Today I’m in shock. Despite all odds and polls, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America. I began watching the election results expecting Hillary Clinton blowout and instead Donald Trump is our new President.
So where do we go from here? Well, right now, I have a ton of questions and no answers. It actually all depends on what Donald Trump says and how he acts over the next few days and weeks.
During campaigns, candidates can promise many different things. It’s easy to say we’re going to build a wall, but it’s much harder to actually build it. It’s easy to say we’re going to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, but it’s harder to actually do it. It’s easy to say you’re going to send your political opponent to jail, but actually doing it is another matter entirely.
The big questions swirling in my mind (in no particular order):
Will Trump and the Republican Congress with to repeal marriage equality?
What does this mean for healthcare? I’m guessing they’ll finally repeal Obamacare, but what will it get replaced with? What will be covered? What won’t be covered anymore?
During his victory speech, Trump said that he wants to work with all Americans. Is this the case or will he enact policies/push for laws that favor Christians over other religious groups (Muslims, Jews, Atheists, etc), whites over minorities, and men over women?
How will President Trump handle world affairs? Will Trump act in a manner that will make our traditional allies pull away from us?
What does this mean for clean energy and climate change research? Will get harder to combat climate change? Will climate change scientists actually find themselves prosecuted for their statements?
What does this mean for libel laws? Trump said he wants to open them up to go after people who printed not-so-nice things about him. Will he actually try to do this? Even if not, will he work to “get revenge” in other ways? (Shades of Nixon’s enemies list.)
Will future Presidential candidates feel the need to release their tax returns? After all, Trump didn’t and was elected President.
How much will this embolden the racist/sexist/anti-Semitic portion of Trump supporters? I’m not saying that everyone who voted Trump was like this. That’s be ridiculous. However, these people were very vocal and he often retweeted their posts. His election will make them think they have more political power. Will they really?
On a related topic, will this turn into Tea Party 2.0 – where Republicans who aren’t extreme right enough get kicked out of office? Will this result in more policies that are bad for anyone who isn’t a white, Christian male?
There are many more questions I have, but they are all kind of swirling together. My take on the future? I’m trying to be hopeful that President Trump isn’t a disaster. As much as it might be tempting to hope this so I can say “I told you so”, it would mean dark days for the next four years. Instead, I hope Trump surprises me and is a decent President. I’ll admit that it’s a struggle to be optimistic, but I’m making an effort to hold on to optimism because dispair doesn’t solve anything.
Note: The White House image above is a public domain image available from Wikipedia Commons.