Art Illustrations Opinion Top

Don’t celebrate yet – the nation that Trump polarized is still divided

(Isabel Shen/YJI)

Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. – We shouldn’t be cheering for the victory of our democracy yet. 

Today, former president Donald Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records based on hush-money payments to a porn star.

But even if he is put into jail, the social and political implications of his guilty charging may lead to more political unrest. 

Donald Trump is a political figure known for increasing division – changing the reality of the 2020 election for some diehard supporters and helping to create the tense, polarized reality that exists today.

Following his first indictment for election fraud in Georgia, he profited off his mug shot by encouraging his supporters to use the photo as a symbol of their support.

With the threat of his conviction, Trump fundraised by suggesting to his supporters that they pay his bail in order to get him out of jail.

The case of his conviction is still up in the air, considering that because of his position as a former president, a jail sentence may not come into fruition. 

Already, conservative news channels are suggesting the ruling is unconstitutional, and a group of Americans strong in their anti-democratic views are suggesting that Trump is being “persecuted by the deep state.”

Citizens not in tune with current political news may simply vote for Trump, forgetting his undemocratic actions during the 2020 election. 

Political division is Trump’s political power – painting a group with a wide brush and suggesting their views are “un-American.”

In 2020, Trump blamed Asian-Americans for the coronavirus, calling it by the discriminatory term “Chinavirus” and flagrantly spreading false claims about cures.

When he first campaigned for president in 2016, he used racism against Latino-Americans to fuel hatred.

At the same time, Trump helped breed a far-left cohort within the United States, creating a political climate green for societal division. 

History warned us time and time again about autocrats in the line of leaders like Trump – fueling political unrest, scapegoating vulnerable groups and attempting to overuse their political power.

Even if democracy succeeds today with his conviction, it may fade out tomorrow due to the forces of political unrest. 

America’s soul is at stake here – every victory of democracy possibly erased due to the black and white worldview becoming ever more prevalent.

But the world is in shades of gray and we should fight every source of polarization, including Trump.

Victory for democracy will only occur with a jail sentence with no bail, and the exclusion from every election. Then democracy will succeed.

Dana Kim is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International from Portland, Oregon. She wrote this commentary.

Isabel Shen is a Junior Reporter and Senior Illustrator with Youth Journalism International from Oakland, California. She made the illustration.

More from YJI about the verdict:

Leave a Comment