I was 15 years old when I first heard of Donald Trump. He was in the popular hashtags of Facebook – that is to say, mocking him was.
The hashtag #trumpyourcat was trending, and cat owners posted pictures of their pets’ fur styled into a Trump-esque combover. I thought nothing of it at the time.
Then I started hearing about the presidential election. Trump scandals piled up at the same time as support for him did. As a feminist, I was outraged. As a person with anxiety, I was terrified. My parents assured me he wouldn’t win. How could he? In fact, if he won, they promised, we could move to Scotland.
I almost had a panic attack the night of the election. My mom finally made me go to bed, and she told me the news the next morning – Trump had somehow won. Ever since, the news has been unbelievable. There have been too many scandals and humiliations to count.
The last year or so has been a roller coaster of awful events. To be fair, there’s been good, too. The women’s marches, #metoo, the incredible courage and tenacity of the Parkland students. The resistance is strong, and we are not going away.
But we shouldn’t have to resist. We shouldn’t have to fight for our humanity, and for control over our bodies and for our safety. We shouldn’t have to fight for our transgender siblings to be able to serve in the military, for black people to not be shot simply for existing, for a woman’s right to not be harassed. We shouldn’t have to go back to a time my generation doesn’t remember but never wants to repeat.
I am 17 years old. I am considering college, careers, my future. And under the Trump administration, that future seems bleak. It’s all too easy to picture social progress set back decades, faith in democracy and information eroded to nothing, and a future where there is nothing to do but fight. It is all too easy to picture war.
This is the world my generation is inheriting. This is the world we will have to fix. We will fight. We will speak out for the rights of everyone. We will keep marching, and blogging, and challenging. But underneath all this, there is a constant current of fear– fear that life as we know it will come crashing down, and everything will change forever.
And, for the record, my family has not moved to Scotland.
Katelyn Allred, Ephraim, is a senior at Manti High School.