*All views expressed in the opinion section are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Salemite
I don’t think I’ll ever forget how I felt when I heard that Donald Trump “won” the office of president. It was around two in the morning, but the time doesn’t matter; not really. What matters is the way my entire body turned to ice, the way my tears burned my eyes so much I thought they would always remain on the edges of my eyes. That day marked the beginning of a very dark era for America — an era where the constitution is no longer a set of legally binding rules, but rather a document that holds little or no importance over the office of president, an era where myself and my fellow Salem siblings are terrified of what might happen to us, an era where journalists are no longer protected, an era where it seems like no one but the elite is protected.
I don’t think there was one moment that made me realize it was real; there were several moments over the last year that made me think that our country was shifting into post-apocalyptic hellscape where we have something close to a dictator in the White House. One of the most memorable was when Trump fired Comey. That felt like something that had come out of “The Hunger Games” or “1984” or some other fictional book that’s about how broken the world is. It wasn’t that I really cared about Comey or that anything Trump said before that wasn’t awful, it was that he fired someone because they were questioning him and that shook me to my core. That is not something a president, or any public official, should legally be able to do. At best, it’s ethically questionable and at worst, it’s an obstruction of justice; which, coincidentally is a very good summary of Trump’s presidency.
Of course, there were other events that he took part in that were more horrific but given the content of a lot of them and my own privilege, I wouldn’t feel right responding to how they made me feel because how those particular events made me feel isn’t important.
It’s difficult to hold onto any sort of hope given the state that our country is right now. It’s downright depressing and I’m the first one to tell you that we’re in a very dark place right now. But I want to believe that there is some sort of light at the end of the tunnel after this. I want to think that there is still some good in people and until recently, I kept drawing a blank.
The Blue Wave was the best example of this hope that I’ve been looking for, that a lot people I think have been looking for. The fact that so many Progressives have unseated Conservatives speaks to the fire that has been ignited in the Progressive Party. Though the president’s seat has been taken over by a wannabe dictator, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other offices that can offer more progress.