What happens after Trump takes office?

Shae Slaughter

The time has come, and as of Friday, Jan. 20, president-elect Donald Trump will become President Donald Trump. Over the last couple of months Americans have dealt with this news with either jubilation, despair or a sense of uneasiness. With almost 3 million popular votes for Hillary Clinton falling on deaf ears, many Americans have felt that this election exposed the inadequacies of a dated polling system based on electoral votes. With this knowledge in hand, those who don’t approve of the election results now have some decisions to make.

The youth of America generally tends to lean toward a more liberal viewpoint when it comes to politics, something that politicians like Donald Trump do not always lend themselves to. According to CNN, voters between the ages of 18-29 voted Clinton rather than Trump by about a 19 percent swing. Many of Trump’s choices during his campaign caused a large uproar among younger voters that no previous elections had yet seen. Whether you support Trump or not, I think that it is fair to say that his rise to power was one of the most beneficial ways of introducing a younger generation in to politics.

The introduction was not an easy one and was filled with many steps. For those whose candidate lost the election the first step of their grief was denial. Denial is something many people embraced in the wake of the election. Trends of #NotMyPresident and protests filled the news mere days after Trump won the election. Even here on Grand Valley State University’s campus, some classes supposed to take place the day after the election were cancelled. With this mindset, many citizens were able to suppress the disappointment, anger and unhappiness they felt. However, as much as supporters of Clinton or Independent parties tried, Trump still had secured the position of president-elect.

From denial, people moved into anger. Angry Facebook posts and rants began to fill the air. Now that Trump had won, the reality of his time in office began to enrage many people. They finally began to realize just how many mistakes had been made during the election by the media, the candidates and the public. A candidate that many initially felt held no political backing had now secured the most powerful position in our country.

With that, people moved on to bargaining, or a hope that perusing through Trump’s past and the United States Constitution would expose something that made him unable to hold office. Articles were written, posts were made and claims were brought forward in an attempt to impeach a man who had not yet taken office.

When that didn’t work, people turned toward depression. Many minorities began to fear for the years to come. Already since the election, Trump’s intended policies have begun to frighten those who will lose their access to programs they have come to depend on.

However with grieving comes the ability to reach acceptance as the final step in the process. This isn’t afforded to all people though. So as we look on to Trump’s inauguration, some people are still not quite ready to swallow that pill. For those who are not, I provide one more step to the grieving process: action.

With action, I hope that the citizens of the United States who feel unhappiness in the face of our new president will take this election and use it as a stepping stone for progress. Nothing can be done to change the results, so take the initiative to become more informed and involved in politics. Our generation is one of the largest and as we grow older, our opinions will count for more. For those who did support Trump, I urge the same thing. Continue taking action and following your beliefs because America is meant to be a democracy, it is meant to be full of differences, choices and chances. We have many more elections to face in our lifetime, so do not let one discourage you from your democratic voice.