Copyright: Ninto

American millennial Ethan Lindenbaum pens down a personal reflection on the election results.

On November 9th, 2016 I woke up, looked at my phone, and read that Donald Trump was now the president of my country. I wasn’t quite sure if what I was reading was correct, so I put my glasses on and checked it again. I found that it was true. So I went to school as I thought that that would be the best way to distract myself. The entire day was like a haze. Some people were crying, some people were walking around like zombies and some were not even there. I was one of the zombies. I felt like I had an anvil lying on my heart. I was in shock. I was in mourning. I was heartbroken.

Millennials want to know how something like this could happen?

I think the shock came from my not being able to understand how something like this could happen. The United States is supposed to be the model democracy that all other democracies strive towards. So how could a man like Donald Trump hold the highest office in the land?

No one thought he would win. They didn’t think he would make it through the primaries. He won the primaries. They didn’t think he would win the presidency. He won the presidency.

Underestimating a threat is one of humanity’s greatest faults that we simply have not been able to overcome.

Trump’s campaign was fueled by negativity and hatred which has now spread throughout the country. A friend of mine told me that she heard people repeating some of Donald’s bigoted comments in a joking manner as if it was acceptable to be laughing about them. This is what scares me most. The fact that the children of our generation are starting to spread this narrative is how it all starts. This is how atrocities like the Holocaust begin.

A democracy is controlled by the people, which is why many dislike politicians because they tend to advocate for whatever the tone of the country is at the time. A perfect example of this is president Obama’s stance on gay marriage. He initially did not support it. He said that, “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage” in 2008. But the country’s views on this matter changed and so did his. Essentially, the decisions that politicians make are based on the wants of the people as that is what will get them elected and re-elected into office. Now I know this is a well known reality, but I wanted to describe it in order to illustrate its very real and scary applications to today.

Although Trump did not win the popular vote, there were enough people in this country that supported what he was saying. There were people who were pleased with his comments on women, Mexicans, muslims, mentally-disabled people, LGBT people. There are probably more that I am forgetting but it doesn’t really matter. Having people agree with one of his claims is enough to fear him. One disgusting comment he made should have been enough to vote him out. However, this did not happen because there were and are enough people that actually support what he is saying. And that folks, is how democracy works.

A day has passed, and I still am unable to comprehend how this happened.

I have found myself avoiding watching TV because I simply do not want to hear anyone talking about it anymore. I don’t want to fully admit to myself that it happened. I think that if I pretend like nothing happened then maybe he will just go away. This is horrifying to me.

It makes me very sad that people my age (17) are unable to vote, and that we will be the ones entering the job market, the world that Trump created yet we were unable to affect that decision. 

America is like a child, with its two parents: Trump and Clinton. Clinton is the mother who has made some terrible decisions, but at her core really cares about her child and will do anything to protect it. Trump is the abusive father who promises many things and then leaves you to fend for yourself in ruin; emotionally destroyed.

We have handed our child, our country, our most precious thing over to an abusive father. Hopefully this child does not turn out to be like its father.

Ethan Lindenbaum is a Yale Young Global Scholars 2016 student. He is interested in studying international relations, with a focus on US-Russia relations. His other interests include, American Politics...

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