EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

The significance of your vote for Donald Trump

As a gay American, I had everything at stake in this election. Muslim Americans, Hispanic Americans, women, and essentially every other minority group in this great country had everything at stake in this election. For a presidential candidate who stated that he wanted to register Muslims, end marriage equality, deport Mexicans, and “grab women by the pussy,” it seemed like every group that wasn’t straight, white, and male had something to lose over the course of a Trump presidency. At this point, I’m dumbfounded that so many Americans voted in a way that condones bigotry at worst and passively accepts it at best. I’m dumbfounded that so many Americans voted in a way that would signify that my civil liberties are less important than their tax breaks.

Over the last ten years, the United States has made leaps in terms of LGBTQ inclusivity, and I was optimistic for the future. When Donald Trump began his presidential campaign, I had quietly hoped that America would have my best interests at heart and vote accordingly. I believed in an America that was empathetic and progressive enough to understand the gravity of this election for minorities. It is clear to me now that I was wrong.

A vote for Donald Trump was a vote for bigotry in nearly every dimension of the word—either deliberately or implicitly. If you voted for this man because you want to build a wall, deport Mexican Americans, or register Muslims in the United States, you stand for an America where xenophobia and racism are a conscious norm. If you voted for this man because you like his economic or health care reforms, then you have given your implicit consent for legislation that discriminates against minority groups for the sake of your own economic gain. Frankly, if you voted for Donald Trump, it was because you had nothing to lose by voting for Donald Trump; your lack of empathy for minority groups is representative of an American ignorance that I had thought we long since moved past.

Over the last few days, I’ve seen people saying that it is our job as a country to accept the results from the election and move on as a unanimous body. You are naive to think that I will accept you for spitting in the face of the last 50 years of social progress in voting for Donald Trump. You voted for a man who wants to ensure that people like me can’t get married, and I will not forgive it. You voted for a man who aims to step on my civil liberties, and I will hold you accountable for it. You voted like a bigot, and therefore you can expect me to treat you like a bigot.

I believe in an America where we can scoop up the pieces after a Trump presidency and rebuild the progress that we’ll lose over the next four years. But I do not believe in an America where you shouldn’t be held accountable for the repercussions of your vote. You do not get to avoid the responsibility of Donald Trump’s social impact simply because you yourself don’t identify as homophobic, racist, or sexist. As a marginalized person, I was relying on you to maintain an America where my sexuality was accepted, and you failed me. I can, and will, take that personally.

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