I was a fool. I was rooting for Trump to win the primary—he had no chance in the general—and his Republican ticket would look bad for the party and get the next Democrat elected to office.
“Be careful,” Dad warned, “I thought the same thing about Reagan and he got elected twice.” No, Dad, this is different.
But of course it wasn’t. I was foolish this summer, going around Europe, telling people they had nothing to worry about. Weirdly, the first time it ever seemed remotely possible was toward the end of my trip when when I talked to a really smart Danish guy who acted like it was a done deal. “I’ve already accepted it,” he told me. I promptly forgot once I made it to Riga the next day. And what did he know.
Don’t get me wrong, I think this is bad. After a fitful night’s sleep, I walked around in a daze which the students picked up on. “All the teachers looked depressed today,” one told me. There’s no surprise why—nuclear codes, foreign relations, the Supreme Court, equality for all, helping Islamic radicalization, reversing the measures to fight climate change. Just to name a handful. But many negative things can bring something positive, a silver lining.
While in Europe I kept saying this election was important, knowing about this group of Americans who feel disenfranchised. They want a voice too. It’s a democracy after all. Uneducated whites, need to be accounted for too. Even if some are misguided, even if they have serious faults, they are still human. This is how they felt when Obama got elected.
Also, I often thought Hillary would get nothing done with the Republican Congress in power. Now, Republicans will have someone in their party leading, someone they’ve had issues with. Sure, he’ll probably tone things down and maybe fall into line, but they’re bound to have some fights. Maybe the less politically inclined people might realize who is really preventing progress from happening. Maybe. Just maybe.
And I keep seeing posts on social media about fighting, about rising up against this.Young people might protest like in the sixties, something that’s been lacking with my generation. Protesting is more powerful than you think. It’s time.
What I do know for certain is the Dalai Lama grew up in a much more oppressive government, one that took him from his home, one where people just disappear. Still, he’s light years more happy than me, more happy than the most fanatical Trump voter. Far more happy than Trump himself.
Stay positive. No one can oppress how you feel.