Image by Evelyn Lee
Editor’s note: The following section is a series of statements from Pepperdine students in response to the recent election of president-elect Donald Trump. These statements are directed at both the Pepperdine community and the world at large, and do not represent the opinion of Pepperdine Graphic Media — they are the opinions of the individuals who have written them.
When the results of the election came in on Tuesday night, I, like many of my more liberal friends, was shocked. The instinct, which had been with us through the whole election, was to write-off anyone who was a Trump supporter as racist, sexist and homophobic. How could we be living in a country with so many terrible people in it? We could not understand our opponents, so we dehumanized them and demonized them.
I’m certain that if I was at home in Seattle right now, in the midst of all the riots, and among all of my liberal friends that I would have remained in that state of mind. However, being close friends with many republican conservatives, several of them Trump supporters, I could not reconcile the image I had in my mind of an evil, stupid, selfish, sexist bigot, with the very real, kind-hearted, smart, rational people in front of me. They were humans, with their own thoughts, feelings and emotions, similar to mine. For the first time I realized that I had not been seeing Trump supporters in this way. They were always the unfathomable and inhuman “other.”
They voted for Trump because they agreed with his policies, or at least the policies of the Republican Party. They voted for him because they believed he would allow their voices to finally be heard. They voted for him because they believed he would improve our economy. They voted for him simply as a way of voting against Hillary Clinton, someone they believed to be corrupt, a liar and dangerous in a position of power.
For Trump supporters, the election had nothing to do with human rights issues, while those issues were practically the only thing in consideration for the rest of us when looking at a Trump presidency. People are genuinely afraid for their safety. People in minority groups are legitimately terrified. Terrified for their safety, terrified for their future, terrified for their lives. If it seems as though those of us on the democratic side of things are overreacting, this is why.
You can stand there and say that you voted for Trump because of his policies, and that you are not racist, and you would never do anything to harm anyone, and I’ll believe you. But, there are people out there who will see this as their opportunity and their excuse to discriminate, bully, rape and murder. They feel a sense of safety and justification in their actions now.
I respect your decision, and you have a right to stand by it. I write this to apologize for the unfair remarks I and others in my party have made, for the attacks on your person, and for our failure to treat you as human beings. I write this to let you know we are now reliant on you. Those of us in minority groups need your protection and your support. You may not have considered yourself as much of a human rights activist before, but now it is more important than ever that you stand by us and fight for those who are vulnerable. Make yourselves the allies and not the enemies of our fight.
Many liberals are still reeling, and they may not be so quick to come to the same revelations as I have. Terrible things have been said and done on both sides, and it is not easy to be forgiving. So I hope that in the future when someone attacks you and unfairly calls you racist/sexist/homophobic/classist/etc. you will do everything in your power to prove them wrong.
Dear Mr. Trump,
I am asking you to listen, understand and hopefully make a change.
Last year, my best friend was raped at a party by a classmate of hers. She awoke the next morning in horror and shock and chose to remain silent. She knew she would see this man in class the following weeks and months to come and was worried how she would be perceived if she told anyone she was raped. She went on to remain silent for six months as the pain, shame and disgust ate away at her. She became secluded, stayed in her dorm all day, stopped attending classes and would soon flunk out.
After months of this reoccurring her roommate forced her to go to the counseling center at her university where she met with a counselor weekly, but still remained silent. After months of therapy she finally broke down into a pile of tears, mortified of what she had gone through and what she assumed was her fault. Every day she closed her eyes and saw the face of her rapist and was unable to sleep. When the darkness took over, her body would spiral into a spastic state where she relived that night over and over again. Even when I held her in my arms and told her she was safe, she continued to feel his presence, smell his sweat and feel him molesting her. Her panic attacks would last anywhere from one to four hours and they controlled her life.
She finally told her parent what had happened since she was flunking out of school and no other explanation would account for her not attending classes and locking herself in her room. Even within her own bedroom and home, she did not feel safe. She woke up every morning wanting the pain to leave and began debating suicide. Every day she had to make the decision again and again not to kill herself. While she is still alive today, rape took her life as she knew it. It stole her virginity which she held so dear and crushed her faith since all hope for her future disappeared. Rape took control of every hour of everyday and continues to today. When she finally spoke up she was able to receive help and encouragement. She has been in an outpatient facility for almost a year and can finally sleep through most nights without a panic attack.
I know you are expecting me to accuse you of rape and molestation, but I am not. You have the rest of the world telling you that. I am asking that you bring awareness to rape culture. Whether or not your actions in the past align with that of a rapist, I am asking you now to speak up for her. To speak up for me. To speak up for every girl who needs to hold their drink close for fear of a stranger’s pill slipping in. For every girl who takes self defense classes on the weekends because she fears walking home at night. For every girl who needs to worry about having too much to drink, because apparently that gives men the right to do whatever they want to me.
You have a lot of power Mr. Trump, power to make a change, power to discontinue this “locker room talk” and to not endorse it. You have the power to influence laws so that rapists, like the one at Stanford, will be punished for their actions and punished for ruining the lives of females across the nation. Somehow, you can connect to the men in this nation who have been the reason for the continuation of this rape culture. You have the power to change minds and to change lives.
I want our nation to be wrong about you. I want to respect you. But I cannot respect a man who ignores rape culture and throws away his sexist remarks as locker room talk. I will respect a man who regrets his previous actions and decides to make a change for both himself and his country. Please, Mr. Trump. The young men are looking to you on how to behave, and today you can choose to be a decent role model. End this rape culture and save the lives of the women who surround me.
The day after Donald Trump became President-elect of the United States, someone asked me how I was doing, and I burst into tears, shocked. I had underestimated the amount of people in this country that are unsatisfied, have been looking for a champion, and found that leader in Mr. Trump. I think it is important to realize that these people exist and need to have their voices heard. I have complete respect for those who intelligently come to different conclusions that I do.
My devastation regarding this election has nothing to do with politics. I have fervently supported candidates before to see them lose to those whom I do not agree with politically. The reason this election terrifies is because when Trump won, he justified and validated the portions of America that feed on hate. Checks and balances are worked into the system of our government that I believe will keep Trump from potentially doing any irreparable damage to this country. My fear is not based on irrational apocalyptic rhetoric, but is for those who have fought so hard for rights in this country.
For those who do not understand the valid reasons for the panic of a large portion of America, I urge you to look at this from not only a political standpoint, but also a values standpoint. We have elected a man who, whether or not he personally has sexually assaulted women, has made numerous comments belittling them and has bragged about grabbing them by their genitals. On Tuesday, we told young women that this is OK. That a man can hold these views and not only escape being penalized but can also become the president of our country. We have elected a man whose running mate advocated for gay conversion therapy. On Tuesday, we told LGBT America that the shame, guilt and suicide caused by this practice is not enough to keep a man from being second in line to Commander in Chief.
On Tuesday, we gave in to fear of immigrants, fear of minorities of all sorts of racial backgrounds, fear of anyone different. We have said that we will keep people from the country because of religion, we will build a wall, we will give in to mistrust and hate. For me, this is a cause of great sadness, but also determination. For me, this means I needed to sit down and cry. But tomorrow, I will get up and fight for those that, like me, have a reason to fear the sentiments that got Mr. Trump elected.
I did not vote for Trump or Hillary. However, a part of me now wishes I voted for Trump. Why? Because the anti-Trump protests across the country serve as a testament to conservative revulsion of a people subjugated under the thumb of the American Left. This election was not a vote for Trump, it was a vote against the Democratic party.
Trump is a caricature of capitalist pomposity and he is completely unapologetic. Contrast this with the American self-immolation of the Obama administration and the cult of anti-western sentiment that pervades contemporary progressive thought. Those who still feel pride at the sight the flag, who still listen to the trumpets of Taps with a heavy heart, and who aren’t amenable to taking on the unearned guilt for the sins of times past chose to vote for Trump because he is the id of the conservative psychic apparatus. In other words, he serves as one big middle finger.
It may not be apparent to many college age Millennials, but this is the Orwellian world in which we now live: The American Left forms the base of the Democratic party — the party of slavery and Jim Crow. The party that aggrandizes Margaret Sanger, a woman who stated openly a desire to use Planned Parenthood as a means to exterminate the black population. The party that’s had a monopoly on the black vote for nearly one hundred years and has been instrumental in destroying their communities through neglect and failed policy. The party that continues to label Republicans as the party of racism only to cover their own tracks.
The American Left has successfully managed to upend every conception of reason, truth and morality. They’ve convinced the credulous and goodhearted alike that war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength. Most conservatives saw through this and decided to finally take the offensive.
When terrorists slaughter innocents across the Western World and our administration states that climate change poses a greater threat to our security, conservatives will rebel. When women are told that promiscuity is a form of liberation rather than an enslavement by savage impulse, they will rebel. When an innocent life in the womb is dismissed as a jumble of cells, they will rebel.
When last week Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, they rebelled.
I’m a white, affluent, straight Christian female, which puts me in the demographic, with the exception of my gender, that stands to gain the most from Trump’s presidency.
Still, I voted for Hillary. I’ve been a Republican all my life (socially liberal, economically conservative), and on my first time voting for the presidential candidate I voted Democrat.
I don’t like Hillary, I don’t agree with some of her policies. I even think Trump has better economic policies, but as the election season wore on, I realized I simply couldn’t vote for Trump. I couldn’t look my LGBTQ+ friends in the eye and say “you don’t deserve to marry.” I couldn’t look my Black friends, my Hispanic roommate, my Asian [sorority] little in the eyes and say “you don’t deserve a president who respects you.” I couldn’t look the girls in hijabs in the eye and say “you, and only you, don’t deserve freedom of religion.”
I knew I can’t look my grandkids in the eye in fifty years and say “yes, I voted for Trump.”
So, though I was aware that as a Californian my vote really doesn’t matter — it’s all going to Hillary — I cast my mail-in-ballot to Hillary, and I didn’t worry about it.
Can you believe that? I honestly wasn’t worried. A week ago, I’d pretty much forgotten the election was Tuesday. I think I was still convinced it was a joke. Donald Trump? As president? No one would vote for him. There weren’t that many racists, were there? (No, only 8 percent voted for him because of that). And no one could say “my financial gain is worth more than your rights.” (That’s where I was wrong.)
I sat at my computer on election night glued to the screen, stunned. I didn’t believe it until after California came in and those votes still weren’t going to be enough.
By then it was too late to do anything.
I called my mom the next day. “Can you believe he won?” she sounded gleeful. “I honestly can’t believe it,” I replied. Still in shock.
She doesn’t know I voted against Trump. I realized. My own family voted for Trump, she doesn’t know I couldn’t vote for him. She doesn’t even know I disagree with her. She doesn’t know why I disagree with her.
I tried to explain the hurt those around me were going through. I told her the posts that had already been cropping up on my feed.
“Ugh, what are they telling those people.” She sounded disgusted as I was, but in all the wrong ways. “Trump doesn’t actually mean those things he said. People need to stop crying racism and sexism. We had a black president already; how can racism still exist? And the glass ceiling doesn’t really exist. Hillary is just the worst type of women. That whole generation is.”
For the first time, everything made sense. Of course people voted for Trump, because they don’t even believe racism exists. How can a candidate be racist if racism doesn’t exist?
“I think Trump might actually really help us.”
“I hope you’re right, Mom. I really really hope you’re right.”
I realized something in that moment. It’s not their fault they’re ignorant, it’s my fault for not educating them. I knew their ignorance, and I stayed silent so I wouldn’t rock the boat.
To those of you who have the most to lose over the next four years, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry I was afraid to rock the boat.
I’m sorry I didn’t do more.
I’m sorry I didn’t even tell my own family why they’re wrong.
I’m sorry I voted silently.
But I also have a promise for you.
I promise to stand by you.
I promise to use my privilege in every way I can to make these next four years easier for you.
I promise that the next time, I’ll have done everything in my power.
I promise the next time I won’t need to tell you I’m sorry.
For a variety of reasons — ethical and political — I voted for a third-party candidate this past election. And though I honestly hadn’t expected a Trump victory, I necessarily had to factor that possibility into my decision during the election cycle. I’ve been given a “pass” by Clinton supporters I’ve talked to, because I cast my ballot in a blue state. “At least you’re not in Florida,” a few have said, only half-jokingly. It’s easy to see where they’re coming from: in many states, Trump led by only a percentage point or two. Had all the third-party votes been channeled toward Clinton, the final results would have been far different. But besides the fact that not all third-party voters are left-leaning, there isn’t any sense in which these votes “belonged” to Clinton (or Trump, for that matter). I can’t speak for all third-party voters, but my decision was based primarily on a strong, serious moral opposition to both major candidates. This argument has been satirized, turned into a cliché and labeled a sign of privilege. And while many of my friends insist there is no moral equivalency between Clinton and Trump, I believe each represents a different kind of danger.
I have been horrified at my country’s foreign policy decisions of the last two decades, which have left hundreds of thousands dead across Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Clinton holds varying degrees of responsibility for those immensely destructive decisions, particularly in her time as Secretary of State. We now have documented evidence of the DNC secretly influencing the primary election in Clinton’s favor, undermining the democratic process in doing so. In my mind, my vote for Clinton would have to either vindicate or ignore these facts; I was prepared to do neither.
Perhaps my vote really is a mark of privilege, because I am faced with less urgency and have less at stake in this election than other voters. But since I am afforded the choice to vote for whomever I feel represents the best direction for this country, without immediate concerns forcing me to choose a lesser of two evils, I chose the one candidate I could support fully and without reservation.
I am elated, excited, happy and hopeful after Tuesday’s election results. You haven’t heard me celebrating or expressing my happiness over Hillary’s loss and Trump’s victory. This is why. The atmosphere on Pepperdine’s campus is neither conducive nor encouraging of opinions and views that support our new president elect: Trump. I believe Trump to be a brilliant businessman who believes in America and proposes a realignment of American government in which nationalism is encouraged to improve the job market and economy and where the rich and poor are considered, not just the poor. The hateful, insensitive and disparaging remarks made by Democrats and Clinton supporters have left Trump supporters feeling judged, ridiculed and disenfranchised. I want to raise this view point since I know that many who are happy about Trump’s election are feeling like the voice of America is still not being heard — the voice asking for change, a president who believes in America, and a candidate who has a new perspective on politics. I am saddened and disappointed that the left-wing Democrats who are proposing “love” and “unity” have in fact left voiceless the millions of Americans who support Trump by hurting us through disruptive riots, accusatory social media posts and assumptions that being a Christian equals supporting Clinton. Regardless of your feeling about the election, it’s important to realize that hating on people who believe in a different role of government and see change and hope in a candidate different from the one you support does not help your cause, which supposedly fights for unity and love.
P.S. Please explain to me how Clinton’s support for third-term abortion is loving.
P.P.S. America has voted. Let’s move on.
I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised by the results of the presidential election. I’m glad enough people were able to refrain from getting caught up in the personality cults of the two main candidates, and instead voted for the party most in line with the Biblical worldview. And by that, I mean voted for the party with standards that match up the most with Biblical values, such as life for unborn children (Exodus 20:13, Psalm 127:3), defense of natural marriage (Genesis 1:27-28), defense for the nation of Israel (Ezekiel 36:24, 28), religious liberty, etc. And as always, no matter what the results of an election are, it’s important to always remember that we have to trust God’s doing because he’s the one who appoints and takes down rulers — it’s God who’s sovereign over all. Psalm 75:7 says, “But God is the Judge: he puts down one, and exalts another.” And so ultimately, it isn’t the results that matter, but our obedience to God is what matters — standing for what’s right, and in line with God’s Word.
There are only two other times in my life when I have cried as much as I did at the news of the election results, and both times were the loss of a loved one. In a way, this was a loss for me and for our country. We lost some of our pride, some of the credibility of the values we say we’re founded on — values like freedom of religion, immigration, that all people are created equal. I desperately missed the image of America I was taught as a child, that everyone could come here, live together, work hard and have the opportunity for a better life. Upon hearing that Mr. Trump narrowly won the election, I felt like we as a nation had failed that legacy. I was outraged. I was heartbroken. I was afraid. Hope felt completely out of reach. The America I love and am proud to be part of is not perfect. We have so many scars from our past, and a great many flaws in our present. But we rise above challenge, no matter the cost. We work for equality, no matter how long it takes. We look for the value in every walk of life, even when we disagree. I wonder, Mr. Trump, have you seen what that America looks like? Will you set aside your rash behavior, your harmful rhetoric, your selfish ways to help us become that America? To recognize it where it already exists? Because I see it every day. I see it in my friend from Mexico and my family who immigrated from Latin America. I see it in the little boys I spoke to last Friday, who escaped Syria to come here, who want to be firefighters and astronauts when they grow up. I see it in a teacher’s compassionate response to hurting, confused students after yet another shooting of innocent people. I see it in the people working to protect the one earth we have and innovating ways we can use and care for it more responsibly. I see it as I pass a group of friends having lunch, who all come from different backgrounds and beliefs, but who are listening with open minds and loving hearts. Have you seen that America? Because that America already is great. We don’t always achieve the level of compassion and harmony that we aspire to, but we don’t stop working for it. You are now our president-elect, put in power by the system we have created. Will you be the sort of leader who doesn’t stop working for the good of all people, to honor their worth and humanity? Will you forge the way to create and strengthen opportunities for all of us grow in knowledge, kindness and respect? Because that’s what a President does.
I changed my mind on which candidate I would vote for multiple times. However, I could not stand by, not executing my right to vote as many brave soldiers and women fought for people to have this right.
I didn’t vote for Trump because he is so morally upstanding but for a variety of other reasons.
While Trump had previously stated that within 100 days of his inauguration he would repeal Obamacare, conversations with President Obama have convinced him to amend it, keeping policies that help the public, most notably, allowing citizens with pre existing conditions access to insurance. Many people believe that as was the case with the Affordable Care Act, Trump will not be as crushing with policy changes as he previously stated and that such stances where exaggerated for the sake of the election, which happens with all presidential candidates to some degree.
Additionally, I voted for Trump because many experts believe a strong military and a strong economy are the two keys for successful foreign relations and foreign policy and Trump has already begun to improve both.
While true that Trump is talking with Russia, which many agree has been corrupt over the years, America has an uncomfortable tension with Russia right now and as they are one of the strongest nations, from a military standpoint, we should focus on easing this tension and Trump is interested in this endeavor.
Economically, the stock market, after Trump’s election is the best it has been in 5 years and it continues to improve. In addition, Trump has creative ideas on how to decrease America’s multi-trillion dollar debt.
In today’s state of terrorism, having a passive president is something we cannot afford which brings me to my last point of why I voted for Trump: safety.
This summer, I was in one of the cities terrorized and the fear that gripped me was unprecedented. I was nearly within vicinity of the event only a change of plans kept me out of the line of fire. I don’t know how many other students with similar experiences but suspect that unless something changes, similar attacks will increase in coming years. I’m not sure how much policy and disagreements matter when our lives are at stake.
Obviously, it is a very painful time for many but remember that just because someone voted for Trump doesn’t mean they are a racist, bigoted, homophobic misogynist. Differences in opinion are the basis of democracy and people should never discriminate against someone because they have a few differing ideas. I know we are divided now more than ever but hope that that changes soon.
Everyone needs to root for Trump because hoping he fails to proves everyone else right is like being on a ship and hoping it sinks to prove you have a bad captain, no one wins and everyone is hurt in the process. So, don’t give up on Trump and don’t give up on America.
Tuesday was a devastating night for a lot of us, myself included. I am a Mexican immigrant that loves the United States as if it were my own country. My biggest dream is to stay in the LA area and work for a magazine. My dream is being crushed by Donald Trump. This man has been speaking terribly about my country and my people, saying we are rapists and killers among other things. He makes Mexicans look like the worst of the worst. He literally wants to build a wall in between my two homes. Now that he has been elected he will make it harder for me to fulfill my dream of working and living in the U.S. As well, him being elected means that the peso (Mexican currency) is devaluating. Basically, my currency is worth nothing compared to the dollar and every day I stay in the U.S. is more expensive. My parents work incredibly hard to pay Pepperdine, to help me fulfill my dream of living here, and yet I am being told by millions of Americans that they don’t want me here.
On Tuesday night I tried to stop crying, but I couldn’t help but feel completely betrayed by the country and people I love so much. Voting for Trump is voting to kick immigrants out of the country and discriminate against them. The problem is that this is a country of immigrants. I was shocked by how many people support his radical and racist views. It makes me incredibly sad to see this country dig a hole for itself, when I want nothing but to be part of it. Electing Trump is the worst mistake the U.S. has ever, and will ever make.
After the sadness and shock, came anger. I feel so much anger toward the people that voted for him, but this anger is eating me up. I can’t be angry at the entire country, nonetheless at my friends that voted for him. Anger is where I am at, but I know we need to fight this with love. We need to spread the love because America clearly needs it. I will never understand why someone would vote for him, but I will respect their decision. I only ask for Trump supporters to understand why this is devastating for me and millions of other people.
Thank you for everything Hillary, I’m sorry.
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