I just could not bring myself to believe it. It didn’t seem realistic at first but the weeks turned into months, which eventually became almost two years and I had to realize that nothing was going to stop the freight train that was Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign. Even before he started sharing his bigoted rhetoric and radical far-right plans with the world, I just saw him as a TV personality. To me, he was just some snobby, eccentric billionaire from New York with a terrible comb-over. I never thought that such a character with no years of experience in any branch of the federal government would even have a chance at the American presidency. I was wrong.
From the start of the 2016 Presidential campaign I was involved with the Bernie Sanders campaign. I joined a “Students for Bernie” organization on the San Jose State University campus and we campaigned hard for the progressive Independent senator from Vermont. When Sanders lost the race for the Democratic nomination, we campaigned for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Did Clinton have a past of racist rhetoric and logistical failures like Trump? Of course. But she was the lesser of two evils in the case of the 2016 presidential election and I was confident that the American people would elect someone with as much experience in both the Senate and the Obama Administration as her. Again, I was wrong.
But I was right about one thing. When it was announced at around 2:00am PST on the morning of Wednesday November 9th, 2016 that Donald J. Trump won the presidency, the nation was sent into a mass domestic conflict. Protests sprang up in all parts of the nation and not just my native Bay Area that has a long history of liberal politics. At around 8:00pm that same day, I attended a demonstration held on the SJSU campus. To my pleasant surprise, it was a nonviolent and dare I say “mellow” affair. I saw people of all backgrounds, colors, sexual orientations, religious views and economic statuses discuss their reactions and thoughts on Trump’s victory. And then, without any formal commencement at all, people began raising their fists in the air one by one in an act of solidarity I could not believe. While it may sound cliche, I knew a revolution of sorts was beginning and that it was something I wanted to both document and become a part of.