I feel abandoned by my fellow Americans—and now I finally understand the despair of Trump’s supporters

Where do we go from here?
Where do we go from here?
Image: AP/Matt Rourke
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After his win, Donald Trump had a message on Twitter:

As one of the 47.7% of voters who cast ballots against Trump, that victory tweet was possibly harder to stomach than the win itself.

I already feel forgotten. I’m not an avid Hillary Clinton supporter, but the high I felt yesterday after having voted for the first woman to be president was abruptly leveled by the devastating election result and the reality that I will soon live in country controlled by a man who seems to have little to no respect for my gender. It’s as though I’m on my own for the next four years. And no-one in the government is looking out for my interests.

I feel abandoned by my country. I feel abandoned by my fellow Americans. And I can’t be the only one. I saw it in the disheartened faces yesterday morning, on my subway ride in from Queens—Trump’s home borough in New York, which largely voted against him. I heard it in the deafening quiet on Manhattan’s usually boisterous streets the day after the election.

But I now realize—that’s precisely how Trump supporters must have felt for the past eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency. They’ve felt ignored. They’ve felt like their opportunities have been stripped away. They’ve been angry. And they channeled that anger into an overwhelming cry for change. Democrats and Clinton supporters have been asking on social media how this happened and how we got here. We got here because too much of the nation has felt alienated for too long.

It’s their time now. I accept that. Heck, I applaud it. Because now I’m just as angry, and desperate for a different kind of change. I understand the other half of the country better now than I have at any other point in this contemptuous election cycle.

My only hope is that Trump proves me wrong and them right. That he truly means it when he says he won’t let anyone be forgotten. I could conceivably stand behind him if he shows a different side of himself as president than he did as the Republican nominee.

Otherwise, like Trump’s supporters did with Obama, I’ll bide my time until the next election.