I am the first of my generation to take her first breath in the nation of “America”. My parents, my grandparents- as far as I can trace back my lineage- all come from Korea. But I am the first. The first to, unfortunately, witness America at its most pathetic state- not as the patron of freedom in World War 2, the land of the “American Dream”, nor even the peaceful melting pot of cultures. No, the America I have long grown up with is not the same America I live in today.
Now, some may criticize me for being melodramatic. Some may even go as far as to say things such as “Go back to your own country, you chink!” and “You’re only sixteen, what do you know?” For starters, I have been a legal citizen since birth (as I have already mentioned) and am aware enough to write on the subject of democracy, which, I would say, makes me at least a little bit qualified to address this matter. But I digress.
The issue of Trump and his grossly explicit plans for America has been keeping tabloids in business since the beginning of February. In fact, not only has he been a delicious headline for all journalists, but he has also been the spark for many major outbursts of violence and racism. The very man who promised to “make America great again” has, in fact, simply made this nation worse- even before he has been inaugurated. His “Trump Rallies” serve not to promote peace and unity but to promote an exaggerated chauvinism for our nation- chauvinism that evokes hate. His racist, sexist policies excite a vast amount of Americans. And that’s frightening.
But Trump, however undesirable and repulsive he may seem, is not the problem. Trump is no mastermind (as one may infer from his limited vocabulary). Never once has he finished a single sentence with an appropriate conclusion. I am also quite certain that the only adjective Trump knows is the word “great”. His remedies for illegal immigrants, his most famous one being the great “Wall”, is not only impractical, but also offensive. As much as Trump is detestable, he is not the reason for America’s slow decline- he is merely a side effect of a greater, contaminated society. After all, society has been around for longer than Trump has. Thankfully.
The problem lies in the people who support Trump in earnest. How can it be that nearly half, or even more of the United States, is blind to the fallacies and lies of Trump? This man has indirectly bribed Russia, a long-standing enemy of the United States, into breaching our FBI to find “the 30,000 emails that are missing”. This man has been approved by communist leaders such as Kim Jong-Un, and yet his fellow republican Ted Cruz has refused to endorse him. In the same, drone-like way that the Nazis followed Hitler, many Americans today blindly follow Trump. Or perhaps, to make this analogy more comprehensive to historically ignorant Trump followers themselves, perhaps I should compare this blind support to an apocalypse: brainless zombies follow stupid man.
People like Trump will continue to exist. The only thing we can do is to educate the masses in hope that something like this will never happen again. Inevitably, history will repeat itself, because the masses have failed to learn it, therefore dooming themselves to repeat it. We are mere Redshirts following a Garibaldi, Brownshirts following Hitler, Blackshirts following Mussolini. But perhaps, in a distant future, we may learn from our mistakes.
What we can do now is to educate our kids. Kids grow up with too much internet and games, and not enough reality. Our youth today can tell you at the drop of a hat what Kim Kardashian got for her sweet sixteen. But they don’t know the most significant leaders of our nation’s history. Nor are they aware of today’s politics. In order to create an intelligent society of politically active individuals, we must begin with those who will replace the older generations. The children of today are the hope of tomorrow. These kids will grow up to be our nation’s biggest political cogs. And as with any machine, a defective cog will break the entire system.
Democracy only works when the people are invested in their right to vote. As soon as I am legal to do so, I will vote. It is my inalienable right that my forefathers fought for. I am sure that people who are educated in history and politics will see the similarities between fascists dictators and this man called Trump. Unfortunately, for those who are not as aware of the circumstances, Trump may seem like a novel new leader that will lead us out of economic decline. Education may be the answer to what America lacks today. It has been long said that knowledge is power. And powerful, learned individuals will provide a strong backbone for a strong society.
We may not have the time to prevent the results of this November. But what we can do is to do our best to avoid another November that this one may come to be.