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We aren’t overreacting


David Cirillo is the Rice Young Democrats president and a Sid Richardson College junior

By David Cirillo     11/16/16 8:00am

We aren’t overreacting.

We have elected a man who is going to trial next month for rape charges against a 13-year-old girl, was caught on tape demeaning women to deplorable margins and has called Mexicans rapists and all Muslims terrorists. A vote for Trump normalized these actions as acceptable and has enabled him to turn them into policy. We refused to elect an impeccably qualified woman, instead opting for an accused-rapist and misogynist. What does that say to every boy, girl and gender-nonconforming child in this country and around the world? This behavior is OK. We do not value you. This is America, and these are our values. Secretary Clinton was right when she used the term “deplorable.” This is not an overreaction — this is reality.

Climate change is real, so says virtually every scientist. Many also point to the rising temperature of the Earth as we reach a point of no return. The Paris Accords were touted as a last chance, and Trump has promised to pull out of the agreement.

Mike Pence has already promised to roll back protections for transgender individuals in schools, taking away their right to use public accommodations based on their gender identity. Pence is most known for his support of conversion therapy, his anti-choice legislation and his law allowing business discrimination against LGBTQ people. Trump has already promised to appoint a Supreme Court justice in favor of overturning marriage equality. Based off this, I also fully expect he will take away recent Housing and Urban Development protections for LGBTQ homeless youth, who currently cannot be discriminated against for their sexual orientation or gender identity in shelters with HUD funding.

For those who say it won’t be that bad: It’s great that you are able to say that. You’re wrong. It might not be that bad for you. But, it will be devastating to others.

Trump has fostered racial behavior against African-Americans and dangerous rhetoric. He has chosen to expand police forces and stop-and-frisk in acts of oppression rather than listening when people scream of systematic oppression.

For the unemployed, for young people, for anyone without work-provided health insurance: He has the congressional majority necessary to repeal the Affordable Care Act piece by piece via reconciliation, which is filibuster-proof.

In terms of women’s rights, Trump will attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, something Obama is trying to deflect. His policies also defund intrauterine devices. He will try to limit the right to choose, a right he said should be punished. Through his Supreme Court nomination, Trump will surely choose a nominee who is anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ.

Trump has threatened to reduce the freedom of the press, from which he only wants complimentary coverage.

He has quietly backed off banning Muslims as a whole from the United States, but nonetheless has spurred abundant hate and promised to form a registry of Muslim-Americans.

Trump is trying to limit immigration and close off our country. His intention to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants would lessen the U.S. economy by about 2 percent. His tax plan would cut federal revenue by over 10 trillion dollars in the next 10 years.

Perhaps worst of all, he is entering a period of isolationism that is part of a worldwide populist wave. History shows that periods of global isolation often lead to massive and intense war, and it appears that we are entering such a period characterized by xenophobia, populism and isolation. Donald Trump’s lack of knowledge regarding foreign policy, his hawkish tendencies, his ill temperament, his hatred for Muslim-majority countries and his devotion to Putin-like policy all point to such a scenario as real and probable. It is that bad.

Now we have to work, to get more than only 45 percent of young people voting, to build up infrastructure via non-governmental action and local politics. Now is the time to form our responses to the problems and fights to come. And always remember: Voldemort occupied Hogwarts once. This isn’t the end for America, but we have to work to make the future great again.

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