In light of the outcome of this year’s presidential election, many Americans are probably worried about what will happen to themselves and their families during this time of uncertainty. With the possibility of an economic recession looming over the horizon, threats from overseas, and a society that only seems to be getting more fragmented, these fears are not unfounded. However, the absolute last thing that anyone should be doing is calling our president-elect names like "racist" or "sexist" or "xenophobe" based on his public statements. The reason why people like Donald Trump have taken up these positions is because of (real and imagined) feelings of abandonment by the liberal establishment. Calling him out on his moral shortcomings will only feed these sentiments, giving him further justification for his beliefs. Lest we forget, something like this happened before with the election of George Bush; we’re slightly better off today because now we at least know what we’re about to get.
However, knowing what’s coming down the road may not be enough to calm the fears of many, so I will try to address the specific groups that may have the most uncertainty about the future:
Underrepresented minorities– Clinton may not have been the best candidate for this group because of the Clinton administration’s passage of the Welfare Reform Act in 1996. However, even Sanders doesn’t seem very appealing if you take into account the fact that Vermont is 95% white, and any solutions he would have offered would have been designed for that particular environment.
Women–it certainly is upsetting to miss a shot at having the first female president, but Clinton’s record on women’s issues leaves much to be desired. Even if you ignore her decision to stay with Bill after he cheated on her, the Clinton administration oversaw the growth of the high-tech economy, an industry that is still plagued by sexism to this day.
The military– Trump claims to have opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq. His intentions may or may not have been noble, but candidates like Clinton and Rubio actually supported it. Further, our policy towards the Middle East has been to play up our shared Abrahamic heritage while still trying to gain the upper hand in the relationship, as evidenced by our bases in Saudi Arabia. At least now those countries have less reason to be upset because they know what they will be getting.
Last but definitely not least are foreign immigrant communities. One thing you won’t see in the citizenship exam study guide is that every 30 years or so American society becomes less inviting. It happened after both World Wars when isolationism was the prevailing sentiment, and today’s attitudes are part of that trend. There’a a light at the end of the tunnel though; during the 1960s, immigration reform lifted the Quota Act of the 1920s, and the end of the Cold War in 1991 reversed some of the attitudes of the 1950s.