The authors in this series have chosen to remain anonymous, due to the current heightened emotions on both sides of this discussion.
My youngest daughter woke me up at 5:45 AM. I trudged into her room, blurry eyed, with my phone in hand. I sat down to feed her, opened my phone, and my jaw dropped. Our new President-Elect was Donald Trump.
Of course I knew this was a possibility, and I probably would have been equally shocked if Hillary Clinton had won the race. The country has been on polar opposite sides since the primaries were decided. You could feel the divisiveness in our nation, especially over the days before the election. Facebook showed us how strongly people felt on both sides, and that continued as the results were called on election night.
Now we have had a day as a nation to process the results. One half of our nation dumbfounded as to how this could have happened. They say that they don’t understand how someone like Donald Trump- a bigot, a racist, a misogynist- could have convinced half our country that he was fit for presidency. The other half was thrilled with the results, saying that we had finally enacted a real change in politics, and that we were lucky that a lying and corrupt politician wasn’t placed in office.
No matter which side of the bar you stand on, there is one thing that rings true as a military family- Donald Trump will be our nation’s Commander in Chief.
Our active duty and reservist spouses are required to honor his position and to obey his orders. As military spouses, we are expected to be respectful of President-Elect Trump even if we disagree with him.
As a caring citizen, I did my due diligence in researching who I thought was the best candidate for the Presidency. I found fault in both of the major party candidates, and I found things in each person’s agendas with which I agreed.
Even so, with their positions on certain policies aside, I think that a big part of being the President of the United States is being a respectful and trustworthy representative of our nation especially when it comes to foreign relation issues and military engagement.
For our allies, we need to show that we can be trusted and that we will provide help when they need it. For our enemies, we need to be seen as formidable, strong, and unwavering.
I don’t think that either candidate truly fulfilled that position, but I can tell you this- Trump’s volatile nature is not something I want when it comes to military action.
Yesterday, my Facebook newsfeed was filled with fears of Trump’s power as the executive branch. People are concerned with his influence on legislative orders such as Planned Parenthood, abortion, LGBT rights, and same-sex marriages. They are worried about his strong stance on immigration and his pledge to vet every Muslim that comes to our border.
But we have to remember that even as the President of the United States, Donald Trump is just one man.
Yes, he will be appointing a new Supreme Court Justice and yes, the Republicans have control of the House and the Senate. But even with that being said, many of the laws and actions that Trump promised in his campaign are not something he can do on his own.
The pen of the Oval Office may be mighty, but it’s not that mighty.
Any legislation will have to go through the appropriate checks and balances, ensuring that we are still heard as a people. We have entrusted the representatives of our states to uphold our collective voice, and no President can take that away. So although I understood people’s initial thoughts on a Trump win, that wasn’t where my mind went when I heard of a his victory.
My husband is active duty, and the first thought that came to my mind when I saw the election results was that Trump was now going to be his Commander in Chief. Any military action will be decided upon, theoretically with the help of his advisors and Congress, by this man.
The same man that used foul language against women. The same man that outright ridiculed a disabled person at one of his campaign events. The same man that has said things like “You’re disgusting,” when a nursing mother, and opposing council in a court hearing, asked for a recess to pump. The same man who has threatened to leave our NATO allies, who has suggested killing the families of terrorists to “get to them,” and who has said that Syria should be a “free zone” for ISIS.
My fear for my husband, and for all service members and their families, is that Trump’s volatile nature will be the thing that cripples our nation.
I fear that he will say something out of anger, power, or narcissism, causing a collapse in allies or a retaliation from enemies from which the United States must engage.
I worry that words will come out of his mouth that no advisor, not even Olivia Pope, can take back. I am scared that my husband will be called into a military engagement far more dangerous than those of the past because of the threat of nuclear warfare. I picture more yellow ribbons on doors and Blue Miles at the Marine Corps Marathon that will have more entombed faces of fathers, sons, mothers, and daughters.
As a military spouse I will respect the office of the Commander in Chief. I will stand by my husband as proud as ever as he fights for the country we both believe in. I will teach my three daughters that divisiveness does not mean broken, and that people can band together in during times of great divide. And I will hold steady to the thought that we don’t actually need to make America great again. We already know that it is the greatest country in the world, otherwise we would never willingly send our loved ones to fight for it.