As a straight white middle-class male, I am part of the majority least affected by the outcome of this year’s general election. This, however, does not mean I am not scared.
I am terrified not because conservatives will now control the House of Representatives, the Senate, the presidency and most likely the Supreme Court. I am terrified because of how divisive and hateful this election has made our country. I watched firsthand as Donald Trump led hate- and anger-filled chants at rallies consisting of up to 7,000 people in our own city of Asheville. That same man will now lead our country.
I am terrified for my friends that are part of minorities. Whether they are of a different skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or cultural background, their fight just got much more difficult. With the type of opinions many conservatives in power have about these groups, it is hard to believe there will be a lot of progress for the disenfranchised in the next few years. I stand with these people because the fight is not over and now more than ever we need to ally together to fight for equality.
I am terrified as a college student still in the process of amassing a mountain of debt. When the winning candidate has run on a platform of a total free-market economy, that does not leave a lot of room for people still struggling to pay for their education years after they graduate. Education is a huge part of growing a successful economy, and not just the privileged should be allowed to earn a degree without being burdened by student loans.
I am terrified as someone relying heavily on effective and accessible healthcare in order to get the treatment I need. People in our country want to be able to live healthy and happy lives without worrying about whether or not insurance will cover them. Medical debt is at an all-time high and with families declaring bankruptcy because of hospital visits does not seem like the opportune time to go to a laissez-faire style of caring for those in need.
I am hopeful, despite all of this, my generation will still develop a country where we will feel comfortable to follow through on our personal goals. My generation of millennials has often been accused of being thin-skinned and too sensitive when it comes to people opposing our beliefs. I think this is because we have our hearts in it more than anyone else.
This is our future we are fighting for and it is our job starting now to prove to everyone else that we can be strong and resilient and stand up to adversity in the face of extreme opposition.