The 2016 presidential election is arguably the most aggravating and dividing topic of discussion the majority of our country has faced in decades. Make America Great Again — because it has sucked for far too long. I’m with her — because how on earth could you possibly be with him.
While you read yet another opinion about the political uproar that has put politics on the same level as reality TV in the last year, I implore you to not just look at the previous actions of both candidates but to wholeheartedly imagine the future with each of them.
Four years is a long time. For me, four years will cover my departure from college, my entrance into the work force and my first real take on “adulthood.”
Four years matter.
The election does not end on Nov. 8 when all ballots are submitted and counted. The election of a candidate will reverberate each and every day our president is in office.
I am an ambitious, educated, white American female. Despite being aware of the ignorance and hate displayed by Republican nominee Donald Trump, I have still felt completely safe during the political commentary throughout this election.
I regret that I have not fully understood the extent of the impact of Trump’s words and actions towards Muslims, African-Americans, Mexicans and truly anyone that does not fit his elitist mold, until now. I realize now that this behavior does not just affect the victims of his outlandish blows but any American that strives to be treated with the respect promised to them through their inalienable rights.
The recent video and audio footage released of Trump’s derogatory “locker room” banter is more than just a singular sexist offense. It is just one moment indicative of his deep-set behavioral flaws which have poisoned his entire platform.
Those in defense of these statements claim his words 10 years ago do not have implications on the qualifications of Trump’s fitness as a future president. I would argue that they do.
When I walk down the street and hear catcalls, whistling, sexual harassment and “locker room talk,” I cringe. I am ashamed of my own gender, and I despise it. I feel powerless, mocked, used, objectified and unworthy of being the person I aspire to be.
Now, how am I supposed to be enthusiastic about the next four years of my life when I look to my right and realize the cat-caller is my president?
This behavior and personality should not be admired, validated and put in a position of power. Trump’s ideas for America, the policies he supports and the future actions he promises are meaningless without one qualification for United States presidency — respect.
If it wasn’t already, this video and his subsequent debate performance have made it clear as day that women are not equal or respected in his eyes. We are objects that have worth based on revealing clothes, sexual favors and appearance. We are objects his money can buy.
It is shameful that this election has boiled down not to selecting a candidate that plans to improve the lives of American citizens, but rather eliminating a man who lashes out at us before even touching the Oval Office. It is shameful that our actions allowed this to happen.
America deserves so much better than catcalling. America deserves respect. America deserves greatness.
I want to make America great again, but unfortunately you, Mr. Trump, are already making it worse.
Ashley Osbourne ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in marketing.