Trumpocalypse

Young voters' thoughts on a Trump presidency.

By Taylor Smith

Every four years we start to hear that dreaded catch-all: “the young vote.” Who has it, who needs it, who’s desperately cultivating it on SNL. And every four years, the rhetoric surrounding it starts to fade into background noise. But the fact remains: the young vote is important, now more than ever. 2016 marks the first presidential election in which millenial voters make up the same share of the electorate as baby boomers. And they’ve already made a mark.

If it weren’t for voters under 30, it’s not hard to surmise that Bernie Sanders would have long ago disappeared from the news cycle. As it is, the key demographic overwhelmingly felt the Bern, as Sanders went on to win more votes from them than Trump and Clinton combined.

But with a Sanders presidency reduced to a pipe dream and the unnaturally hued presumptive Republican nominee still very much in the race, many young voters are concerned. Even our beloved Tom Haveford is shaken up.

While we often turn to statistics to learn how young people feel about Trump (who despite receiving more support in the primaries from voters 17-29 than Mitt Romney and John McCain in their respective campaigns, is quite unpopular with the youth according to the Harvard IOP’s spring 2016 poll), polls can only tell us so much about what’s really on voters’ minds. So we took to the streets to see what young voters had to say about Trump and what America would look like should he win in November:

A Vote for Hate

“I think there would be a lot of chaos between everyone within both parties. I would worry about things regarding the military, I’ve heard a lot of people speculate that a military coup could happen due to his willingness to order things that are not legal in our military system.”

— Magi, 21

“Under him, America will persist much as it always has: with inherited wealth, color, and status superseding experience, reason, and dignity across our nation. We gave up dignity when corporate finance and party establishment sold out Sanders to bankroll Clinton. We gave up reason when we talked about what he said, who he hates, and where he’ll bomb instead of caring for our families, our neighbors, or elderly, our disabled, our inmates, our immigrants, our impoverished, and especially our planet, which would genuinely benefit from even a shred of the attention he receives. America will simply always be prone to fall further towards vanity, greed and pride as long as ignorance arms itself and the oppressed remain silenced.”

— Lowell, 21

“It will be like Brexit but worse. Of course the dollar will fall because everyone will be panicking and the global market will be all nervous for America. Then a bunch of people are going to get deported and we won’t have clean bathrooms or hotels or babysitters or construction happening. Life will go on but it will be filled with many more protests. Possible anarchy, too.”

— Cathy, 23

Deport Trump

“I just think there would be—I mean we’re already seeing a little bit of it—I think there would be a lot of riots and a lot of protests gone bad. I mean obviously politics are already contentious, but I feel like more so, just to a dangerous level, with violence.”

— Linda, 21

“Nothing really drastic other than the rest of the world having to listen to his stupid shit instead of just us. Also Canada will have to build a wall to keep all of the illegal Americans out.”

— Charles, 20

“Since he’s a beacon for bringing all the silent racists out of the woodwork, there will be escalated tension and violence towards minorities. People will rally around his rhetoric and you’ll see a steady rise in attacks, murders, shootings, and more. His potential election is nothing to laugh about or take lightly.”

— Sajeeb, 26

“America would remain America. There are checks and balances for our government. Trump can’t implement his outlandish statements without sending it through congress. Perhaps we should be more concerned with the senators and representatives that we vote into congress.”

— Brianna, 21

Trump is a Divider

“I think the gap between the rich and the poor would increase. I think we’d go back to a time when, you know—racism would be more explicit. I think a lot of terrible things would happen.”

— Adina, 24

“There would be lynch mobs for anyone foreign-looking. This ain’t a joke. I heard some people at a grocery store in South Jersey they could form a lynch mob and kick Muslims out of their neighborhood once Trump is president.”

— Ashwin, 19

“Aside from the possibility of a Trump victory (may it be even lower than FiveThirtyEight’s forecasted 20%), the most depressing part of his campaign is how much support his racism and ill-conceived ideas have generated across the country. His popularity also isn’t as surprising as I wish it was. Even many well-intentioned people are ignorant or indifferent to how deeply ingrained racism is in our country. The only possible good I can see coming out of the Trump campaign is that maybe it will make the bigotry of his supporters harder to ignore in a way that leads to change, emphasis on maybe…”

—Lane, 25

“I think that Trump is more concerned with gaining the power and glory that comes with being president than he is with the responsibility of actually running the country and considering the needs of the people. Due to his lack of experience in the political arena, as well as his lack of compassion for people of various demographics within our nation as well as outside of it, I think that rather than make ‘America great again,’ he would only set us back.”

— Sofia, 18

I Make America Great

“Trump is the physical representation of white supremacy wrapped in the costume of good ol’ American patriotism. I know we love to speak about the Civil Rights movement and how far we as a country have come from slavery days… Trump is just a reminder of how far we still have to go.”

— Trevonna, 20

“The world is already awful, but trump being president would just make the awfulness more public and acceptable. His support really proves how idiotic an absurd majority of the country is, and his winning would make an absolute mockery of the presidency, the government. Could anyone be less qualified?”

— Alexandra, 20

“I recently transcribed an interview Sarah Silverman gave, where she was asked a lightning round of (very random, very inane) questions. One of the questions was “What do you think about Trump?” to which she responded, ‘Ma nishtana halayla hazeh mikol haleylos,’ which is a chunk of Hebrew sung on Passover that basically means ‘Why is this night different from all other nights and what does this all mean?’ I loved her response because it makes absolutely no sense. Just like Trump. He makes absolutely no sense.”

— Anna, 25

Jasmin Palmer contributed reporting.