Fight or flight: Trump’s new constituents are taking a stand


Demonstrators marched from Washington Square Park to Trump Tower to protest Trump’s election. (Photo courtesy of Dave Sanders for The New York Times)

Trump’s surprising victory in the presidential election last Tuesday has many Americans asking if they should Fight or Flight. Fleeing for Canada has been a popular idea since Trump won the Republican primaries, but now that he has secured the oval office protests in many major cities show fighting is the more likely option.

In Los Angeles, 8000 protesters marched against Trump last Saturday and New York protesters have been going everyday since election night. Most of the protests have been peaceful, but gun violence broke out in Portland Saturday and arrests were made in Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Austin on Friday. Community groups, including Black Lives Matter, and individuals have attended and organized protests in solidarity of demographics Trump has threatened, such as the mass deportation of 3 million immigrants and reversing Roe v. Wade. In January, Inauguration weekend is expected to see over 30,000 protestors, with the Million Women’s March and a march planned by the group ANSWER.  

Participants and organizers of anti-Trump protests are protesting not just Trump as an individual but the electoral college for allowing the popular vote in Clinton’s favor to be disregarded. The last president to be elected without the popular vote was Republican George W. Bush in the 2000 election against Democrat Al Gore. While Clinton and Obama have expressed the need for an open mind and a sense of cooperativeness between the left and right wing, Bernie Sanders voiced support for anti-Trump protests and has also questioned the validity of the electoral college. Many politicians who were avidly against Trump in the election are now reconciling with reality, but the populace is not as easily convinced that Trump will not follow through on some of his radical promises.

Leaving the country isn’t an easy task, especially considering Trump has not yet changed any policies that would directly impact any demographic of the US. Leaving won’t prove a point if the conflict is over principle. Trumps disrespectful comments towards women and minorities and his promises to enact policies they don’t support is what is fueling the fire. Right now protesting is to send a message of disapproval of Trumps public view of the world, not taking action directly against his administration. If Trump puts into action some of his intended policies, American’s then may begin to leave, meeting his action with action of their own.

Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, has urged Obama and Clinton to advise against violent protests, however protests have continued with some violent outbursts. American nationalist practice is not to abandon ship when things go south, it is to stay and fight until there is change. Thus the protests are in sync with American character, and should perhaps be more expected than Trump’s victory itself.