I am happy that Trump is running for president. Not because I think that he is a good presidential candidate, but because he has scared me to the point where I am paying attention to politics for the first time in my life.
In the summer of 2007 I studied abroad in Argentina. I was there during the mayoral elections of Buenos Aires. The residents of Buenos Aires took voting seriously: there were rallies leading up to the elections, people spoke about the elections regularly, and the election day was a work holiday. The environment got so intense that my program took us to Uruguay on the day of elections in case of riots.
I attributed the emphasis on voting to the turbulent Argentine history. Argentinians have been through some rough economic times and a dark period of a military government. It made sense to me that someone who had been through that would take voting for his or her next leader seriously.
I never felt that sense of urgency in voting. In general I felt that whoever won the general election would maintain my way of life. But now, for the first time, I am fearful for what the future president might bring. I fear the loss of freedoms that I currently enjoy. I can envision a path to a more oppressive government that attacks groups of people, and perhaps one day I fall into one of those groups.
This November I am going to be voting for the first time in my life. I am spending time to better understand the candidates’ positions and what is really important to me. I am excited about the process, and am genuinely interested. I might even start voting for senators and local officials.
Donald Trump has helped me appreciate the liberty of voting, and I plan on exercising that liberty to keep him out of office.