*This story was originally published in the December 2016 print edition of The Eagle Eye, and therefore does not include recent controversial political developments.*
This year’s presidential election on Nov. 8 was one that was unprecedented – one that illustrates just how uncaring and bigoted the majority of (white) America is.
The Department of Justice sued Donald Trump, the chosen president-elect, in 1973 for racist housing practices in New York City because his Trump Management real estate holdings consistently turned away African Americans for no reason other than race. Of course, he and the company settled with the government and avoided repercussions and admission of guilt.
He has gone bankrupt a total of four times; accused President Barack Obama of being a “Muslim Kenyan” who did not possess a United States birth certificate – even after he produced one proving his birth in Hawaii; called Mexican immigrants “criminals, rapists, and drug dealers;” suggested that he would use bombs, possibly nuclear, on the Middle East to defeat ISIS; chose a disturbingly anti-LGBT governor, who has previously said that said keeping gays from marrying is not discrimination, but “an enforcement of God’s idea,” as his Vice Presidential running-mate; said that he would ban all Muslim immigrants from entering the country, and would enforce “tight security measures;” tweeted that he “appreciate[s] the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism” hours after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history left 50 dead in an Orlando gay nightclub; evaded taxes for nearly 20 years after reporting a supposed billion dollar loss to the IRS; bragged in a leaked 2005 NBC video about his ability to sexually assault women by freely “grabbing them by the p***y;” and most recently, “settled” for $25 million in his Trump University fraud case.
Trump has yet to reveal what “Making America Great Again” even means; when was America great, according to Trump? Well, from his aforementioned controversies, supporters, choice in vice president and cabinet appointees (such as his self-proclaimed white nationalist and current “chief strategist” Steve Bannon), one can assume the answer. The only group of people he has not gone after in his path to the presidency comprises his main base of support: white males. Trump’s campaign aimed to “empower” the “overlooked” white voters, who either supported his overall bigotry, or somehow, decided that it was not a deal-breaker.
Since he has been elected, and even before, there have been increasing reports of his supporters harassing women, minorities and immigrants, and vandalizing property with racist phrases and images. He has mentioned his disapproval of these hate crimes in his name just once, in a recently aired 60 Minutes interview. On the other hand, he went on a multiple-hour long rant on Twitter in order to criticize a respectful and uniting speech by the cast of Hamilton directed to Vice-President Elect Pence in the audience, calling it “disrespectful” and an unfair “harassment” in a “special place”Regardless, no matter how many times Trump says he ‘disavows’ these hate crimes, or the outspoken support and endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi and white “nationalist” organizations and leaders, there is no denying that he quite intentionally – and successfully – aimed to appeal to these groups and people who share the privilege to overlook racism and sexism.
Yes, I know I haven’t talked about this four-times-bankrupt mogul’s economic plan yet, or the significant tax cuts he plans to give to the rich, or his belief that climate change is a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese, or his lack of any remote plan to actually “destroy ISIS” as he claimed he would do, or his lack of any semblance of political experience, or his anti-NATO stance, or his strange ties to Putin’s Russia, or his declared “neutrality” in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and support of the Israeli right-wing’s continued settlement in the occupied West Bank. But did I really even need to?
Instead of going from this country’s first black president to its first female president, we have managed to move decades backwards to a white supremacist. And although this female candidate, Hillary Clinton, definitely glaring faults, none were even remotely as bad as Trump’s, and she actually had extensive political experience. But if you look at the main demographic group that voted for Trump, and the several (shockingly, mostly minority) groups that overwhelmingly supported Clinton, it is not hard to see why this did not matter to said demographic group. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report found that Clinton actually won the popular vote by a large margin – roughly 2.5 million voters. But by the time the election of this new “president” is finalized by the Electoral College in mid-December, this almost certainly will not matter.
I refuse to ever support Donald Trump, and cannot and will not respect this pathetic excuse for a man as our president. But, the United States has made its decision, and has revealed just how superficial that word “United” really is.