You voted for Trump? Own it.


Lexi Manning

Imagine it is 2067. Your children have grown up and you finally earned the title of grandparent. The pride of your life is your ten year old grandson. He’s on the honor roll, he’s the star of his baseball team, and he’s never been in trouble in school.

  One day, he comes to your house and asks about President Donald Trump. He had watched a documentary at school, he tells you, that was about the start of a new America, one that wasn’t the “Home of the Free.” “Who would have voted for that guy?” he asks you, only to get hit with the nasty truth: You, his beloved, do-no-wrong grandparent, voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. “But how could you, he was mean to women and people with darker skin than us? He was mean to everyone who disagreed with him. He was a liar.”

  Own your vote.

  Own it five years from now when your high school has recently shut down. The district just couldn’t afford to staff the building. Charter schools are blossoming. Your favorite teachers who inspired you in high school are out of jobs. People with teaching degrees are working at gas stations. This isn’t surprising, Trump’s secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (and the rest of the DeVos family), are known for never having been in a public school. Does she have a teaching degree? No. Does she know what it’s like to have her, her children, or their children be in the public education system? No. She plans to defund public school and begin the reign of charter schools. The first teachers to go are the ones who are getting paid the most – and those were the ones who did the best job teaching.

  Disgusted? I hope not, you knew about this. Own your vote.

  Let’s get closer to today, let’s say a year down the road. You’re at a restaurant with some friends and Trump’s name comes up. The guy to your left is telling about how his mother got deported last week, and he’s still pretty shaken up about it. What would happen to his younger siblings? He’s in his early twenties, and he has to take care of them now. How will he manage?

  This should not be surprising. It’s uncomfortable, yes, but not surprising. Own your vote. You knew this would happen. Don’t hide the truth. You have to admit that you voted for Trump. You made that deportation real.

  What about the recent news story about the Muslim woman in Ann Arbor? The woman that was threatened by a white guy because of her hijab? He told her he’d set her on fire with a lighter. He told her to go back to her f****** country. Sound familiar? The news anchors go on like this is a normal day. It is a normal day, sure, but that behavior is not normal behavior, it’s aggressive, demeaning, hateful behavior. And this behavior isn’t surprising. Trump, predictably, emboldened racists. You were the one that voted for Trump, after all. Own that vote. And don’t you dare pretend this incidence of aggression is comparable to events of the past. There have been more than 900 reported incidents of aggression in Trump’s name.

  In a few years, when your grandparents tell you with tears in their eyes that they have to sell their condo in Tampa because their social security benefits were slashed, don’t just offer your condolences. Don’t just feel bad for them for a minute or two. Instead, tell them that you are at fault, that you voted for the cuts in social security. Tell them that, though you’re sorry for their situation, you voted for this exact reality.

  The EPA will be restricted because Trump doesn’t think there are issues with our environment. You and your friends were planning on doing a hiking trip to Yellowstone National Park this winter. What an adventure, right? But you can’t anymore: after Trump destroyed regulations regarding snowmobile use in the national parks, the air quality is terrible. Park rangers at the entrance to Yellowstone wear pollution masks, because being there all day will deteriorate their lungs. It’s a proven fact that the air in this national park is toxic – but the EPA will take care of it, right? Oh wait, your nominee made sure the EPA can’t do anything anymore.

  Today, yesterday, next week, there will be stories about more violence, injustice and inequality. People are attacking people. Children of color are afraid to go to school, are afraid for their families.

  This isn’t surprising. Those who have read one article about Donald Trump know he’s a racist, sexist bigot, who cares more for money than children’s education, and he will certainly not do anything about environmental issues. Electing him for President of the United States has ignited a fire of racist, sexist, ignorant bigotry that will not be extinguished anytime soon, and you were the one holding the lighter. Own your vote.