The Presidency of Fear

Look: I know my voice has no real place in this discussion.

I’m not American. I could not vote in your election. I am not a member of a visible minority group, nor will any of the economic policies put in place over the next few years hurt me. Nothing that happens from the fallout of the 2016 US election will directly affect me.

But I live in the same world as everyone else. I am a half-Hispanic woman, and a student who in four years will be looking for a job and a place to live. One of my best friends is bisexual; another is Muslim. I have friends in the States, and a Latina mother who travels there often. And what happens to them, I feel it too. I understand the fear of not having control over your own body, of not having the choice to decide what will happen to you. I think of bathroom bans and conversion therapy and my heart squeezes. I watch people getting attacked for their religion or skin colour and I am terrified.

It will not happen to me, but I understand.

This is not about politics or parties; the world is far past that. It’s about humanity. It’s about kids being tortured because of their sexuality. It’s about women being in control of their own bodies. It’s about the freedom to walk outside and not being assaulted or harassed.

We do not live in a vacuum. What happens to America will affect me and everyone else on the planet. The shockwaves of Trump’s presidency will reach around the entire globe, and no one can tell how bad the consequences will be.

And yes, there’s a lot of fear going around. Yes, he’s going to be president, and Pence is going to be VP. Yes, their cabinet is looking more and more dismal. Yes, the way he is shutting out reporters does not bode well for future accountability. But people have a far greater impact than most realize. And we already have: as of December 8th, 2016, Planned Parenthood has received more than 315,000 post-election donations, and over 82,000 of those were made in Pence’s name. Mic has a running list of all the celebrities who have refused to perform at the Inauguration, and Mark Ross, a concert promoter, is apparently planning a concert to directly compete with the Inauguration day concert. Though the bid eventually had to be dropped, Jill Stein raised $5.4 million within two days to seek recounts in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. Numerous cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington have promised to be “sanctuary cities” and help protect undocumented immigrants from deportation.

It may not be much, but it proves that people are willing to fight back. And fight back they will.

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