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One of the primary reasons for Donald Trump's infamous status among liberals and Democrats was his stance on social issues. When Mr. Trump won the US presidential elections on 8th November 2016, the worries among almost all non-Republicans escalated, even giving rise to riots and protests throughout the country. For many, the rejection of Trump and his running mate Pence is based upon their alleged horrendous views that go against liberal morality. Even those with astute resentment towards Hillary Clinton asked people to vote Democrats just because they cannot reasonably think the Republican nominee affecting social lives.

Firstly, Trump has throughout his life defended right to bear arms, calling himself “a big Second Amendment person.” The public opinion on gun control had been tilted towards more regulatory views during the Obama presidency; some gun violence incidents in the US also supported the idea that such a position was justified. Now, it is unclear what exactly Trump will do once he gets into the Oval Office- his rhetoric has altered recently. One thing is sure: his critics fail to appreciate the spirit of Republican-Trumpean arguments against gun control. Trump's position is not premised upon consequential concerns. His opponents need to reformulate their arguments if they hope to convince consensus viewpoint. Trump believes that gun ownership will mean more self-protection for the citizens. This belief is popular among right-wingers in US. But even if there is no discovery of causation, numerous studies are indicating a correlation between gun ownership and gun violence. It remains to be seen what the new presidency gives more priority to: freedom to bear arms or a possible safe environment that curbing such liberty might ensure.

On the other hand, regardless of numerous reports about transgender persons attempting suicide and fearing for their lives after Trump's win, there is some silver lining for the LGBTQ community with the recent news suggesting that Trump is okay with the high court's opinion of legalizing same-sex marriage. The views of Mike Pence, the vice president-elect, on LGBTQ community are horrifying. Pence has opposed not only marriages but also civil unions for homosexuals. He has even denied that there are any transgenders. If Trump doesn’t pursue making policies on such views, Pence might not be able to do much. But there definitely could be a lot more social discrimination against such minorities that already exists, when the leaders of the country themselves hold such discriminatory attitudes. News regarding such activities has already surfaced, and if this problem needs to be countered, then there must be some positive stance taken by the new president on saving his citizens, even if he doesn't share their beliefs and values.

Even though Trump says he is okay with the decision to keep same-sex marriages legalized, the status of abortion might be challenged by his presidency in future. Trump is pro-life and may put in a replacement with same views for Antonin Scalia, the conservative anti-abortion justice who died last February. However, the number of liberal and leftist judges currently in the Supreme Court might not permit anti-abortion opinions to sustain firmly in the judiciary. The retirement of pro-choice judges will probably take a long time and a replacement by Trump at that point may not do much for his position. At worst for him, he will not be the US president by then to do any such thing.

Among civil liberties, Mr. Trump has had numerous changes in his views over the last few years. He has gone from supporting legalization of drugs so the state could profit by taxing them to saying that except medical marijuana everything should be criminalized. Yet, he believes that marijuana should be a state issue and if people vote for it, then he won’t interfere with the decision even though he thinks of it as detrimental. Lately, Trump has also been more inclusive of minorities, including and especially African Americans, in his political programs. Though, in spite of his promise to "reject bigotry and hatred and oppression in all its forms," his views on Mexicans and Muslims have been subjected to ruthless criticism. However, many of his unapologetic and crude statements that he had made in the pre-election period about banning Muslims have been removed from his website. Whether his tenure would follow this newly-formed sentiment or not is something only time will tell.

Donald Trump with his social views is certainly a Democrat’s nightmare. The anti-Trump protests by liberal-leftists after the results aren’t going to countervail his victory; at the most, they might inspire people across the country to become more conscious about the social issues they have taken for granted all this while and resist extreme state interference in social affairs that Republican conservatism brings along. For what it’s worth, the less fringe Trumpean attitudes post-victory have mitigated the worries among Americans but whether his anti-establishment persona that was crucial in his victory will influence his establishment position is something everyone is waiting to see.

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Written By Paresh Hate

I do social and political criticism of status quo because it has unresolved foundational issues pertaining to ethics and philosophy that call for scrutiny.

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