A Trump Presidency Brings on A Lot of Pain

By Mikaela Foster (High school student in Portland, OR)

Last year I gave a Ted Talk titled “How to find the Scalia to your Ginsburg”. It spoke about finding empathy and compassion towards political views that oppose yours. Though it is challenging and difficult, I made a commitment last year through my speech to find the good things in others, like RBG did for Scalia. 

This year is different. I experienced not only sexual assault, but a fair amount of harassment from people who defended my assaulter. As a result, my mental health is in really bad shape. I can’t sleep at night without medication and I can’t interact with others without medication. The social repercussions and emotional pain I have experienced have changed my entire worldview. I can’t look at pictures of my assaulter. And I can only imagine the pain that 17 women, including a minor, are feeling right now. 

As a woman alone, and as a survivor of sexual assault, a Trump presidency brings on a lot of pain. I am truly scared. I am also trying to empathize with the sadness that Muslims feel. Or POC feel. Or the LGBTQ community feels. Or disabled people feel. 

I don’t know what to say. The KKK supports Trump. His supporters say things like “fuck that bitch” and “Lynch that ni**er”. He laughs about assaulting women. The Indiana Religious Freedom Act is about to become legal on a federal level. This is painful for me, and I can’t be okay with anyone who could support him. A vote for him is a vote against me and my struggles. Trump supporters think we are all butthurt, pansy liberals...As a person who identifies as a conservative, I am scared. I had to break up with my boyfriend because he is happy about the result of this election. I wish so badly I could follow the message of my Ted Talk right now but I cried last night for hours. 

I am scared. And hopefully one day I can find common ground with the new era republicans, because being in politics demands cooperation and empathy. However, I am not strong enough to do that right now, which might be the most upsetting thing of all.