US Election Gave Us Trump, But Also Gave Us These Progressive Measures

by
Ramsha Sadiq Khan
In the aftermath of the election, people are understandably angry and scared. However, it is not the end of the world. Some good things came out of it too.

Trump hate

Donald Trump’s unexpected success in the presidential election left thousands disappointed and depressed.

Shortly after the results were announced and the first U.S. president with no political or military experience made a surprisingly decent victory speech in New York, protests erupted across the country.

The hashtag #NotMyPresident began trending on Twitter. Scores of online users declared it a win for racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia and most obvious of all, sexism. After all, America would rather see Trump, an alleged rapist who has repeatedly demeaned women, in the White House than Hillary Clinton, a woman who has served as the secretary of state and has decades of political prowess.

It was a chaotic night. Thousands took to the streets to protest the outcome, understandably scared and angry. Many reported incidents of racism, Muslim women expressed fear over wearing hijab and parents worried about explaining all this to their children.

In the face of increasing unrest, here is a gentle reminder: Not all is lost.

This is not the end of the world. Things might not have turned out the way you wanted, but some good things did come out of this election.

Here are a few of them:

Higher Minimum Wage

greatest pay hike

Voters in Washington, Arizona, Colorado and Maine all approved measures to increase their state’s minimum wage.

Maine will see the greatest pay hike from $7.50 to $12 per hour, which would later increase with inflation. Colorado will also increase the minimum wage from $8.31 to $12 by 2020. Washington will not give its workers a pay hike from $9.47 to $13.50, but will also make it mandatory for employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.

In Arizona, workers will receive an increase from $8.05 to $12, along with 40 hours of annual sick leave at large companies, 24 hours at smaller businesses, and one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.

“This could be a uniting issue,” said Saru Jayaraman, co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkley.

Gun Control

Gun control

Gun control was one of the most contentious debate topics this election cycle.

While advocates backed by the National Rifle Association said everyone should have the right to own a firearm, the opponents suggested stricter background checks would help ensure those with a mental or a criminal record not gain access to deadly weapons.

From the Sandy Hook massacre to the Orlando nightclub shooting, this particular discussion has been at the forefront of American politics for quite some time now.

On the Election Day, three states — Nevada, California and Washington — voted in favor of enhanced gun control measures.

In Nevada, voters approved the proposal by 50.5 percent to 49.6 percent, according to state election officials. Californians opted to back a referendum that bans large-capacity ammunition magazines and requires background checks in order to buy guns.

Residents of Washington state approved a measure that would give judges the power to keep dangerous individuals — such as accused domestic abusers — from possessing firearms.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Lost

Joe Arpaio

“America's Toughest Sheriff” and Trump’s buddy, Joe Arpaio, lost his bid for the seventh term in Arizona.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton officially charged the now-former Maricopa County sheriff with criminal contempt of court, initiated with the profiling case Arpaio lost three years ago. It subsequently put his political and personal future in a limbo.

Arpaio, known for his tough stance on immigration and penchant for racial profiling, served six terms in Arizona.

The Justice Department alleges that the Republican sheriff routinely discriminated against Latinos.

Currently, he is also facing a federal grand jury investigation into the activities of his anti-corruption unit.

Read More: Seth Meyers Tears Up As He Expresses Disbelief Over Election Results

Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana Legalization

Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved the ballot measure to make recreational marijuana legal for adults, joining the ranks of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington State and the District of Columbia.

In fact, Arizona was the only state to vote against marijuana legalization.

Meanwhile, Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota finally legalized medical marijuana.

“It's changed in the minds of these voters from being like cocaine to being like beer,” said University of Southern California political scientist John Matsusaka.

Women Who Did Shatter The Glass Ceiling

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton might not have become the first female president of the United States (yet), but many other women did manage to break the glass ceiling Clinton aimed for.

Catherine Cortez Masto was elected as the first Latina senator.

Veteran Tammy Duckworth became the first female Thai-American senator. She is also the first female double amputee to be elected to the Senate.

Kamala Harris made history as the first Indian-American woman elected to Senate in California and second black woman in Senate since 1999.

Muslim activist and former refugee, Ilhan Omar, also became Minnesota’s first Somali-American female lawmaker.

Pramila Jayapal became the first Indian-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Washington’s 7th Congressional District.

#MakeAmericaHugAgain

At a time when America is more divided that ever, people across the country are hugging each other to heal the split and offering words of kindness in the aftermath of a bitter campaign.

The massive online reaction pretty much sums it all.

Read More: The Only Way To Survive Trump’s Presidency Is To Come Together
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