The Reality of Donald Trump’s Presidency
By Manuela Domingos
On November 4th, 2016, I got into my car, drove into the inner city, and casted my ballot for the presidential election.
This was my first time being an active voter since I arrived to the country about a decade ago.
Eight years ago, around this time, I recall a middle school me staring wide-eyed at a small T.V. screen, watching the news anchor announce Barack Obama as the president of the United States.
At that time, I wasn’t fully knowledgeable on such things as the electoral college or “right-wing” and “left-wing” supporters. My naivety painted pictures of the executive order taking full control of a helpless nation, without the aid of a system of checks and balances.
Because of this, Obama seemed like superman at the time. He also happened to be the first black president of the United States, which I thought was pretty amazing.
For the past few months, I’ve found myself absorbed in the world of mass media. At my university, I was taking classes in writing, leading my school newspaper, and reading the news daily.
I quickly became aware of the rhetoric spewed from both parties during the race to presidency.
I was particularly surprised at the upfront, controversial stance Trump took during his entire campaign. Specifically, his commentary on Muslims, disabled people, women, and his admittance to sexually degrading actions against women.
I thought to myself, although this was such a disastrous road to presidency—the good ultimately outweighed the bad, and more people would decide on November 8th what was good.
To me, there was no way Trump could hold office after Obama’s administration. There was simply no way that we were able to come so far as a nation only to take several steps back. To me, this purely sounded like a horrendous fictional tale.
On election night, I sat on my bed, my laptop opened to a wide screen, while eyeing the results of the electoral college.
As updates rushed in about which state each candidate had won, I jumped back and forth from reading status updates on my news feeds to watching the news.
As Trump successfully won expected states, I thought to myself that it was still a little early in the night to panic. When the clock struck midnight, I began to get cold feet.
Remember that one horrendous fictional tale about a misogynistic, xenophobic man actually becoming president?
As time ticked, the possibility of this reality actually began to settle in and take shape. My eyes grew weary, my palms became slightly sweaty, and I decided to shut down and call it a night.
I’d find out in the morning.
I woke up during the wee hours to find out that I was now an active character in that horrendous tale. Somehow, the story had been written and successfully published.
There’s a nation full of pain. There’s also a nation full of happiness. We find ourselves divided over the events of the past few days.
Protests are actively spewing in the streets.
Friends stand shielded against each other behind virtual armors, using their fingers as weapons to type words of hate on their screens.
We divide ourselves through political labels, demoralizing opposing views with words laden with venom, pain, and contempt.
Through the midst of all this, understandably, we hurt.
What makes it even more painful is that we hurt because others don’t understand that pain.
Somehow, we forgot to love and bury our contempt. Somehow, we forgot to see the bigger picture.
Sometimes we need that reminder.
So, here’s my plea to all those that are hurt and understandably angry: I respect your grief, your passion for justice, and your intolerance for hate. Instead of destruction, we must stand in peaceful assembly. Instead of hate, we must love those who are blinded.
It may be too early on to heal, but remember that we will heal.
We can only get stronger from here. We’re stronger together.
Keep up with Manuela by following her on Instagram, @_manuelad