On New Year’s Eve, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren announced she was running for president.
My social media immediately flooded with excited posts from friends sharing countless articles with fireworks emojis. I didn’t exactly have that reaction.
Was I excited? Of course. But given the events at Charlottesville, the countless number of domestic attacks committed by white men, and how 2018 was basically one big trash fire; I’m a little skeptical of Warren’s chance of actually winning the election. With the growing amount of hatred and nationalism around the world, we can’t let this election slip from our fingers. And most importantly, we can’t get cocky.
Back in 2016, I didn’t find out that Trump won the election until the next day. My Facebook was full of depressing statuses as well as a handful of people (who I don’t associate with anymore) who were excited about the outcome. I was so devastated, I went into the bathroom and cried until I had to go to work. As a brown woman, hearing the rhetoric this man was spewing about people who didn’t look “American,” I was terrified. What would it mean for me? What would it mean for my friends and family? Hate had won.
In the years since Trump has been president, nationalism in America has reared its ugly head, along with Nazism and Fascism. Things that America was supposed to stand against are growing increasingly popular in the country, as well as in other countries throughout the European continent. Depending on the country, nationalism in Europe has grown anywhere from 3.7-29%, with Austria, the birthplace of the Nazi movement seeing their nationalist party, the Freedom Party winning at least 26% of the votes in their most recent election. This is incredibly scary considering what happened the last time nationalism and xenophobia took control in Austria. With the growing amount of hatred and prejudice coming out of the woodwork around the world, we need to work harder than ever if we want to get this whole administration out.
This is why I repeat: we cannot get cocky. I’m praying that we don’t get a repeat of 2016, in which younger voters didn’t turn out because (a) they didn’t like Hilary or (b) they didn’t think they needed to vote because they assumed that Trump wouldn’t win. This is not the time to sit at home or make a protest vote. These extremists do not want to be the minorities in this country, it scares them. And they will do anything in their power to make sure that people who look like them and preach their hateful ideology stay in power.
Take the midterms, for example — we didn’t exactly get the “blue wave” that we expected, but we made an amazing amount of progress. But Republicans are fighting hard to keep their control. In Georgia, the GOP ensured that predominantly black counties had a harder time finding areas to vote. So much so that that the NAACP had to issue a court order for voting stations to stay open later in order for certain counties to vote. And if you voted by mail in Florida, you ran the risk of having your ballot rejected if your signatures didn’t match. It was for lack of better words, a shitstorm.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Warren is more than qualified to be president. But, I need more from a candidate than just qualifications. I became wary of Warren back in October when she released her DNA records. I eye rolled… hard. I was annoyed that she went out of her way to prove something to Trump and his cronies about her Native American heritage. Because to me, they were the only ones who really gave a shit if she was Native or not. I was also annoyed because taking a DNA test to prove some minute drop of ethnic blood is probably the whitest and most tone deaf thing she could have done. It made me feel like she was out of touch with POC by trying to prove something. Can someone who’s lived such a different experience truly know what minorities mean? Maybe she’ll prove me wrong, maybe I’m being too hard on her, but I’ll have to wait and see what she does and what her plans are for the future of America.
Will Elizabeth Warren win the democratic candidacy? It’s obviously too soon to tell, but this country cannot survive another four years of the Trump regime. We need to continue to fight for what is right or we’re going to end up living in a YA dystopian novel.
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Photo: Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com
Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.