The Trump Effect


The results of the 2016 Presidential election catalyzed an enormous shift in society – one that continues to grow exponentially today. Not only has the gap between choosing political sides widened, minority groups in America such as women and people of color have been impacted the most.

Following Trump’s election to power, minority groups have found a louder voice to speak with. With growing movements aimed to combat modern social issues such as sexual harassment, society has begun to internally recognize and acknowledge the severity of these issues and as such, seen fit to punish these offenders. These social issues were brought about through controversies mired in Trump’s campaign beginning with the infamous release of a 2005 video in which he boasted about sexually assaulting women—“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” His continuous degradation of women has galvanized women’s efforts in equality, culminating to the Women’s March on Washington held on January 21st, 2017, that drew an estimated audience of 3 million men and women – numbers exceeding Trump’s inauguration held a day prior.

This event fostered solidarity between men and women worldwide and opened the discussion for a spectrum of issues such as ending domestic violence and the status of immigrant rights, sending a message of power – one that reminds the haters and bigots of the world that ‘we are still here and we will not stand down’.

Movements have risen in support for minority groups concerning social issues and have unified in this age of Trump. From the LGBTQ+ community to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, each group has found unity in standing together. However, this unity goes both ways.

While Trump’s election brought about the unity of minority groups through rebellion, his presence in office have enabled alt-right nationalists and white supremacist groups to become more open with their extremist and hateful views. Going even further, his failure to condemn such groups as immoral and un-American has allowed them a place in society. Their efforts of normalizing hatred in American culture and society is made easier by a president that does not condemn or shame them.

Rallies across the nation held by racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan have risen in frequency in an effort to combat the more empowered minority groups. Newer groups have risen in the wake of the election, taking inspiration from Trump’s rhetoric and caustic attitude as a sign that hatred filled speech and violence are welcome in america. One such rally occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 11, 2017.

The Unite the Right rally was an alt-right rally, led by Richard Spencer. Its main goal was to oppose removal of a Confederate statue. The march included white supemremists and nationalist, neo-confeds, neo-nazis, and klansmen, who chanted racist and anti-semitic slogans while armed with semi auto rifles, paraded nazi propoganda and trump/pence signs.

The event turned violent amidst a clash against a counterprotest and left 30+ injured and 3 dead. An event such as this had opportunity for the President to recognize the growing racial tensions and acknowledge extremism such as this as a vile evil. Essentially, to put it as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a terrorist attack. Instead, Trump blamed both sides resuting in the perceived protection of white nationaliss and thus continuing to enable these groups.

These instances have shown that this era of Trump has further divided the nation. And with the division, new voices have cropped up, on opposing sides. This political division is not something healthy for the nation in the long-run.