The other day, I posted this story in which I listed a number of tragedies I’ve suffered throughout my life. Friends who died as teens, family members who committed suicide, a parent that struggled with alcoholism — all very real life stuff. Things that may have caused a more fragile person to fold, if I’m being honest.
Only to come online today to read 25% of 769 students who were surveyed at Arizona State University, feel Trump’s presidency has emotionally scarred them. These students literally classify his victory in the 2016 presidential election as “a traumatic experience”.
This is as troubling as it is laughable. It’s telling of how our definition of trauma has changed over generations. In my opinion, it’s also a perfect example of why millennials are given such a a bad rep.
Kids today are softer than those of previous generations. It’s not their fault, technology has seen to it. Living conditions have improved exponentially in just about every aspect, for most people in this country over the last fifty years.
In the 1960’s and 70’s, the youth of our nation was being shipped off to war, in many cases against their own will. My Uncle Jack had no desire to fight in Vietnam — but that didn’t stop him from being drafted to do so.
My Dad grew up in a world where students being hit by nuns was normal.
Back then, the word trauma was reserved for people who had seen their friends heads blown off in a foreign jungle and couldn’t sleep for weeks after.
Today, students are apparently using the word to describe the results of the last election. And we wonder why this generation is so highly criticized by the former.
I’d like it understood, I write this as a 31 year old democrat who didn’t vote for and doesn’t support Trump, in any sense of the word.
I was born in 1987, so technically speaking, I am a millennial.
However, I’m of the belief there is a sub group of millennials who grew up vastly different than a large majority of the rest of the generation.
We didn’t have cellphones as children and weren’t born into the internet.
I myself, spent my childhood knocking for my friends and using a landline.
I feel like if you regularly rented movies from Blockbuster, you’re apart of this subgroup — and also probably understand Trump’s presidency doesn’t qualify as a traumatic event or experience.
It’s been an erratic, sad and strange two years but to describe it as traumatic is more than a stretch. Some people might even describe calling it traumatic as “fake news”.
I’ve had a gun pulled on me by people I knew, twice. Neither time left me traumatized. Yet 769 people feel emotionally scarred by our President.
What I found to be interesting about the survey at Arizona State University, is 39% of people reported to be dissatisfied with the results of the 2016 election.
I can’t help but feel the 25% of students who described Trump’s presidency as traumatic are confusing dissatisfaction with distress. It’s how sheltered and cushy our lives have become that I blame. Our lives have become convenient to the point, we’re referring to an election that didn’t go our way, as a traumatic event. The students used the phrase emotionally scarred. Jesus. Not getting your way doesn’t qualify as trauma. It’s very much a white and first world problem.
Describing Trump’s presidency as a traumatic or emotionally scarring event is belittling to people who have survived things like rape, kidnappings, physically abusive relationships, war, deadly car crashes — and actual traumatic events. We need to be a bit more selective about where we use the word trauma. If election results are leaving you emotionally scarred, you’re going to have a really rough road ahead of you.
Tell a citizen of North Korea or Zimbabwe about how our last election results traumatized you. They’ll tell you about what life is like under the thumb of a murderous dictatorship and remind you of what the word trauma should be reserved for. A reality television star who tweets too much, doesn’t read and lives off a fast food diet being elected president doesn’t fit the description.