On Tuesday, November 8th, I woke up early to vote for the candidate I was confident was going to be our next president. I was very excited about voting for the first time. I was especially looking forward to the end of a period which spiked hatred in many different forms and instead furthering the continuation of the fight against oppression of minorities.
As a result of the growing fears over globalization, people all over the world have been fighting back. Whether it be through free-trade agreements or the centralization of power like the European Union, they fear that their voices are being censored and their worries ignored. While these concerns are real and should not be taken lightly, some of the proposed methods for solving problems would arguably make matters worse.
Throughout Europe in the past couple of years, many nationalist, far-right groups and political parties have either come to power or put a dent in the status quo. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, running as Prime Minister is undergoing a trial for allegedly inciting discrimination against Moroccan immigrants living in his country. In France Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, has been working to rid the stereotypes of racism, antisemitism, and Neo-Nazism sometimes associated with the party.
Perhaps the best-known example is the United Kingdom’s Independence Party, which led the country to vote to leave the European Union by referendum. UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage campaigned on a Eurosceptic platform, which emphasized economic independence. While some have criticized the Brexit vote for its racial undertones, one must not forget about the cry against globalization, which many feared would further suppress their voices.
In the United States, we have seen the same phenomenon with Donald Trump. His tactics of inducing fear and making matters seem much worse than they are unfortunately have brought him the support needed to win the election. While comparing Trump to Hitler and many other authoritarian leaders seems ridiculous, I feel that he is similar to him in this strategy.
Many of Trump’s supporters dislike the way Democratic voters have reacted to Trump’s election. They claim that it is unjust that we do not want to “give the guy a chance” and that we should not respond in such anger at the turnout of the election. We have clearly seen what kind of man Donald Trump is. The insults he spews are horrid, and his xenophobic views render him completely closed-minded and ignorant. Trump claims to now want to bring Americans together, but he will be unable to do this, as he has already significantly divided our country before even commencing his presidency. It is extremely unlikely that he will simply change his sexist and racist views in the next couple of months. Thus, it is very difficult for me to be optimistic at this point, as I am still very angry that the leader of our country will likely reverse so much of the social change we have been able to accomplish in the last decades.