Trump: America’s rude wakeup call

December 4, 2016 — by Ian Fu and Austin Wang

Students talk about Trump's election.

Amidst neo-Nazi Trump supporters stabbing protesters in Sacramento and calls for lynching African Americans in group texts made by students at the University of Pennsylvania, Donald Trump’s presidency hardly seems like it could ever “Make America Great Again.”

But while Trump’s upcoming presidency may spark hatred, racism and division among Americans, it may also be the wakeup call that the country’s politicians and people needed.  

Some extreme liberals even supported Trump because they apparently want chaos. Renowned socialist philosopher Zizek Slavoj said he would vote for Trump because “if Trump wins, it will be a kind of big awakening, [with] new political processes set in motion.”

Hillary Clinton, having served as New York senator for eight years and Secretary of State for four years, was obviously the more qualified candidate in the 2016 election, but that was exactly the problem for many Americans. Clinton represents a continuation of the political elite.

While Trump arguably represents an even more elitist and corrupt brand than Clinton, he gives the outward appearance of being more connected to the common people, having no extensive background in politics and using crude, informal language.

Stating that the election of Trump was a backwards revolution in favor of patriarchal white superiority is perhaps too simplistic. While his racism and sexism cannot and should not be ignored, Trump was a protest against traditional politics, albeit one gone horribly wrong.

Although Trump’s xenophobic remarks have garnered the support of hate groups, most Trump supporters are not outright racists: they are distraught citizens who feel estranged from the political process and crave change that mainstream politicians like Hillary Clinton do not offer. Frighteningly, this desire for change made many people willing to overlook Trump’s crass racist and sexist remarks.

Trump’s election has shaken our political system to its core and has proven that Americans are ready for radical presidents and huge transformation.

Ironically, this is one step toward tyranny. As Plato explained in “The Republic,” discontent within democracies can quickly devolve to mob rule, in which an excess of freedom leads to desperate and disillusioned citizens electing tyrants who promise sweeping changes — a picture eerily similar to America in the 21st century.

And while problems such as poverty, housing market crashes, unemployment and terrorist attacks obviously existed under past administrations (although Obama’s administration did much to pull us out of the 2008 recession, and former president George W. Bush arguably exacerbated the paranoia surrounding the issue of terrorism), the Trump administration will not be the magic remedy. Trump’s lack of experience in politics has already raised red flags internationally, beginning with his reckless decision to call Taiwan on Dec. 3 and jeopardize U.S.-China relations.

Additionally, as Trump fails to follow through on his promised policies, such as repealing Obama Care, forcing Mexico to pay for a wall and hiring a special prosecutor to put Clinton “in jail,” even his most ardent supporters will start to have doubt about Trump’s capabilities and honesty.

Yet, even if Clinton had won the election, the hatred bred among Trump’s supporters would not go away. So the disasters of Trump’s presidency may be the wake-up call that some Americans need in order to realize that discrimination and bigotry aren’t going to fix America.

When people realize that Trump wasn’t the change America needed, their craving for revolution will likely lead to the election of more liberal candidates with grassroots appeal, such as Bernie Sanders. After all, numerous analysts have stated that Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump in the election, and the high possibility of Trump running for re-election would likely lead the DNC to choose a candidate like Sanders.

Although four years under Trump will be a cruel challenge for many Americans, we must reject movements such as Calexit and moving to Canada because, by the end of the four-year disaster of Trump’s presidency, Americans will finally be ready for reformation in the right (left) direction.

For now, we have no choice but to weather Trump’s storm by protesting against unjust policies. Patriotism, after all, is not about xenophobia but about remaining loyal to our values as a nation and fighting for the ideals of equality and acceptance that our nation was built on.

1 view this week