I was born in February 1989, two weeks following the end of the Reagan Administration. Since I did not get to experience Ronald Reagan’s presidency firsthand—unless being in my mother’s womb counts as being present—all the information that I initially learned and heard about Reagan was through conversations held between my elders, and Kanye West’s Late Registration. So one day, I decided to do my own research on what was going on in the 80’s during the Reagan era. Between the rise of the Crips and Bloods, crack cocaine, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic (which Reagan took years to address), I couldn’t have been happier that I was amongst the last of the 80’s babies that were born in this country because that time period seemed rough. As I write this today, I wish I had been born in Europe.
Okay, I don’t really wish I was European because I would have a whole new set of friends that may not be as fun as the group that I have now. But, it is disheartening to know that it’s 2016, yet we still act like it’s 1776—brand new. All we are doing is repeating the same mistakes we made in the past, but in new, trendier ways to mess up. Purple Sprite is the new moonshine. The Plan B pill is the popular alternative to wearing condoms. Cell phones are the new cigarettes. Cell phones are addictive, used amongst all ethnic backgrounds, and you can’t walk outside without seeing one in a person’s hand. They even mess up our health, with constant use resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome, and curved spines from looking down all the time. There is no need to worry about nicotine causing erectile dysfunction when teens have access to PornHub in their pockets before they are of legal age to star in an adult film.
Moreover, we as a nation tend to fall for the same tactics. In an effort to gain support from the African American community, Bill Clinton went on the Arsenio Hall show, in 1992 during his presidential run, and played the saxophone for a live audience. In April, Hillary Clinton went on The Breakfast Club and spoke on her love for playing dominoes, and keeping hot sauce in her bag. Nothing has changed.
I am not surprised that Donald Trump is in a legitimate position to become the next President of the United States. What does surprise me are the people who are ‘shocked’ that he has been this successful in the current presidential race. Week after week, Donald Trump puts on a red hat, makes ignorant statements, and the crowd goes crazy! Week after week, polls project that Trump will not win this state, or that state, but then he does. Everyday, we work, ride on the Metrorail, and shop with undercover Trump supporters. The concepts of racism, misogamy, and xenophobia did not just fall out of the sky overnight. The shock factor behind the rise of Trump is gone, and any ‘shock’ that is felt from this point should not be confused with insanity. I remember when I started texting girls for the first time. If I didn’t get a response back, I would text back in a few hours, thinking that they may have not received the message, or had gotten my message and forgot to respond. Now, women get one text from me before I keep it moving. See, I learned from my past and we all can too.
There are many mistakes that we as a nation can all learn from. Unfortunately, we are on a time crunch, so I hope we quickly learn that a vote for Trump is not the best idea. But at the same time, a vote for Hillary may not be a good idea neither.
Wait, why did I write this article again?
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