Donald Trump’s new status as president-elect has sparked elation and outrage in seemingly equal measure. Perhaps the only common factor in people’s reaction to Trump’s surprising and controversial victory has been the intensity of the reaction to it.
It is perhaps indicative of today’s increasingly partisan America that no president in recent history has provoked such an intensely polarized reaction from the public.
Professor Dave Zimny is particularly worried about the effects of a Trump presidency on the Supreme Court. Supreme court members are elected for life and, due to Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s failing health; Zimny expressed concern about a far right Supreme Court.
“Ginsberg, she is in her ’80s,” said Zimny, “She is in poor health.”
Zimny added that such an appointment would “lock in a conservative majority for the next 20 to 30 years,” in the Supreme Court.
A probable effect of a right wing Supreme Court is the overturning of abortion rights as a federal law.
“Roe v. Wade is in danger,” said Zimny. “The court has watered it down so much.”
Zimny explained exactly what an overturn would entail for this nation.
“Many states, especially conservative states, will go back to the ’50s where abortion is a crime,” said Zimny. “Illegal abortions are dangerous — people die from those.”
Student Julia Ford was more assured about the future of women’s reproductive rights. “I don’t think he can overturn all of that,” said Ford about Trump’s ability to affect Roe v. Wade.
First-year student Loraine Fonseca’s thoughts on the matter were more drastic.
“I think he is going to take abortion away,” she said.
Beyond the response to Trump’s policies, many people are impassioned by his rise to power and its possible effects on a social level.
Second-year student Robert Brown had a positive outlook about the election and its results.
“My hopes are that he will bring something new, different and vibrant to the economy,” he said emphasizing the need for this country to be positive and optimistic about the future.
“We should give him a chance,” said Brown, “It is horrible to me that people are hoping for him to fail. Why would we hope someone makes things worse?”
Brown’s hopefulness is, perhaps, an echo of President Barack Obama’s measured reaction to Trump’s victory.
“My hope is he makes things better. And if he does, we all benefit from it,” said Obama about Trump’s appointment.
Enthused protester and former LMC student Jake Mendoza was less optimistic about the appointment.
“It gives license for people to act on hate,” said Mendoza asserting that Trump’s victory is a moral loss for the country and creates an environment in which blatant racism, sexism and homophobia is encouraged.
“We are not better than this, this is us,” he said explaining that the latent bigotry present in this country will be exacerbated by Trump’s victory.
Second-year student Marquis Brown, however, expressed trepidation about the current protests.
“I get that they are trying to make a statement,” said Brown, adding he disapproves of the tone of the protest, and the possibility of violence. “People are crazy these days,” said Brown, clearly ambivalent.
Zimny’s view however, was far from conflicted, “It’s a terrible day for the nation.”