I and others have written at length about the political, economic and international results of a Trump in the Oval Office, but there is another aspect, another manner in which he has had a negative effect on the nation. There is a social & cultural upheaval the can mostly be traced to Trump & Co. A while back, July 4th, to be exact, I wrote a post about some of the purchasing trends that could be attributed to Trump, such as the sale of alcohol and bomb shelters, dystopian books and Swiss watches having significantly increased. This post looks more at the social, cultural trends that have shifted or been affected by Trump.
First, there is the effect on marriages, especially those in which one is pro-Trump and the other is not. Marriage counselors recounted watching this dynamic play out in their offices. While some couples try to work through their differences, others — both young and old — find their differences too huge to overcome. New York divorce lawyer Lois Brenner has counseled about a dozen couples over the last few months who cite political differences for their marital woes. “I’ve been doing this for about 35 years, and I have never seen anything like it, It’s kind of amazing. It’s really surprising and astounding … This is kind of unprecedented.” Interracial couples are having their share of problems also, when one supports Trump and thus his policies, certain of which are detrimental to non-whites.
On the flip side … there has also been an unprecedented surge in marriages immediately following Trump’s election. In November, the New York City clerk’s office issued 6,929 marriage licenses, a 23 percent increase from November 2015, and performed 4,590 ceremonies, an increase of almost 19 percent. Then through Dec. 23, the office issued 5,682 licenses, up almost 16 percent from about the same time period last year. Many of these are couples where one partner is in the U.S. on a visa and their fear was that Donald Trump would make good on his ‘promises’ of mass deportation.
In addition to immigrants feeling stress from Trump’s threats, the LGBT community is also feeling it. A recent article in Rolling Stone begins …
“The number of calls, texts and online chats made by transgender youth has more than doubled in the wake of President Trump’s tweet about banning transgender service members and the announcement of the Texas “bathroom bill,” according to a report recently released by The Trevor Project, a national organization that offers crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth.”
According to Amit Paley, the CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project, “Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and legislation directly leads to crisis among our community’s young people. While the Trevor Project will continue to be there for them around the clock, our elected officials must stop throwing young people into crisis for political gain. Discrimination is un-American, and we will hold to account those legislators who attack the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community.”
And then there is the effect on our health. In June, several media outlets, including U.S. News and NBC News reported on an article in The New England Journal of Medicine:
“Events linked to the recent presidential campaign and election have given rise to fear and anxiety in many Americans. Research suggests that these events can have negative health effects on people who have been direct targets of what they perceive as hostility or discrimination and on individuals and communities who feel vulnerable because they belong to a stigmatized, marginalized, or targeted group. It is worth exploring the scientific research in this area and considering its implications for health care providers.”
The article goes on to identify a number of areas in which Trump-related stress is occurring, such as:
- Increased racial hostility
- Community-level prejudice
- Hostility in the larger environment
- Hostility toward immigrants
- Worries about reductions in health and social services
And the American College of Physicians says that Trump’s policies on environmental issues, especially climate change, will affect the health of many.
“The elderly, the sick, and the poor are especially vulnerable. Climate change needs to be aggressively addressed on a global level, and the Paris accord is central to this effort. Without U.S. leadership, achieving the voluntary targets agreed to by the 195 countries that signed the accord will be far more difficult. Today’s decision therefore greatly increases the chances that the global effort to reduce carbon emissions will be insufficient to avert catastrophic consequences for human health.”
Norman Lear, creator of All in the Family, recently compared the Trump administration to Archie Bunker … watch this 42 second clip and see if you agree!
Lear actually tweeted that clip on Friday evening after Trump advisor Stephen Miller created a spectacle when he went off on reporter Jim Acosta over the words on the Statue of Liberty.
From a personal perspective, I can say that I have lost a number of friends due to the polarization of Trump’s candidacy and now presidency, and I know of many others who say the same. I used to “do lunch” with a group of friends at least once a month, but we no longer do those … or perhaps they do and I am no longer invited … I don’t know. I am more stressed, my temper has a shorter fuse, and I cry more easily.
So, just to name a few, Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office is causing an increase in some marriages, an increase in the divorce rate, a decline in friendships, increased health problems, and an increase in suicidal tendencies among some groups. WOW! Is it really worth all this?