The importance of Jan. 20

Saadia Akhtar

Jan. 20, 2017—the day President-elect Donald Trump is officially inaugurated to become the President of the United States. It is the day half of the country cannot wait for, and the other half is dreading. It marks the end of Trump’s tumultuous transition and the beginning of Trump’s official duties, wherein the whole country will be waiting to see how Trump implements his controversial agenda. 

For many, Jan. 20 is the dawn of a new era: an era of national security, job creation, and conservatism. Many conservative economists say that Trump’s plan would create a lot of jobs in defense, construction, engineering, independent contracting, and would boost small businesses. But for so many more, this is a time of uncertainty and fear. People under the Affordable Care Act are afraid for their health insurance once it is repealed. Republicans have already begun the process of repealing the ACA, despite pleas from Democrats and some Trump supporters that are covered by the ACA. Undocumented immigrants are afraid for their future and their children’s future. African Americans are afraid that Trump’s rudimentary ideas about race and African American communities around the country will not help them overcome issues of justice and poverty. LGBTQ+ individuals are afraid of losing marriage equality and protections against discrimination. Muslims are afraid of being put on a national registry and being subject to unnecessary targeting. Women are afraid of losing their right to have an abortion and quality healthcare, as provided through Planned Parenthood. In fact, Lexington’s one and only abortion clinic is closing — leaving only one abortion clinic in the state, which is in Louisville.  

These uncertainties and fears are being projected through social media, protests, and collective actions. Instead of Trump, his supporters, and his staff simply brushing these fears aside as “liberal tears” and calling the many who are scared of a Trump presidency snowflakes, maybe they should try to reach out to the abovementioned people. Trump’s slogan was “Make America Great Again,” and so he should. But make an American that is great for all people. Make Jan. 20 a day for all to celebrate and be happy for, by embracing Americans who feel left behind by policies and rhetoric.

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