Nguyen: “Post Trump Protests”

Phuong Nguyen, Columnist

Even though the election occurred almost a month ago, it still incites anger, fear and shock from people as if it was yesterday. People not only in America, but around the world, fear what is coming in the next four years and further.

I must admit that the scenario of the new president-elect causes a lot of uncertainty because Donald Trump is not a typical president. In fact, he violates many ideals of what a president should be.

Still, people are protesting and posting statuses about Donald Trump on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to express their anger and disagreement in the results of the election. This is the beauty of freedom of speech in a democratic world.  

But the results are settled. Even with the recount efforts started by the former Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein, there is likely nothing we can do to change the results. While we should admit Trump was the rightful victor, the protests are not about the outcome of the election. Rather, it demonstrates that the public refuses to abandon minorities in a time when many are scared. Protesting shows him that we know who he is and we will fight against whatever crimes he has committed or will commit. According to Henry David Thoreau in his essay, “Civil Disobedience,” as good citizens, people should follow and comply with the rules. However if people find a law that is unjust, they should break the laws publicly and get caught. This theory may seem quite severe, and protesting does not have to go that far, but regardless of whether it is lawful or unlawful, it proves a point and sends a message.

While protestors do have legitimate grievances, we should try to give Trump a chance to see how he does. In psychology, there is a concept called “self-fulfilling prophecy” which suggests that when people have an expectation about what another person is like, it influences how they act toward that person. In turn, this causes that person to behave in a way consistent with expectations. So, following this concept, if we are untrusting of him, saying that he is racist, he will do things that live up to our original expectations.

However if we are open and cooperative with him, or look at him as a nice person, he would he change himself to meet our expectations. When asked about self-fulfilling prophecy, Dr. Jennifer Butler of Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Psychological Sciences said she believes it will play a role in the coming times. A person might have forgiven some of what they didn’t approve because Trump seems to speak to their concerns on another level, be it political infighting, the economy or changing healthcare laws,” said Butler. “[Trump] may not change himself to fit expectations, but the initial expectations of the American people will serve almost as a prime to change their interpretation of what he does.” Therefore, we should have an open-mind and see what comes in the future.

Lastly, critics argue that the Americans who voted for Trump are racist, sexist and indifferent to sexual assault. However Trump supporters should not be generalized by such serious labels.  People have legitimate reasons to vote for Trump such as protecting the Constitution, decreasing their taxes or taking issue with the Affordable Care Act. Whatever reasons that people vote for Trump, we should respect their opinions.

Also, the presidency may not be the result of racists voting, but because people who supported Clinton did not go out and vote. Though she actually won the popular vote, The New York Times indicated one of the reasons she lost was because people were overconfident about her victory. Even though we may not agree with their opinions, they are still free to express their speech. Let’s try to move forward and resolve our problems together.