The most diverse generation in the history of the United States voted in favor of Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump 55 percent to 37 percent. Unsurprisingly, people aged 18-29 are more likely to be liberal and support a more active government.
Millennials base their thinking on the values of equality and opportunity for all. Unfortunately, President-elect Donald Trump (the oldest active president in the history of the United States) will pay little attention to their needs. At the age of seventy years old, he joins a group of cabinet members not much younger than him to set the agenda, lead our military and dictate the country’s future. Critics may argue that Trump doesn’t actually believe what he says most of the time.
For the sake of this article, let us assume that Trump will try to deliver on most of his promises (since he may want to get re-elected). Leaving aside the majority Republican congress, Trump has a number of ways to side-step congress to shape American politics and culture. As a result, Millennials will certainly bear the burden of these policies for well over four years.
1. Filling the empty seat in the Supreme Court with a likely conservative judge will lead to problematic outcomes for Millennials. In the recent past, the Supreme Court has been a medium for progress in the country. For instance, the ruling to ban states from prohibiting gay marriage was a climatic moment for LGBTQ rights. Expect future rulings to lean conservative, favoring big business by continuing to allow the buying of elections and reluctance to protect our environment.
2. Don’t expect any reform to our criminal justice system; in fact the punishments for crime may get tougher. The likely-to-be Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated that he is non-committal on cracking down on states that have recreational marijuana. Also, Sessions receives a “F” grade from the NAACP for consistently making racist remarks throughout his political career. Even if Sessions doesn’t get confirmed, Trump thinks that reducing immigration will reduce crime. One policy Trump supports is the notorious “Stop and Frisk” law, which could be a policy enacted in certain areas. The results of this law in New York City showed a majority of people stopped were African Americans and Hispanics. Don’t expect successful reforms to curb the country with the gold medal in prison rates.
3. The progress made on combatting climate change will likely be reversed, because Donald Trump is an infamous climate change denier. He has stated he will remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement and reverse regulations on coal production. Donald Trump has criticized the effectiveness of the United Nations, the one organization that has the potential to rescue planet Earth from ecological devastation. Trump will take advice from climate change denier, scientist Scott Pruitt. However, the likely-to-be Secretary of State, former CEO of Exxon Mobil Rex Tillerson, does think it’s real. In the next four years expect a reluctance to acknowledge and accept climate refugees when the rising oceans extinguish thousands of people’s homes.
4. Speaking of removing people from their homes, Donald Trump pledged to deport eleven million people living in the United States. He claims that this will benefit the U.S. economy by returning jobs to Americans. However, its unclear whether undocumented workers are taking jobs from Americans. The consequences of the mass exodus would hit the U.S. GDP by $1.6 trillion. The removal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections will likely damage or break the dreams of over half a million undocumented youths working or attending college in America.
5. Nothing makes my stomach more unsettled than knowing that Trump has free access to the nuclear codes.
Donald Trump demonstrated on the campaign trail and in his business practices that he seeks revenge and lives above the law (Trump University). In fact, fifty of the top senior GOP officials signed a letter saying that Donald Trump is unfit to be commander-in-chief. Also, many have pointed to Trump’s conflict of interests with his ties to Russia. Additionally, Trumps hateful language about Muslims has actually been used as a propaganda tool for ISIS recruitment.
It is hard to predict whether Trump will tone down his rhetoric when he is president but he hasn’t slowed down one bit. Expecting him to curb the very personality that got him elected is foolishly optimistic. Lastly, Trump’s style of unpredictability as commander- in-chief ought to create more fear of global instability rather than world order. These are truly scary times to be alive because of the rise of the right across oceans and borders. It’s paramount for the Millennials to remember how previous Presidents’ actions affect the future and leave a legacy. President Obama’s legacy of progress will depend on both the people of the United States and Donald Trump (a man convinced Obama was born in Africa). Millennials have to fight to preserve the best parts of Obama’s legacy and the sanity in the Oval Office.