On Tuesday night through Wednesday morning, the whole world was astonished. Trump became the President-elect. The 2016 election was one of the most chaotic elections witnessed by most generations. Nobody predicted his Republican nomination, and not many people, albeit a few, gave it a pressing thought. However, once he started winning more states than rival Hillary Clinton, we all knew that his campaign had won. The end result was fear, disappointment and uncertainty from the Democratic side, and enthusiasm from the Republicans. Given the chaos and the divisiveness as a result from the election, Trump must bring both unity and positive changes. These will not come easy. What he says in public must reflect his personal beliefs. Thus, when he proclaims he will cooperate with the Democrats and other groups of people to create progress for the country, he must actually believe in it.
As an international student who has lived in the U.S. for the past five years and has been exposed to Trump’s antics, his win came to me as a shock. How is it possible for a man who openly objectified women and said such ridiculous and narrow-minded things to win? His embargo policies and desire to improve America by reducing importation is not conducive to helping the U.S. become more educated and global. The country’s population is already stereotyped by foreigners to be ignorant, yet the country’s foundation was supported and built by immigrants. Trump understandably wants to build the country’s domestic work force, but his dogmatism can be risky for the well-being of the nation’s international affairs.
This is just a difference in priorities and personal interests based on individual circumstance. However, I can state my opinion as an international student. In comparing Trump to Clinton during the elections, she seemed like a much more qualified candidate — she was skilled in politics and did not deride marginalized groups. This opinion is not merely based off the fact I am enrolled in her alma mater.
Following the aftermath to the election, I address what seems to be Trump’s biggest challenges from the perspective of an undergraduate international student at Wellesley College. First, he needs to address the absolutely ludicrous comments that he has made. For example, deriding President Obama with to the birther movement and calling him the worst president ever was unwarranted and frivolous. He should give a respectful and honest apology towards the claims he made towards Obama, such as President Obama being born outside the U.S. Ultimately, he must make amends to the people he has offended and disrespected on his way to presidency. He needs to apologize to people of color, Muslims and other minority groups for generalizing them in an untrue manner. His ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. was offensive and insensitive policy, because it categorizes all Muslims as enemies. These claims are false and dangerous. Clearly, the apologies may not be accepted immediately because his statements were hurtful. It will take time for him to prove himself and make amends, but he must try his hardest. There needs to be respect, cooperation and understanding between both sides. Different value systems of both parties and a lack of willingness to empathize on both ends are what creates the divisiveness of the country. If Donald Trump continues to be adamant about taking a one-sided perspective and fails to empathize with liberals, minorities and marginalized groups, he will trigger negative responses of fear, anxiety, depression and anger.
Trump needs to work on making sure that he gains respect and trust from people by showing that he will accept them, and by being more open-minded by showing that he can work with them even if they have different values. The fact that he won demonstrated that some working class people that feel like their jobs are being taken away by the current system in place and want to see change with the domestic economy. His biggest challenge is unifying the country and mending the division among people. America is able to become one of the top countries in the world through innovation, new ideas, inclusiveness and forward thinking.