Strength in Numbers
By Rebekah Allan (Hudson High School Student)
Since I was a kid I dreamed of the year that I’d be old enough to vote. I’ve always found politics fascinating and as soon as the primaries begun I was ready to dive straight into the election. I researched all the candidates, I watched all the debates, and I spent my free time tuned into CNN.
And then Donald Trump became the frontrunner. Suddenly all of that enthusiasm was transformed into anger. What started out as a few comments that crossed the line about immigrants and women quickly turned into a pattern of sexism and racism.
I believe that there is a line that people can’t cross, that everyone should have a certain level of respect for everyone else and that there are certain things that people simply should not say. And Donald Trump crossed that line with just about everything he said. He has repeatedly supported racist ideologies, he has repeatedly encouraged overly enthusiastic nativist sentiments, and he has repeatedly enabled sexual assault and rape culture.
And that disgusted me beyond belief. Donald Trump is one of the most vile, disgusting, and repulsive human beings I have ever seen. It was unfathomable to me how any person can be so ignorant and so small minded to believe in everything that he believes in.
So on election night I tuned into CBS to watch the results flood in and bawled my eyes out. I thought of my LGBTQ+ friends and every person of color in the United States. These people who had been fighting for equality for decades could suddenly be reverted back to being second-tier citizens, everything they fought for could disappear.
But mostly I feared what this meant for women. Because I have no idea what he can do but I can’t help but to assume the worst. I don’t want women to not have access to birth control, I want women to have the right to choose, and I want women’s health issues to be a focus in the scientific realm. And I don’t want a culture where phrases like “no means yes, and yes means anal” to be reinstated. I’m terrified of that man, not necessarily for the power that he has but for the type of culture that he can enable. That’s not a future that I want to live in.
I hate Donald Trump and everything he stands for.
But I cannot say that I hate the people that voted for him. For so long I’ve questioned how anyone could possibly vote for him, I couldn’t believe that almost 50% of America was as racist and sexist as he was. Now I realize that while there are Trump supporters who do hate African Americans or who do commit hate crimes, there are also many who just felt that they had no other choice. People who voted for Trump don’t necessarily share his ideals in the same way that not everyone who voted for Clinton shares her ideals.
So we need to reach across the aisle, listen to why these people chose to vote for him, understand their struggles, help them, and then enlist them to help with our fight.
Because there is strength in numbers and we need to fight. For the rights of women, for LGBTQ+, for POC, for Latinos, for Muslims, for everyone. Any attempt he makes to limit the rights of minorities needs to be met with a wave of resistance, we need to make it clear that what he supports is not okay.
And it can’t just be a small cluster of millennials, it needs to be the whole country. Forget who you or anyone else voted for in this election because that is done with and over and we could spend the next four years bickering or we could unite and spend it fighting the xenophobe that is running our country.
Because love will prevail. I truly believe that it will. But only if we forget our differences and resist any intolerance that Trump tries to send our way.