Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Thoughts in the Wake of Trump's Presidency

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, I don’t think I have anything to say that hasn’t already been said. However, I’m too perturbed to do my schoolwork at the moment and just need to get these thoughts off my chest.

The first emotion I experienced last night while watching the election coverage was anger—outrage—at the Democratic Party establishment. The entire country has become divided between progressive populism, embodied by Bernie Sanders, and far right, racist, totalitarian populism, embodied by Trump. The country has made it loud and clear that it is DONE with establishment politicians. The polls from very early on showed that Hillary Clinton could lose to Trump, while Bernie would have a certain and sweeping victory. But in their irredeemable smugness, the Democratic Party establishment dismissed the polls and the voices of the American people, not least from within their own party. They did everything in their power to sabotage Bernie Sanders and to suppress the voices of his supporters, shoving down voters’ throats a candidate who embodies the corporate, establishment corruption that Americans are sick of, and still expected to win. Now extreme right-wing Republicans have taken over the Presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court. By trying everything to undermine Bernie Sanders and force Hillary Clinton on the voters, the Democratic Party committed political suicide. 

But good riddance. Americans are done with the old, corporate, establishment Democratic Party. Real progressive candidates now have a chance to take over the party by storm. In their humiliating defeat, I hope Hillary and her cronies get the message, and get the hell out. 

The second emotion I experienced was dismay, not simply at the fact of a Trump presidency, but over the fact that over a quarter of Americans voted for him—voted for a man who is endorsed by the KKK, who has riled up hateful rhetoric and violence against minorities, who sexually harasses women and is even accused of rape, who declared that he would use torture and take out the families of terrorists, who stated he would revoke any funds to the United Nations to combat climate change, and who candidly asked why he should not deploy nuclear weapons—in the latter two cases, advancing a real and literal threat to the human race at large. I understand that the votes for Trump are not entirely motivated by racism or warmongering, but it hardly makes things better that so many American voters did not see these problems as significant enough to them not to vote for him. For those of you who voted for Trump, I hope you find yourself happy with the devastating results of your choice over the next four years. 

The third emotion I experienced was fear—not for myself, but for all of the innocent people in my country and throughout the world who will have to suffer the devastating consequences of a Trump presidency. 

In the last twenty-four hours, it seems that all of my fears have been confirmed: 

(1) The global financial market has gone out of control. 

(2) There have already been countless incidents reported today across the country of threatening rhetoric and outright violence against minorities—black Americans, Muslim Americans (particularly Muslim women), Hispanic Americans, LGBT. This is only on the first day. 

(3) All hopes of peace, especially in the Middle East, have been dashed. For anyone who naively thought that Trump might exercise isolationist policies, consider these facts. Trump’s candidates for Secretary of State are people like John Bolton and Newt Gingrich—people at least as right-wing as the masterminds of the Iraq war, such as Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz. Shares in arms stock companies have skyrocketed. And the Education Minister of Israel has ominously declared, “The era of a Palestinian state of over.” 

(4) Thanks to Obama, the executive authority of the presidential office has been expanded to include the ability to commit extrajudicial killings, to detain absolutely any citizen or non-citizen indefinitely without trial, and has unlimited access to private information down to every last citizen. And now a totalitarian, fascist monster who has no moral boundaries has taken up these powers. Another testament to the complete debacle that has been the establishment Democratic Party. 

For more already palpable effects of Trump's presidency, see here: 

All of this is just a small glimpse into how dark the next four years are going to be. 

But I think and hope there is a silver lining. Americans are fed up with establishment Democrats and Republicans. Once the white middle class plummets and realizes that Trump does not even have their best interests in mind, and in four years when a boldly progressive candidate such as Elizabeth Warren runs for president, I am optimistic that Democrats and then Americans at large will resoundingly vote for progressive candidates who have real plans to fix the economy (especially for the plummeting middle class), to end America’s never-ending wars in the Middle East, and to get money out of politics. 

If it wasn’t for the Democratic Party establishment, we would have had that with Bernie Sanders. But now we will have to experience four years of hell before we get there. But, if God wills, we will get there. As the Qur’an says, 
“Pharaoh made himself high and mighty in the land and divided the people into different groups: one group he oppressed, slaughtering their sons and sparing their women––he was one of those who spread corruption––but [God] wished to favor those who were oppressed in that land, to make them leaders, the ones to survive, to establish them in the land, and through them show Pharaoh, Haman, and their armies the very thing they feared.” (28:4-6) 
That is, if God wills, an oppressive ruler may take power only to set himself and his establishment up for a painful downfall, and make way for the marginalized and oppressed to gain the success they hoped for. 

Over the next four years, all of us who are among marginalized minorities or who are inclusive and well-meaning people must stand up strongly together and ensure that Trump does not infringe upon our civil and human rights, which are spelled out clearly in our country's Constitution.