By BORA ZALOSHNJA ’20
If Hillary Clinton is elected President on Nov. 8, many people will breathe a sigh of relief. A dislike of Donald Trump is not limited to Democrats. Many people do not want to see Trump in office, including some establishment Republicans. However at this point, they must carry their nominee to full term regardless.
Americans who are opposed to Trump should not be so quick to celebrate Clinton’s victory. Although Trump may very likely lose the election, his supporters are not going away. Trumps ability to come as far as he has was due in large part to the disillusioned, dissatisfied lower and middle class Americans who feel as though the system has failed them. The 2008 economic crisis hit these groups of people especially hard. Small businesses suffered, houses were repossessed, and many lost their jobs. Job growth has been slow, and the people reaping the benefits of it have been the top one percent.
Trump supporters are also mostly white. Society’s recent shift to try to right the wrongs of racism and sexism annoy them. They can not say the same things or act the same way they used to. They hear a major figure like Trump say the things that they wish they could and praise him for breaking them free of the bonds of “political correctness.”
For these people, Trump’s rhetoric taps right into their frustrations. They remember a time when their living standards and working conditions were better. They see minorities slowly but surely climbing the ladder in society, as they remain stagnant. They want to go back to a time when America was great for them.
Trump supporters’ hate is not limited to Democrats. These people do not like the establishment Republicans either. They condemn many figureheads of the party such as Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney. They see them working with big business and Democrats, and they consider them sell outs. In their minds, voting for Trump is more than voting for a Republican agenda –– they are voting against the establishment.
If trends in current polls persist, Trump will not be inaugurated in January, but his hive of supports is riled up and buzzing nevertheless. They are angry and they want radical change within the American political system.
While they may not succeed in electing Trump, there are still many future ballot races for them to vote in. If the root of the Trump problem is not addressed, other Trump-like figures are likely to win some political offices soon.
Fixing the Trump problem will not be easy, but it can be done. Investing in education and infrastructure is essential to assisting the beaten down middle and lower class.
Paying attention to and voting in local elections is also of great importance. These elections often have the most impact on one’s day-to-day life. Communicating with local politicians and holding them accountable for their actions can be very effective in prompting change.
If Hillary wins, it will be groundbreaking for the office of the American President. The 44th and 45th Presidents will be a black man and a woman, representatives of two demographic groups that had never achieved that office before. This does not mean the problems of racism and sexism in America are solved though.
If the people of this country do not work to address the deep rooted inequalities and prejudices that still exist, someone like Trump will eventually have his or her day in the sun.