How to Survive a Trump Presidency
** Disclaimer: This isn't a pro-Trump nor an anti-Trump article or political statement. It's simply meant for entertainment purposes and as an attempt to instill hope into a nation of scared people. Please read from a place of compassion for others and from a place of open minds and hearts. Thank you.
May the wee hours of November 9th, 2016, be forever known as the day America flipped the f*** out. At 2:49am EST, businessman Donald Trump crossed the stage at the New York Hilton Midtown to make his victory speech as the President-elect of the United States. Meanwhile, Hillary supporters cried, rioters filled the streets of college campuses and enough Americans began plotting their escape to Canada to crash the nation’s immigration site. In an election that’s divided entire families and made it acceptable to headline reputable newspapers with the phrase “Grab her by the p***y,” it’s safe to say America has self-declared itself to a state of Marshall law.
For the panickers out there: relax. You will survive a Trump presidency. While it’s a guarantee that you won’t agree with everything he says or attempts to enact, the world will not end. A wall won’t be built, gay marriage isn’t going anywhere and your rights won’t be taken away. I could be wrong about that, but only time will tell. This is America and I like to think our forefathers did a pretty good job of setting up the foundation of our country on a checks and balances system. And while you can take to the streets shouting “Trump is not my President,” - as is your right under the First Amendment - there’s more you can do to ensure you survive a Trump presidency.
As I said before, our forefathers established America on a foundation of democracy. Meaning we have a say in how our government comes to power. While anyone who’s seen an episode of House of Cards knows there’s an intricate system of working parts beneath the surface, we still have a control over the elect. In college, I saw democracy work firsthand in the student body at my University. I was asked to run for a Senate seat with the non-Greek party and thus began a lucrative career in student politics. In short, the majority of the student body was fed up with rumors of student dollars funding frat keggers rather than supporting the entire student body on real issues. While our party was the minority and underdog of all underdogs, we campaigned hard and came out with a sweep of over half the Senate seats as opposed to the previous year’s four.
In democracy, each side balances out the other. During Obama’s first election, America was fed up with a right-sided system and thus swerved the country to the left in electing Obama. Now, many Americans feel the country has gone too far left and made an adjustment in course with lighting the nation red on Tuesday. For one party to take over a democratic state and turn it into a dictatorship would require an extreme series of events, misguidances and a complete dormancy of the people. And if there’s anything I know about Americans, it’s that we don’t back down and lay dormant in the face of persecution. No matter your affiliation, we’re a people who take up arms against the unfareness and greed of the world. Whether it’s the situation in Standing Rock, Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter, terrorist attacks, recessions or gender inequality, Americans stand alongside their brothers and sisters in democracy when push comes to shove. And while we often don’t agree, our camaraderie as Americans bonds us together.
Be Excellent to One Another
Tracking social media over the past 36 hours has been, well, interesting. It started with unease as states such as Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio turned red. Then it shifted to fear followed by complete panic - you’ve seen ‘em. But as the news sunk in and people have had time to mourn, reactions have transitioned to those of love for their fellow Americans.
For me, the most disappointing thing about this election wasn’t the selection of candidates, but the way we criminalized those who opposed our own opinion. I’m not about to take this into a "he said she said" debate; those days are long gone now. Rather, we must learn to disagree and treat each other as respected human beings. We must learn to listen first with an open, unbiased mind before sitting down to a respectful discussion and expressing an opinion of our own. Everyone has their emotional triggers, but let’s be a people of thick skins exuding confidence rather than sensitive beings short-triggering attacking others the second we feel threatened.
Stay Engaged and Address Issues as They Occur
No one knows what the next four years is going to look like. I would like to place faith in the nation to do what’s best for everyone as a whole, but with such a diverse culture there’s sure to be conflicts. And during those times, it’s not going to be pretty. Rather than expend negative stress and energy over unforeseen matters now, take time to relax and address the issues as they come. Settle into daily life but stay vigilant.
“Democracy works but we’ve gotta want it - not just during an election year, but all the days in between.”
If there are issues that come to light during the presidency, speak up about them. Vote at every opportunity. If there’s a social injustice, it’s not the government’s job to come in and wipe up the mess, but for you to personally step in and correct it.
One of the most heartbreaking things I’ve seen in the past 36 hours is the racial and radical divide coming to light. People yelling offensive and threatening insults at others based on a religious scarf wrapped around their heads or because their parents immigrated from south of the border. It’s our job more than that of the government’s to police each other and speak out against these bits in our daily lives. I’m not talking about recording the incident on your iPhone and later posting it for all to see. Get out from behind your screen and confront the injustice. See someone insult another human being based solely on the color of their skin? Say something to them about it. Women, discover you’re being paid less in your job? Demand a raise or quit. These are hard and scary things, I know but we owe it to ourselves, others and future generations to find the courage within ourselves and correct injustices one instance at a time. It’s when daily instances of injustice are addressed and corrected on a small scale that it grows into an epidemic of national construct.You have two months of vacation America. Two months before The Don becomes Mr. President and unloads his bags into the White House. With respect for your fellow Americans, faith, vigilance and action, you will survive a Trump presidency.