WHY I’M SCARED
For all the people saying, “just get over it! your candidate lost. it’s over,” this isn’t a sports game where one team lost and now we can all just go back to living like usual with only damage to our pride. This has serious, long-term effects on our lives, our country, and our future… for everyone.
Here’s why I’m scared:
- Trump’s anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ, misogynistic, and racist rhetoric normalizes hate speech and emboldens his followers. There have already been reports from people being harassed.
- You might say that these are only words or the media portrays him unfairly, and he doesn’t have control over what his followers do. As a leader, whether it’s of your church, company, or the United States, you have a moral responsibility to lead by example and create a culture that helps shape how people act.
- I’m scared for every person of color, every member of the LGBTQ community, every woman, and every minority in this country. I’m saddened that they have to live in fear and worry about their families.
- It’s also an embarrassment to all of the people he represents.
- He will probably never release his tax statements. He is unqualified to lead a country. He had extreme advantages (like an existing company and money from his parents and the ability to attend an Ivy League school) to be successful in business; therefore, it’s hard to say if he’s actually successful.
- “The media only focused on this stuff.” Okay, but what about the things that Donald Trump has said directly? The primary sources he’s released about his policy plans.
- I would not be surprised if Donald Trump defunds or cuts funding for educational and community services like Headstart, NPR, libraries, PBS, after-school programs, academic research, etc.
- Trump has planned to stop federal loans for higher education, forcing families to rely on often aggressive lenders and volatile interest rates. He also proposed to abolish the Public Loan Forgiveness Program (which I currently use, but I believe/hope will be protected since I’m already signed up). This program ensures that we have a workforce that is giving back to local, state, and national communities through working in nonprofits.
- Trump will most likely overturn the regulations on the for-profit higher education system which has been defrauding students for years.
- Trump has proposed basing loans on student loans on income-earning potential which would mean that only the wealthy would be able to afford liberal arts and sciences degrees. This could mean that millions of potential changemakers would not have access to education. Trump also will undoubtedly cut funding for Pell grants that help low-income students go to school.
- Trump plans to “repeal Common Core,” despite it not being a federal law but a set of standards adopted by over 40 states. Forcing the states to reject it would mean that he’s going against his “power to the states” philosophy.
- He’s threatened to dismantle the Education Department, limit federal support for schools, and rely on a “market-driven approach” for schools. Pushing charter schools and school choice would weaken our public education system. We have no idea where the money for his “vouchers” will come from.
- Cutting or not using the Office of Civil rights which protects students through investigations of sexual assault at colleges, examining schools that have high expulsion rates for students of color, and protecting trans and LGBTQ students.
- Many children of color fear Donald Trump’s presidency, forcing teachers to have tough conversations with their students and distracting from academics.
- His Supreme Court nomination could help strip back affirmative action policies which help protect minorities from racial discrimination and societal disadvantages.
- Trump’s ban on Muslims would mean that many Muslim students would not be able to attend college in America, meaning that we’d lose their talents.
- Trump has advocated for more job-focused education, meaning humanities departments, women/gender studies departments, and other critical academic areas could be cut or defunded.
- We don’t know. Trump really hasn’t outlined his plan on education, so we have no idea. Personally, I was planning to go back to grad school eventually, but under Trump, I doubt this will be a wise or possible decision.
- We import $21b of food from Mexico. While I hate seeing tomatoes in January and agree we should localize our food, we don’t have the agricultural workforce meaning food prices could skyrocket (whether because of supply/demand or because of new tariffs). To meet demand and with Trump’s lessened environmental regulations, American agribusiness will continue to grow.
- The agricultural and restaurant sectors, for better or worse, rely on migrant labor. The “wall” of increased immigration restrictions coupled with deportation means that a labor force will be deplenished (and crops left unharvested). Companies will have to pay for American labor, increasing costs passed invariably passed onto consumers. Another possibility, under Trump’s removal of a federal minimum wage and decreased regulations, is that this job would be left for the poorest, most desperate Americans under harsh conditions.
- For small scale farmers, who aren’t able to recover from increased costs, this could be devastating. More and more small scale farmers would go under, increasing large agribusiness.
- Not believing in climate change, an issue that affects farmers, Trump’s regime could leave farmers behind in the cases of increased severe and abnormal weather.
- I kind of like my food to have strict quality and health regulations. Trump proposed to limit the role of the FDA, and his plan to “renegotiate” trade deals might further limit the restrictions and regulations other countries must pass to import healthy food into the United States.
- I also like regulations that protect the surrounding environment (including communities) from agricultural pollutions such as waste and chemicals (including antibiotics used in animal production).
- Decreased regulation could mean even worse conditions for farm animals. Not only impacting animals, this impacts our moral conscience, our communities, and public health.
- Removing SNAP (“food stamps”) from the Farm Bill means that it’s more vulnerable to cuts, leaving people hungry.
- Trump is a huge supporter of fast food. Standardizing food means lower quality, reliance on monocultures, and heavily processed food.
- A hiring freeze on federal jobs means that millions will go unemployed.
- Potentially pulling out of NAFTA. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of NAFTA because of its effects on Mexican food, environmental devastation, health of Mexicans (we export and flooded their markets with HFCS and refined, processed foods), and labor abuses, and I also agree that it should be renegotiated because 15 years ago things were different. However, tariffs would mean that companies would ultimately pass those costs onto consumers, increasing the costs of goods for Americans.
- It is highly unlikely that American jobs will return for several reasons.
- Most companies have a race to the bottom mentality and will find another cheap job market.
- Automation has decreased the number of jobs, not just outsourcing.
- Lack of an American work force with the skills needed.
- Lack of an American work force willing to do the jobs.
- Appealing ACA (“Obamacare”) would mean that millions would lose health insurance. Personally, this could mean me, as I have a pre-existing condition, and without the ACA, I could face higher premiums or outright loss of coverage.
- Women’s reproductive health needs may not be met or covered.
- Again, we have no idea because he hasn’t laid out a plan after appealing ACA.
- Trump plans to “label China a currency manipulator.” America already did this in the early 90’s and it did nothing to slow down our trade deficit with China. Besides potentially violating our commitments with the WTO, this would have serious political and economic effects on our relationship with China and their allies. China could retaliate by increasing tariffs on our imports or sell its holdings of our bonds.
- Trump’s demagogic speeches and erratic behavior could affect our relationships and diplomacy with so many countries. The damages could be economic or more serious, leading to increases in war or terrorism.
- Opening up energy reserves and approving the Keystone Pipeline may mean (often short-term and dangerous) jobs, but it will wreak havoc on the environment and speed up climate change.
- Even if you don’t believe the countless scientists that say climate change is real, spills and disasters will poison communities of people right now.
- Okay, let’s pretend you’re some being that doesn’t need to eat, drink water, or breathe, spills mean lost profits which would be passed onto the consumers.
“Law and Order”:
- No one really knows what this means. The amount of force and power that it would take to remove the number of people from our country and ban the number of people from entering is unprecedented and troubling.
- Increased militarization and power to police would increase tension between the police and communities, putting all people at risk.
- Privatization of the prison system has led to serious allegations of human rights abuses as these prisons focus on profit not people. Cutting costs and corners is dangerous for prisoners but also workers. Understaffing means workers work longer hours to manage these often overcrowded facilities. They are also prone to corruption (“kids for cash”) and increased incarceration rates (primarily people of color). As a society, private prisons do not align with our values of justice and rehabilitation.
- Many offenders have trouble re-entering the workforce which increases dependency on social programs. Without the social safety net, people could turn back to crime.
- All of these policies will have dangerous implications for the most vulnerable in society. Horrible effects on the lives of people of color, women, immigrants, Muslims, people who identify as LGBTQ, people who are in the lower socio-economic brackets, prisoners, the elderly, children, people with disabilities, people who are ill - chronically or short term, and other minorities.
- Donald Trump has opposed marriage equality.
- His policies allow for human rights abuses here and abroad. Increased funding for military and damaged relationships could lead to more war.
- Climate change will affect the world’s most vulnerable populations.
- Donald Trump has supported waterboarding and other mistreatment/abuse of prisoners. Increased surveillance of citizens, use of drones, and militarization could continue or increase under Trump’s “law and order.”
- Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has a horrible track record for LGBTQA support.
- They say the biggest fear is the fear of the unknown. We have very little idea how he will lead the country since he has no political experience, poorly laid plans, and erratic behavior and stances on issues. How can we prepare if we don’t know what’s coming?
So, no. I’m not afraid because he used the word “p*ssy” and isn’t politically correct. I’m afraid because this could be the end of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as we know it. I’m afraid because he doesn’t give a shit about us, acts in his own financial self-interests, and will hand power to large transnational companies that value profit over people and the environment. I’m afraid because this ushers in a terrifying reign of power and a culture of oppression.