December 27, 2016

The World Turned Upside Down

Eitan Gerstle ‘19

It was a fateful night, the night of November 8. This was the moment we had been waiting for and anticipating for a year and a half. This was the night we would elect the next president of the United States of America.
This was the night we would break the highest, hardest glass ceiling and elect the first woman president. This was the night on which Americans would reject once and for all racism, sexism and xenophobia and send a message to the world that if you run on those values in this country, you will be defeated.
I was as confident as could be, believing that there was no way someone as unqualified as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump could possibly win this election. How tragically wrong I was.
As the results trickled in from all over the country, it became abundantly clear that I, along with almost everyone else in America, had been deeply mistaken. Within hours it was official: Trump, a man who had never held political office and had run a campaign based on hatred and division, would be the next president of the United States.
To be honest, I was devastated. I was stunned that our country could possibly elect someone as awful and unqualified as Trump. No part of me believed until that night that there was any chance that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, arguably the most qualified candidate in recent memory, would lose.  
However, above all, I was scared. Scared for all of the people that now questioned their place in this country; all of the latinos, gays and transgender people that now faced the very real possibility of being persecuted just for being who they are.
I had been excited to watch America move forward, even more than it already has in the past eight years under President Obama.
On that night, my mind was filled with the possibilities of what four more years of a Democratic president would mean for for our country.
It would mean the appointment of a Supreme Court justice that believes in progress, the defense of the rights of ordinary citizens and the promotion of equality. It would mean the solidification of Obamacare, a system under which millions were able to get healthcare insurance for the first time. It would mean a continuation of the fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community and the other minorities of this country.
But those hopes were torn from me with the calling of each state for Trump.
Now, we are faced with a bad situation: we have elected a president who is deeply unqualified and even dangerous.
He is nominating people who have a history of racism, anti-semitism and above all, who have little to no experience that qualify them to serve in a presidential administration.
Now, do I believe that Trump deserves a chance? Yes.
Do I believe that he will do well? No.
President-elect Trump will take this country backward in almost every way, from the economy to our social freedoms. It is an embarrassment to the presidency and to the United States of America that it elected someone as volatile, dishonest and unqualified as Donald Trump.

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