Donald Trump was elected early Wednesday morning despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, and for so many reasons, it makes sense that millions of Americans are feeling a range of negative emotions about America's next president. There are plenty of appropriate ways to express that his victory is tragic, but comparing Trump winning to 9/11 is not one of them. According to the New York Daily News, a new social media mantra has been born following Nov. 8: "9/11 never forget, 11/9 always regret."
Yes, Trump is possibly the most controversial president-elect in American history. Yes, people have reason to be concerned or worried based on the way he's spoken about minorities and women. But comparing his election to the events of September 11, 2001 — a set of terrorist attacks that took the lives of almost 3,000 people and injured twice as many — is inappropriate.
This is not to dismiss that, for many, Trump being elected is a national tragedy. More than a dozen women have made sexual assault allegations against Trump, though he has vehemently denied these allegations and threatened to sue his accusers following the election. He's called himself the "least racist person," but he's still made discriminatory comments, including but not limited to claiming an American judge was biased because of his Mexican heritage, and questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States (a theory he has since recanted). His campaign has denounced it, but Trump also has the enthusiastic support of the KKK's official newspaper and David Duke. And yes, anti-Trump protests are taking place across the country.
This is also not to invalidate the devastating impact that his being elected is understandably having on people. In fact, it is absolutely okay to grieve, to be angry, to be frustrated, to be disappointed, and to be afraid of what the future will bring. But bringing a national tragedy like 9/11 into the mix is simply not appropriate.
15 years on, the 9/11 attacks remain a tragic memory for millions of Americans, especially those who lost a friend or a loved one that day — almost 4,000 lives were lost in the biggest terrorist attack in our nation's history. After the reality of Trump's election settles in and the initial shock fades — and that process will be different for every individual — those opposed to him can advocate for what they believe in and take action to ensure that society moves forward, not backward. Those who lost their lives in 9/11 aren't so lucky.