When the people of the United States of America awoke on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 9, our nation had a new president. Donald John Trump, the Republican candidate, was elected as the 45th president of the United States, and all over the country — including here on our Saint Mary’s campus — there were mixed emotions.
Many people stayed awake that Tuesday night until 2 a.m. to hear the results of the election, so no matter if they were Trump or Clinton supporters, people were groggy and exhausted from staying awake but also mentally exhausted from the emotional toll that this year’s election has taken.
This was an election of firsts. According to an article in USA TODAY, this is one of the first elections where most people were voting for candidates based on their dislike of the other; not because they truly supported the candidate. With some exceptions, of course. It was also the first time we have seen a female candidate run for office and make it as one of the final two. It was the first time we have had a candidate elected who has no military or other political experience. And it was also one of the first times the polls predicted the outcome incorrectly.
Why were the polls so wrong? Some have suggested this was because people were too afraid to acknowledge whom they were actually voting for, which messed with the numbers. But when all’s said and done, it doesn’t matter which side of the spectrum you classify yourself as. eople are not happy. This could be because you wanted Hillary to win and are upset of what is to come with Donald Trump as president. Or this could be because you wanted Donald Trump to win but are disappointed or upset at how the world is reacting.
Either way, there is no denying that there was a tense vibe over Saint Mary’s campus last week. Classes strayed from their syllabuses to discuss the election and students’ thoughts on it. The campus also held an open forum for students to come and be able to talk about their opinions and how they felt about it. The general consensus seems that students and faculty on this campus swing more to the left and were not happy with the election results. But there is also a decent percentage of students and faculty that swing right who were happy with the results, but were unhappy in other ways.
So to hear the voice of the people, The Cardinal newsblog staff set out to get some of the thoughts of the students. Like the situation with the polls, most students did not feel comfortable giving their opinions with their names attached, so for safety purposes, the following quotes below have been kept anonymous.
“I hope that he [Trump] changed his way of doing things. The way he ran his campaign wasn’t right. Hopefully he will show that he is a better person than who he was during the campaign. However, in my opinion, I don’t think the nation will be able to unite after this election right away. It is going to take some time. I think that Trump’s win will affect my family and friends. In terms of family, it is a pretty big deal to me.” – Hispanic, 20-year-old male.
“There will always be more love in this world than hate, and love will always win in the end. What we need to do now is embrace our opponents and to reject the temptation to divide.” –White 21-year-old female.
“I don’t care enough, which is the worst part. The entire election through the racism, media bias, the DNC and GOP messing up their candidates. I’m just burnt out through all of it.” – White 20-year-old male.
“I don’t know enough to talk up Trump or Hillary. I don’t necessarily lean left or right either, but I think the media and all the (post-election) protests is a little too much. It happened and now it’s time to accept what happened and see where it goes. From talking with friends and family, Trump may not be the most respectful person, but he’s a businessman and one of the biggest problems with our country is our national debt. For me I guess it’s gotta be worth something to give Trump a chance and see what happens. We have a government in place for a reason. The president can not make decisions without going through a process and although it is primarily Republican, we have to trust the process and know that in the end they will do what is best for the country.” – White 20-year-old male.
“I definitely think media influenced the reputation Trump has. I am in support of a Republican government, hopefully it will improve our economy, lower taxes and produce more jobs. I think the Trump protesters are courageous for standing up for what they believe in, but I feel like they automatically label anyone who voted for Trump as racist, sexist and a bigot. I do not support some of the acts the protesters are engaging in. The American flag doesn’t represent Donald Trump and burning it doesn’t disrespect him, it disrespects those who died for it.” – White 20-year-old female.
“I’m a proud Democrat with incredibly liberal views. If any other Republican won the 2016 election, sure, I would be disappointed, but I wouldn’t feel the grief, fear, and frustration that I feel now. Donald Trump’s entire presidency campaign relied on Islamophobic, sexist, and racist behavior. It surprises me that a candidate who has been accused of sexual assault, offered to pay legal fees for his supporters who attack those who are against him, proposed to ban an entire religion from the country, believes women should be punished for getting an abortion – I could go on and on – is now the president-elect of the most powerful nation in the world.
The result of the 2016 election scares me. This isn’t about Hillary Clinton losing. It shows that a man can do the things I mentioned above, get away with it, and still have the support from millions. Throughout the last few days since election night, I’ve heard about how those who voted for him say they’re not racist, for example. However, you’re still saying ‘I may not be the one to vocally say discriminating remarks, but it’s okay if someone else does.’
If you voted for Trump, you do not care about my rights as a woman. You don’t care about the basic human rights of the LGBTQ+ community, sexual assault survivors, African Americans, and undocumented or documented immigrants. This election has been traumatizing and these groups of people are in an incredibly vulnerable place right now.” – Hispanic 21-year-old female.
“I am deeply disturbed and shaken up by the outcome of the election. I feel uneasy about the outcome, since I am a minority. I didn’t see Trump winning as plausible. I’m not anti-Republican; I am just against who Trump is. I am worried because Trump is openly racist and sexist. In conclusion, I am very fearful of Trump’s election.” – African American 21-year-old male.
“I was raised in a very conservative household growing up so I would classify myself as a very moderate Republican. In this election, I found myself at a loss. I couldn’t really say that I supported either candidate. But I thought that Donald Trump brought a new element to the table. As a businessman, he had a different perspective on policies and issues that I think America needs. People need to understand that the person Trump was during his campaign is not the actual person that he is. Elections and campaigns are all about how to get people’s attention and how to get the largest group of people on your side. Trump is a smart man. Now that he has been elected, I think we all are going to be pleasantly surprised about how he goes about his new position.” – White 21-year-old female.
As we all start to settle back into our daily lives now that the excitement of the election is over, it’s important that we keep one thing in mind: the people have spoken. Whether we agree with it or not, someone has been elected to office and as the citizens of our great nation, it is now our responsibility to act accordingly. We have a right to our own opinions, sure, but we need to be rational as well. And if everything fails, then it’s a good thing there’s another election in four years. But for right now, let’s just see, shall we? Let’s give President-elect Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt. Because at this point, what other option is there?