Personally, I would feel scared, enraged, and offended. Once, before a trip to NYC this winter, I actually had a nightmare that I bumped into Trump on the street, and I woke up sweating. You can say that he is wrongly accused of some of his actions, but there is no way that everything is lies. You can say that the media has demonized him, but I don’t think the media doctored his speech in the Republican Convention or told him to interrupt his opponent like a child during the presidential debates. I am ashamed that other countries have been watching us and laughing and that we have this immature brute as the face of our nation. Many of the people who voted for him are mothers, and I am shocked that they think he will make a good role model for their children. If my theoretical child said or did half the stuff I have heard from both Mr. Trump and his supporters, then he or she would never hear the end of it.

My own family is somewhat divided on this subject. As a result, for the first time in my life, I was dreading Christmas, as I knew that something in my family was ruined. I believe many of us have lost respect for one another and forgotten to consider their relationships with loved ones while spewing their hate all over the place. If any of you are confused or offended by this statement, then I think you need to reflect on the things you have said and done. In my experience, offense taken at a statement about oneself is often an indicator that the statement is true. My sweet, wise grandmother made a speech at dinner about the unimportance of politics in the grand scheme of things. She emphasized that family is what truly matters. I was relieved by her words until the next day, when arguments erupted over something silly. I have always tried to be a peaceful force in my family and my community. Though I know I sometimes fail at this, I think I generally get along with some of the most difficult people I encounter. Knowing this, you must see that you must have astounded me to prompt me writing this post. I cannot believe that people who have held me in their arms and fed me would say that they don’t believe in lessening the cost of education so that people get a fair shot because they think it will make people lazy. You yourselves have thought that one thing or another in your life was unfair. I have heard you talk about it. So, why can’t you believe that some people are poor at no fault of their own? I cannot believe that my sister was attacked on her Facebook wall and called ignorant in front of all her friends. I cannot believe that the woman’s march is being torn down. What were they marching for, you ask? They were marching for all that I am saying and more. They were marching out of fear. I personally am terrified that I will go bankrupt in my pursuit of practicing medicine and that I will never make the money spent on expensive education back because the healthcare system drains money into the deep pocket of businessmen, because the wage gap makes it difficult for women to get fair compensation, and because there will no-longer be any social programs to help me up if I should fall down.

Basically, I don’t understand the hate I have witnessed in the past few months. For a while, I considered that I might have died and fallen into an alternate universe. What has made you all so angry? Are you angry that healthcare reform made it possible for people with pre-existing conditions to get medical attention without being forced into poverty and made it so that women don’t have higher healthcare rates just because they are assumed to have the capability of getting pregnant, which is expensive? Are you angry to have the security of a financial cushion provided to you by your government so that, if you hit rock bottom, you are given a boost by your fellow tax payers to get back on your feet? Are you angry that the Democrats want to build a nation of intelligence and progression? That the unemployment rate is at a low for the past two decades and that we have crawled out of the recession? That you have the freedom to go to Mexico and come back without potential catastrophe at the border? That your fellow women, who are scared of having their rights and privileges revoked, are speaking out on your behalf? Does it make you cringe that some of your bountiful wages go towards helping those who are not as lucky as yourself? If yes, then what does that say about you? Think on that, and maybe you will realize why your friends are mad at you and why they comment on your Facebook posts with steam coming out of their ears?

My intention with this post is to get everybody to reflect. This young, impressionable girl sees all this and feels saddened by what she hears. What are your own children seeing? What assumptions are they making about what makes us kind and good? Why are you so passionate about what you are saying? Is it worth making those closest to you afraid to be in the same room with you? I can only hope that, someday, our country will not be so divided and that everybody will get the respect they deserve. But, I am not optimistic about that hope.

Take Action Now: Women, Progressive Advocacy