Dear future generations,
My first election that I was eligible to vote for was one of the most controversial elections in the history of the United States. The election of 2016 sparked division in the Nation. The media ate up the tensions that were arising to make this election completely focused on the bickering between the two final candidates rather than the good that the candidates could bring to the Nation. Social media was a huge factor towards this election and escalated tensions even more.
I am not here to say which side is right. Citizens of the United States have the right to an opinion as well as the right to vote for whomever they choose. It is our freedom as American citizens to vote and it was such an honor to finally vote in my first election. Americans also have the right to voice their opinions. No matter which side you voted for, the election of 2016 will go down in history.
This election will always stay on my mind. This was the first real election where people did not advertise who they were voting for. Some voters feared harassment and retaliation while others just kept to themselves. Social media created wars between the candidates. Social media fueled the controversy between the candidates and broadcasted their arguments and campaign within the matter of seconds. Candidates broadcasted their campaigns on Twitter and Facebook to reach out to more potential voters. The election was constantly a topic online and still is today.
From the beginning of the election, there was 24-7 coverage online and through other media outlets to broadcast what was going on. I found it difficult to find accurate information during the course of the election because there were too many media outlets to keep track of with conflicting information. I had to put in an extra effort to research information to make sure it was accurate and reliable. The media set out to showcase the bad sides of the candidates. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were at battle with one another and the media used this to their advantage to boost their ratings. Each candidate's thoughts and concerns were taken out of context by the media in order to start a fight with the other side. This created tension between opposing viewpoints.
This election will be in your history textbook I guarantee it. Social media was a huge factor in how Trump won the election. He was able to reach out to voters through his social media outlets and started a "movement". Whether you like him or not, Trump used his talents as a businessman to win this election. He was not afraid to hold anything back and was able to manipulate the media for free media coverage to win the election. He won the election spending the least amount of money for a Presidential election in decades.
Clinton almost did it. She almost became the first woman President of the United States. I really thought she was going to win and I was shocked to find out that she did not win. The night of the electionI went to bed early because I was sick so I was not planning to hear the results until the morning. Then I woke up to my mom screaming at my Dad to go to bed at two in the morning. I then saw the three hundred New York Times updates and text messages telling me that Trump was in the lead to actually win the Presidency. I could not believe it and it all did not seem real to me. My family and I cuddled up around the television to watch the end results to see that the Republicans won the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the White House making Donald Trump the future President of the United States.
Hillary Clinton was favored to win, but ended up falling short. I was disappointed to not hear her speak to her loyal supporters after finding out the results. It really upset me that she did speak because her supporters needed her. Clinton's supporters were devastated. I was happy to see her speak the next day with a positive attitude addressing young girls to never give up on their dreams. Her speech was inspiring to all and she started a positive initiative towards Trump to try and unify the country towards the new regime. President Barrack Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren then followed in her footsteps with the positive initiative.
The election of 2016 had several shocking turn of events. There was never a dull moment and I always felt like I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next in the news. I was constantly checking my phone for updates on each candidate. Donald Trump was nominated to become the next President of the United States with no military or political experience. Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for Presidency for a Major Party and almost won. The Republicans now control the Senate, the House of Representatives, as well as the White House for the first time in decades.
Of course my first election that I was old enough to vote in was the most controversial of them all. I am thankful for our country and hope there is positive changes that will come from this election to unify the election.
My advice to you is to learn from this election. Realize that hateful things were said on both sides and that is not what our country is about. Educate yourself on the facts and not on the emotions associated with the media hype. I really hope this country can be unified again and have everyone live a comfortable lifestyle to prosper together as a Nation. America is the land of the free and I believe the people of the United States really wanted change. It might not have been what everyone wanted, but let's all be Stronger together and Make America Great Again.
A first time voter- Ariana K. McCormack