reflections on the year of tr*mp
an op-ed piece by rosie lovoi
This Saturday marks a year of President Donald Trump. Ha.
It’s been a long 365 days, to say the least. He has proved himself to be racist, misogynistic, and childish. He uses foul language to talk about other people, both strangers and those close to him. He is delusional about his own success. During Obama’s presidency, he repeatedly criticized Obama on Twitter for golfing, in his opinion, too often, but Trump has already far outpaced Obama in his time as president on the golf course, including when the state of Hawaii was potentially under a missile attack. Before he even completes his first year, he’s hosting the “Fake News Awards”, which Politico reports could violate codes of ethics. At this point, I’m just wondering how much longer it can go on.
Trump doesn’t know how to do politics. Supporters say they like him because he isn’t a politician, but that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. People get into a specific career because they are good at it and are qualified to do it. While politics is something that each of us participates in, it is a complex field and requires a lot of specific knowledge. You hire a mechanic to fix your car because that mechanic has been educated to know what’s going on inside the car. So we should elect people to office who know what a country’s budget should be like (it isn’t the same as a company), and how to negotiate with other countries’ leaders (don’t insult them), and why it’s important to have a consistent and strong team working with you (one person cannot do it all). There’s value in being trained for a political career, and to disregard that is reckless.
Although I wasn’t Hillary Clinton’s biggest fan, I was thrilled by the prospect of having a woman president. The thought was inspiring and empowering. I didn’t realize the impact of representation until I really felt moved just by considering the possibility of a woman leading America. I wanted to turn on the TV and watch a woman speak passionately about this country, and make bold decisions for the future, and not be told to listen to others because she is the one in charge. Instead, we somehow elected a man who genuinely believes that a woman’s value is only in her appearance. What does that say to the girls and boys who are learning about themselves and each other right now? Is that what we want them to believe? Because that’s what our electoral college is telling them to believe (yeah, don’t forget, he didn’t win the popular vote).
A few days after the election, too many margaritas led me to sobbing with my boyfriend on our college campus, telling him how terrified I was of what Trump would do when he got into office. I drunkenly cried and tried to explain the real fear I’d been feeling since that Monday night. Whenever I looked at a guy that week, I found myself wondering if he thought about me the way Trump does about all women. I never used to be very afraid of walking places by myself, but because the idea that men own my body had been validated by someone elected to be president, I found that I was scared. It became disturbingly clear very quickly that half of all Americans are unwilling to be led by a woman, and would rather be led by a man accused by nineteen women of “sexual misconduct” – that is sexism.
So what has Trump’s election done in our favor? It has made us angry. It has reminded us of what’s at stake, and inspired us to take action. The day after he became president, women across the world marched together to prove our strength, power, and resilience. The Washington Post claims that the Women’s March “was likely the largest single-day demonstration in recorded U.S. history.” To me, that is magic.
"The day after he became president, women across the world marched together to prove our strength, power, and resilience. The Washington Post claims that the Women’s March “was likely the largest single-day demonstration in recorded U.S. history.” To me, that is magic."
At the root of my fear from Trump’s election was the idea of being isolated. When he won, it seemed as though everyone around me must have agreed with his viewpoints, and I was alone in my belief in the equality of all people. But the Women’s March totally destroyed that fear, and gave me a sense of confidence that I hadn’t had before. It spoke volumes about what other Americans value, and made me really believe that Trump’s election was not indicative of how the country views women, and the many other types of people Trump has demeaned.
Since Trump took office, people have been standing up and making efforts towards changing the oppressive systems that enabled him to be elected. The Chicago Tribune ran an article in November about how LSAT registration numbers have spiked this year, which they argue is an effect of the current administration, that more people want to participate in politics. Young people, who largely voted for Clinton, want to be involved, and a law degree is a great place to start. Tons of women are running for office and directly inserting themselves into the national conversation. The most interesting part is that it’s women who have done all kinds of things before getting into politics – the New York Times spoke with a real estate agent, a pediatrician, and the president of a nonprofit. They bring different skills to the table, but have clearly been engaged in politics and are prepared for political roles (unlike Trump, who refuses to read any sort of political briefing).
It can be easy to feel incredibly discouraged these days, but what’s keeping me going is the real and positive action that’s happening. In Oklahoma, four of five special election seats have gone to Democrats. That is a major change in the overwhelmingly red state. People are seeing that you can make a difference in politics – for good and for bad. So instead of letting hateful people like Donald Trump win, we are finding ways to say “enough is enough, we want better.” This past year of Trump has been filled with anger, so now it’s time to take that anger and turn it into change. More than half of America is united in this fight for good, and the force is only growing. Forget that this weekend is a year of Trump. This weekend is a year of the Women’s March, and that’s something worth celebrating.
Rosie Lovoi, Author
Rosie is a member of the Gold Hand Journalism Team
Hi!! My name is Rosemary - Rosie for short - and I’m one of Gold Hand Girls’ new bloggers! I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but moved to Indiana to study at the University of Notre Dame. Of all the things in the world, I love reading the most, but after that probably comes anything sweet (see picture for proof). I’m beyond excited to be writing for Gold Hand Girls. Spreading support for creative girls is so important to me, and I’m thrilled to be part of that mission. Stay tuned for posts on cool girl bands, books, and more!
Jae Vyskocil, Graphics
Jae is a member of the Gold Hand creative team.
Jae Vyskocil is currently a student at Portland State University in Oregon. She is majoring in international studies with a regional focus on the Middle East and minoring in graphic design and conflict resolution. Her illustrations use patterns and textures to explore a range of themes. When she’s not drawing you can find her skiing on Mt. Hood or knitting.