What does the next generation think of today’s issues? The Big Smoke’s Next Gen program publishes Australian students mentored by TBS writers. Today, Giselle, 11, thinks our reaction to a Trump Presidency is unreasonable.
Student: Giselle Atlas – 11 years old
Topic: Is the election of Donald Trump the perfect example of democracy?
I may only be eleven years old but I understand what democracy means and accepting the will of the people. In the recent American election, which appeared to me to be hard-fought and sometimes quite nasty, the person the “experts” said could not win did win.
There was a lot said about Donald Trump, some good and some bad… But I was intrigued by something I heard former Prime Minister Tony Abbott say, “People are not voting for a saint or even for a role model – they’re voting for a leader”. I have looked at the lives of other great people in American History. Most of the great leaders, it turns out, have flawed personalities. People such as President John F. Kennedy, Reverend Dr Martin Luther King and a man I have developed a great interest in (because of the musical), former Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. This was a man who changed America for the better, but as a man, history tells us he was a womaniser and was flawed.
People can be flawed and do great things as well, in some ways it’s human nature, we cannot be perfect all the time. And if we were we wouldn’t be human. What I did notice was, many American people wanted a change, they wanted a shake up, they wanted things done differently. But apart from anything else, they wanted to be heard. They felt, quite deeply it appears, that the government and maybe even the President were no longer listening to them.
They wanted someone, anyone, and in this case it happens to be Trump who just might shake things up; someone who is not part of the norm.
This might be a good time to tell you that I am not here to make you love Donald Trump. I can assure you that I do not love Donald Trump. What I do love is the fact that he was elected to do things differently, to see outside the square, and in four years’ time if the American people don’t like what they see, another election is held and the same people can get rid of him.
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Donald Trump is willing to be President for little or no money. It is a pleasant change to at least have a president who it appears cannot be bought.
In another development, fashion designers are calling for a boycott against Trump, saying that they will not dress his wife Melania and will not support anything that has an association with Donald and his family. This seems to me like a bit of reverse racism, the very thing most people do not like about Donald Trump. His opponents appear to be holding him to a standard they could not possibly live up to themselves.
I am not old enough to remember a world before social media, obviously, but listening to adults talk, it sounds to me that as a society we were much less judgemental and gave people the benefit of the doubt before the Internet came along.
I saw an old video of Bill Gates (now the richest man and the most generous) and you would never have thought he would be anything. I saw one of Mark Zuckerberg the inventor of Facebook and there was no way you would have given him a chance.
The world is full to the brim with stories of men and women who so-called experts thought would amount to nothing and have certainly become something.
The people have elected Donald Trump for four years; let’s give him and his family a chance, we may just learn something about him that we did not know and certainly something we did not know about ourselves.
From the little I know about Democracy it is times like these when it shows its greatest worth, and if one may steal and slightly change a quote from another former leader, Winston Churchill: “In four years we just may look back and say: This was democracy’s finest hour”.
This article is part of a series for The Big Smoke Next Gen.
The Big Smoke Next Gen is a program which matches professional and experienced writers, academics and journalists with students who wish to write non-fiction articles and voice their opinions on what is shaping the nation.
For more information about our program at The Big Smoke, or to become a mentor, please contact us.