Donald Trump is now the president-elect. I did not throw my support behind either major-party candidate, so this isn’t shocking to me so much as it is just one version of the outcome I was expecting.
For many across the country, however, the Trump win has launched them into a spiral of despair. Whether they desired to see Hillary Clinton as president or just hated her opponent, his win is unacceptable to them. A portion of them have taken to the streets to protest the upcoming change. Some merely share their dislike while others block traffic and damage property. Others have admitted their fear is at an all-time high:
The election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency sent panic through much of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, which for the first time in eight years will face an administration hostile to its civil-rights goals and a president-elect who has expressed a desire to reverse many of its political gains.
Jay Brown, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest L.G.B.T. rights organization, said its office had received calls throughout the day on Wednesday from frightened people who wanted to know what the election results might mean for them.
On the other side of the political spectrum, Trump supporters are basking in their win, elated that the political outsider bulldozed everyone in his path all the way to victory on Election Day. They are sure his presidency will bring a country that was once great back to greatness, and create better futures for their children. They are convinced he will bring about a new era of prosperity and protection.
On election night, when Donald Trump claimed victory in her home state of Wisconsin, Shay Chamberlin was so excited she screamed and fell over:
Chamberlain believes Trump is her savior, sent by God to save America from ruin. She owns a women’s clothing store in this modest town; her husband runs a construction company. They have two children and barely get by on $44,000 a year, living paycheck to paycheck.
Both of these groups are overreacting.
At this point, nothing much has happened. Sure, we endured a long, exhausting campaign season that ended in a Trump victory, but that was all. This has all been the prologue. The first chapter begins on Inauguration Day.
Donald Trump has proven himself to be great at campaigning, but he has yet to show us he can lead. His policy ideas appear to be more of a word salad than anything. Some of his promises, like the border wall that Mexico will pay for, sounded great in a stump speech, but how much substance do they hold? The Mexican president himself has said he won’t pay for such a thing, but Donald, in usual fashion, scoffed and dismissed that. So far, it is this type of behavior we’ve grown accustomed to from our future president. But it’s not leadership; it’s selling oneself to voters.
Many exclaimed during the campaign that we have no idea what Donald Trump will do once in office. This is entirely correct. We have no clue what a Trump administration will look like. That is both a good and bad thing. Instead of acknowledging we’re unsure of what the future holds, Trump opponents claim it is all doom while Trump supporters say greatness will be the only result. Could it possibly be somewhere in the middle?
We have yet to find out what policies Trump will focus on in his first 100 days. We do not know the names of his cabinet members. We have yet to hear his first address from the Oval Office.
Donald Trump has yet to even begin the job he’s been interviewing for over the past 16+ months. His job performance could be stellar or he could be one of the most reckless leaders we’ve ever had.
Time will tell. As of right now, the clock hasn’t even started ticking.