In the weeks preceding the 2016 election, multiple commercials of Donald Trump’s blatant disrespect towards women, minorities, and disabled people played on repeat to the point where I could no longer watch TV without being thoroughly annoyed. It was so obvious to me that he was a horrible person that I found it unnecessary to be constantly reminded of his existence. However, fast forward to November 8th and it turned out that almost half the votes disagreed with me.
How is it possible that we elected this man to the highest position American politics has to offer? A man that admitted sexual assault? A man that proposed unlawful search and seizures of African Americans that he deemed “suspicious”? I couldn’t believe it. I was saddened, shocked, but mostly just angry, and I took those emotions to social media to express my views of this man who will soon be the leader of my country. Not too long afterwards, I start to see complaints from conservatives that we should just “suck it up” and “stop complaining” because no matter what, he’s going to be president. So, according to them, I should just accept it.
Not only is laying down and accepting defeat something that I’ve never been good at, but when it comes to the fate of my country, I refuse to be silenced. Telling me that my beliefs and opinions are second to yours and I should just quiet down and accept it isn’t just insulting, it goes entirely against the Constitution that conservatives are so quick to defend. I have every right to express my opinions, and we have every right to disagree, but the second you tell me to quiet down is when I stop respecting you.
However, it’s hard to respect someone that voted for Trump in the first place. The reason the millennial “outcry” is so loud is because this man doesn’t represent us. Millennials almost unanimously voted against Trump, yet we’re the ones that have to deal with the repercussions. Generations before us voted for a man that embodies their internally bigoted values, and expect us to swallow our pride and go along with it. We won’t.
We’re constantly told that, as millennials, we are cry-babies and complainers. What I want people to understand is that we aren’t upset because the election didn’t go our way or because we didn’t get what we want. We’re upset because now we have to deal with a man that’s going to try and reverse all the social progress we’ve made. We’re upset because half the country voted for a man with the slogan “Make America Great Again!” when America has yet to be great for minorities and marginalized people. We’re upset because hate crimes against Muslims and African Americans are increasing, and all our president-elect had to say was “Stop it.”
I’m upset because in such a progressive time period, we took ten steps backwards.
When you’re constantly shamed for having and expressing an opinion, you start to believe that it really doesn’t matter. We start to lose interest. Why care about a subject that we’re berated for talking about? At this point, I’ve only lost interest in one thing: the opinions of older generations. I’m worried about my generation and the generations after us, and I’ll be damned if I let someone talk me out of expressing my opinions and beliefs simply because I should just accept something and let it go. Loud and intelligent millennial voices make older people uncomfortable, and I’ll make it my mission to make them as uncomfortable as I can.