In the weeks before the election, I was in constant agony over the fact that I could not vote when so many of my peers could. I was nervous but almost sure that Secretary Clinton was going to be the next President of the United States. The night of the election, I felt like I was going to vomit as I watched state after state turn red. The morning after I actually did vomit. It was the first time that I legitimately felt scared about my own future and the future of America.
I drove to school crying just a little, because Clinton won the popular vote. Even now it seems inherently unfair that a majority of Americans voted for her, yet Trump beat the antiquated system and is still our President-elect. I walked from my car and saw a student draped in American flags and another decked out in Trump gear, chanting and cheering. It was another first for me: the only time I actually felt that my safety was threatened. These were the ultra-nationalist, privileged white males that were celebrating because they won the game. But to the rest of us, it was not a game.
What I find most infuriating is that people still say Clinton was “just as bad.” There is no way in hell that this is even close to true. They argue that she has completely flipped her views since she was in the Senate ten years ago, but Trump has changed stances on so many of his campaign statements just in the few weeks he has been President-elect. She has had so much more experience and has more human decency than Trump will ever have.
As a woman, I see what he has said about us and how he treats other women, which is what scares me most of all. He treats women like we are objects, like we are his personal playthings. He threatens to take away our reproductive rights and will not enact legislation to finally make us equals. Coming from Indiana, I have had to live with VP-elect Mike Pence as governor for four years and deal with the damage he has done, especially with regards to LGBTQ+ rights. He signed the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” because the Constitution is apparently not clear enough when it comes to religious freedom. What this act really does is allow business owners to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people if their religion “prohibits it.” He also supports anti-gay conversion therapy, which is frightening for many of my LGBTQ+ friends. His administration stands for taking away people’s rights if they do not line up with traditionalist, conservative standards.
The way I see it, the only people who are benefiting from the outcome of this election are the privileged old white men who have been running the government for over 200 years. But the rest of us have to stick together if we are to survive the next four years.
Written by Lizzie Brown