First of all, I am in no way pledging my full and utter support to Hillary Clinton.
I know what Clinton is capable of. She deceives people and I know about the emails.
But I am not discussing Hillary Clinton today. I am, however, discussing her opposing candidate and his relationship to the American public.
Americans are reminiscent. We look back on our childhoods and see them as “better times,” as a way to deal with the problems we face at present. We become increasingly aware of the conflicts our world faces, but with the exception of problems introduced by climate change or new technology, nothing is horribly different, including polarizing elections.
Yet, we still idolize the past so much to the point where I, a young woman, once wished I could witness the Revolutionary War (where instead of fighting for liberty like I once dreamed, I’d actually be sitting at home, watching my fourth infant die).
We forget the racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia that plagued (and still plagues) our society. We forget the shadow of discrimination and oppression, and we forget the unkind memories of gender roles and separate drinking fountains with the passing of an amendment.
Prejudice does not go away because we write on paper that it’s terrible. If you want proof, check Twitter (example: @realDonaldTrump).
So dear Trump supporters: “Corrupt” politicians are not limited to the Clintons. John F. Kennedy lied about his medical issues, Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized Japanese internment camps, Andrew Jackson is responsible for forced removal and deaths of countless Native Americans, Nixon had his Watergate scandal… shall I go on? If you want to talk about emails, take a look at Bush’s 2 million. “Corruptness” does not discriminate against either party, and Trump himself is no angel. Don’t excuse those tapes, because he is bragging about sexual assault. The allegations may or may not be true, but it does not matter. People agree with his, frankly, disgusting comments.
“Make America Great Again” is suggesting that somehow America was really once a place where we stood by our values of freedom and equality. But we had slavery. Then we went to war over it. Then we had racism, and even though we stopped putting “colored” signs on the door, we still have racism.
We have a black president, marriage equality, increasingly diverse workspaces, and this makes people angry because they’re not used to it. They grew up learning and seeing that the only people qualified to be in positions of power were white men, and the change angers and confuses them (Note: this is not to say that white men are not qualified to be in positions of power, but it means that people of other demographics are equally qualified).
The Americans who say that “things were better back then” are the ones who never had to face the oppression old America brought (or they are oblivious to it), and never had to fight against it now. And you can’t excuse bigoted ideas with “it was just the time period!” because that undermines how oppressive and harmful those ideas were. And yes I’d love to see the Beatles in concert as much as any of you. But I want wage equality more.
What Donald Trump is insinuating is that he wants to bring back old power structures, because he doesn’t like the way the world is changing. He sees women as objects, he believes that Mexicans are rapists, and he thinks that peaceful black protestors should be carried out on a stretcher. Why? Because that’s how old America sees them. Whether he openly admits it or not, based on his rhetoric, he does not want to see minority groups with power. His supporters, who continually advocate for violence, reflect this (a notable supporter of his is former KKK leader David Duke).
The actual policies and viewpoints he has outside of his loud, offensive arguing are irrelevant when you consider the ideology he represents. Global figures become noteworthy when they inspire, and so far, Donald Trump has inspired hate crimes. And I haven’t even begun to talk about his policies, let alone his homophobic running mate Mike Pence, or “extreme vetting.” This blog post is getting too long for me to list my grievances against Trump himself.
We can’t “Make America Great Again” because America was never too great in the first place. We can’t “Make America Great Again” because if we go back even further than 2015, same sex couples couldn’t legally marry in all 50 states. Women started to vote in 1920, and almost one hundred years later, a woman is now a presidential candidate. That’s not her only running point, and gender does not determine a strong or a weak candidate, but it is impressive nonetheless.
Why would we want to go back? Why would we want to romanticize the past? Why would I want to live in a time period where I could only be a homemaker? Why would I want to be denied a voice? Yet, Trump supporters start a hashtag called #repealthe19th. It would be funny, except that people are serious about it. Therefore, it is terrifying.
And I say this as someone who is eternally grateful to live here in this beautiful country, where I am free to write “America was never great” without the government executing me for treason. I understand my privileges and rights, but that doesn’t mean I can’t fight to make them better. And I will never stop fighting.
We’ve come so far that we can’t go back. Don’t make America great again. Push it forward into a different, better kind of greatness.
(A final note: Donald Trump is an emotionally unstable, spoiled man who claims any event he loses is “rigged,” and will not consider outside opinions from experts, meaning he could potentially “bomb the s–t” out of any country that provokes him. And there will be provocations. It is a president’s job to be temper and clear-minded in the face of adversity, and Donald Trump is neither of those things. To be a leader of a republican society you must compromise, not dictate. Please vote on November 8th, and make the right decision).