Sage Amdahl
Staff Writer

As of Nov. 11, Joe Biden has claimed the title of president-elect with a current total of over 77.4 million votes nationwide — five million more than Donald Trump. While this is a victory for democracy, it also acts as a cruel reminder that the U.S. has a long, long way to go to reach a state of equity and inclusion for all Americans. It terrifies me that Trump amassed over 72 million votes after running his campaign on prejudice, fanaticism, lies, and an overwhelming theme of hatred, and I’m here to tell you what that means for our country as a whole.

Even though Biden will be taking on the role of U.S. President in January of 2021, the people who support Trump’s ideologies and cast their votes for his continuation as president will remain. 72 million people who either turned a blind eye to Trump’s racism, misogyny, dishonesty or embraced them whole-heartedly; they will maintain their positions as our neighbors, teachers, judges, police, generals. Although some may store away their MAGA flags, their disregard for Trump’s bigotry will not fade. The thing is, you can’t change a country just by replacing its leader. For a country to grow, it must be the people who take the reigns and demand reform. How can we do that with nearly half of our voting population supporting an intolerant pathological liar? Trump may find himself forced out of office, but his legacy will remain — a permanent reminder that the U.S. is not the lovely paradise that many make it out to be.

You may ask: so what? Who cares if Trump has a following? We still have the majority! Well, our “majority” is by a very narrow margin — too narrow a margin. The fact of the matter is that 52 million American adults either find racism, sexism, corruption, and xenophobia to be agreeable or simply inconsequential. In the 400 years since colonial America took root, we have come so far, yet progressed so little. Slavery has been abolished, but prison labor took its place. Integration is mandated, but segregated schools and communities plague our marginalized communities. Voting laws limit no race, gender, or sexuality, but voter suppression penetrates our democratic system. We’ve had 400 years to level the playing field, yet it seems as though we gave up way too quickly — content with systemic oppression as long as it remained semi-hidden behind the curtains of modernization.

Honestly, this gives me a very bleak outlook for our future as a nation. If our government plays dumb and cannot unite this country on the basis that every human being is worth being treated as equal, how can we possibly pretend to be part of a whole? The funny thing is I, too, play into this game — I acknowledge that. I will refuse to act welcoming and tolerant towards those who wish to revoke the rights and privileges of myself and those most precious to me, even if that means feeding into the cracks dividing this country. With our history, I cannot bring myself to expect America to change satisfactorily within my lifetime — holding out hope for something that may never come will only further exhaust me. However, it is still my duty as an American citizen to pursue change, to fight for the freedoms of every American, and defend the livelihoods of all marginalized people. Expectations mean nothing if we do not take action to see the outcome through.

Feature Image: Sage Amdahl / Quaker Campus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Hit or Miss: COVID-19 Representation in Entertainment