Fool Me Once Shame on You, Fool me Twice Shame on Mecsudhbulletin November 7, 2020 0 COMMENTS
The 2020 election brings a new form of anxiety. Illustration by Pau Barbaro on Blush.
By Jasmine Nguyen, Editor-in-Chief
In 2016, I was 18 years old, attending my first year at California State University, Dominguez Hills, I was way too into Honey Milk Tea and I was very excited to be voting for a woman in my first presidential election.
I didn’t pay much attention to the election, I had more important things to worry about like prom dates, k-pop concerts and my first year at college. I had been in AP Government in my last year of high school, but I couldn’t name most of the intricate details of the candidates’ plans for sure.
All I knew was that Hillary Clinton was going to be elected by a landslide.
I was practically vibrating with excitement, I remember telling my father it was a done deal there was no way that Donald Trump could become president.
I was naive, just happy that my first election was going to be when the first female president of the United States was sworn into office.
The country was going to move towards a progressive path with the first female democrat president, and continue to improve in the next four years.
That obviously didn’t happen. Instead, I felt horrified by the results, somehow, Donald Trump had been elected as president. The man who stereotyped and insulted a whole nationality of people his first days on the election trail, a man who admitted on tape that he cared little for women’s autonomy and only cared for their bodies.
I didn’t sleep that night, anxiety crawling from the pit of my stomach to my throat. That anxiety had stayed within me these past four years, only growing as this administration continued to jeopardize those most at risk in this nation like refugees, the LGBTQ+, the lower class, and so many more.
That anxiety turned into fuel, urging me to pay more attention to politics, to care about my local and state elections, to donate to causes I cared deeply about, and overall not let the mistakes of 2016 to be done again.
Currently, in 2020, I’m 22 years old, I’m attending my last year at CSUDH. I’m Editor-in-Chief of my school paper, and I’m way too into Matcha Milk Tea. But I am terrified about the election.
Compared to four years ago, I’m prepared, I’ve followed the election since the start, I voted in the midterm and the primaries, I’ve done my research for our state’s propositions (by the way read our special issue about this election).
Honestly, I should be feeling pretty confident about now. Especially when there are reports of record-breaking numbers of voters, and Joe Biden is leading most in polls against Donald Trump (though I remember Clinton was also leading in the polls back in 2016).
But I can’t put myself at ease. Even if this woman on TikTok reads Joe Biden’s birth chart and swears the signs say that he’ll be elected. I can’t find myself hoping for a good outcome. The optimism I had back in 2016 has been dried up after four years.
Maybe I should be more positive, in 2018 the midterms saw a wave of progressive candidates being elected. Young people, Gen Z especially seem to be heading to the polls, according to the Harvard Youth Poll, found that 63% of respondents indicated they will “definitely be voting,” which is a 20% increase from the 47% in 2016.
So maybe we have a chance, maybe the past four years have been a wake-up call to many people in this country, maybe the younger generation has had their formative years in such a turmoil time, have had enough and are ready to vote for the more progressive candidate.
But I can’t give in to the optimism yet. I can’t have a repeat of 2016, I’m older, maybe not wiser, but the same mistake cannot be made.