So Donald Trump is the new president of the United States. Though he in fact lost the popular vote, getting fewer votes than Clinton, he won the electoral college. It was a game well-played, and that’s how the news media — and much of the voting public — treated it: as a game, which should be viewed as entertainment and not an event that has life-and-death real world consequences. After the game, everybody shakes hands and remains friends, because it’s only a game.
But every election has consequences, some of them dire. And this election, even more than most, wasn’t a game, and the election of Trump is going to hurt many, many people I care about deeply. Because Trump based his campaign on hurting them.
My women friends will be horribly hurt by the Trump presidency. Trump himself has said that women should be punished for having an abortion. His running mate, Pence, has signed legislation in Indiana that required women to have a funeral for a deceased fetus, whether by abortion or miscarriage. As there are likely going to be multiple Supreme Court vacancies opening during Trump’s term — including the one that the GOP unlawfully held open for his arrival — it is very likely that women’s right to choose will disappear entirely. Trump himself, an admitted sexual predator, will surely do nothing to protect women from assault. In his own statements, he has made clear that women are simply objects for him to act out his sexual urges upon. In Trump and Pence’s world, women are objects for sexual gratification and reproduction.
My Muslim friends have their very lives at risk due to a Trump presidency. Trump has stoked anger against Muslims in the United States, basically accusing them all of being fanatical terrorists, and this has already resulted in violence against them. I fear it is only the beginning, as literal white supremacists and nazis have been emboldened by Trump and support him. Trump made this a big part of his policy with his “total ban on Muslims” entering the U.S., which is not only morally reprehensible but also against the very spirit and letter of our Constitution.
My black friends will have further rights stripped away in a Trump presidency. Trump has constantly stated that he is a “law and order” candidate, which is a coded phrase that was used by Nixon to indicate cracking down on minority protesters. Peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters have already been subjected to horrible unwarranted police violence, and Trump has given the green light for this to continue. 2016 was the first election after the Voting Rights Act was gutted, and every southern state immediately took action to restrict voting rights for black people, especially in my state of North Carolina, where the state GOP actually boasted of how much they suppressed the black vote. A Trump Justice Department will turn a blind eye to further attacks on democracy, all in the name of preventing non-existent “voter fraud.”
My Hispanic and Latinx friends have been vilified by Trump. He opened his campaign with a blanket denunciation of Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” and has stoked fears of immigrant violence, even though immigration is actually flowing away from the United States across the border right now. His stated plans of deporting millions of people as fast as possible is simply cruel, and will tear apart families and likely destroy countless innocent lives.
My LGBT friends will perhaps suffer the most, as Trump has vowed to roll back protections for them at the Federal level. And such people are viewed as illegitimate by Pence, who endorses unscientific anti-gay conversion therapy, which is literally an attempt to torture people until they agree to stop being gay. With the Supreme Court likely to swing conservative, it is possible that marriage rights could be stripped from the LGBT community entirely. Trump and Pence have made it very clear that they view LGBT people as second-class citizens.
Jewish friends are also afraid thanks to Trump catering to white supremacists. Trump’s very last campaign ad was viewed as a barely-disguised anti-Semitic dogwhistle by everyone who has any experience in this domain. The nazis have flooded social media with harassment and outright threats of Jews.
There are other groups that I haven’t mentioned that will also suffer, directly or indirectly, at the hands of Trump’s bigotry: Native Americans, Indians, Asians, and others. My thoughts are with you and others who will be hurt by the narcissism of a madman.
I have mentioned the Supreme Court. If you feel that corporations have too much power to influence elections through campaign contributions, you’re out of luck, as there is literally no chance that a conservative court under Trump will work to overturn Citizens United, the case that allowed (thanks to a 5-4 conservative ruling) unlimited corporate donations. Considering that now the House, Senate, Presidency, and soon Court will be GOP controlled, there is nothing to stop the GOP from destroying democracy entirely.
I mention all this because I want it to be clear to all that this election is very, very personal for me. I have good friends in all the categories above, and they are all rightly terrified of a Trump presidency. For those of you who voted for Trump, you have voted to hurt people I care about deeply. I don’t know why you did so, and at this point I don’t care.
Over the course of this election, I have unfriended a number of people online who, against all reason and morality, were vehemently pro-Trump. I imagine that more of this will happen in the near future. I suppose, as the next few weeks go on, I will calm down and be friendlier to some of you. And, if you want to really have a serious, calm discussion about the horrible things that Trump has done (he is also on trial for racketeering in a month, and was going to court for raping a 13-year-old until she dropped the charges because of threats), I am happy to do so.
But, you should know, I no longer consider anyone who voted for Trump to be a true friend of mine. As I said: I will probably be polite to you, but we are not friends in any strong sense of the word. It is simply not possible for me to be friends with people who support white supremacists without betraying my own principles and everyone else I care about.
You may have gotten your President Trump, but it is at the cost of my being your friend, your brother, or your son.