Thoughts On The 2016 Presidential Election
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Thoughts On The 2016 Presidential Election

I believe in a better America.

Thoughts On The 2016 Presidential Election

This long nightmare of a presidential race is finally over and Donald J. Trump was declared the 45th President-elect of the United States of America. My social media has exploded with posts, articles, videos and more about the decision. I know that another opinion article about the U.S. election may be the last thing that you want to see on your Facebook feed right now, but please bear with me. There are so many thoughts that I have had over the past 48 hours that I need to express.

Let me start out by saying that I am not particularly politically inclined. I tune out whenever my grandmother decides to talk about Glenn Beck at the dinner table and until embarrassingly recently, I did not have a clear understanding of what “Left” and “Right” meant in regards to the political parties. I registered to vote when I was 18-years-old at the Department of Motor Vehicles and I didn’t think anything of it again until the end of Summer 2015. It was at that point that I started hearing about Donald Trump’s plans to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, and I figured that maybe I should educate myself a little.

I won’t bore you extensively with what I found because I wouldn’t be saying anything new. The entire world knows what Trump has said about women, Muslims, African-Americans, LGBTQ and many other groups of people and organizations, including Saturday Night Live — seriously, what even was this campaign? Clearly he never read Dr. Seuss to his kids because it does not seem like he has ever heard the phrase, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Nonetheless, even after making all of these comments, the country still elected him to be our next president. People who voted for Trump, please explain to me why. Honestly, I’m lost. Is it because of his business sense or is because he "tells it like it is"? Maybe it's even because you were raised in a family with Republican views and you are expected and encouraged to vote Republican since birth, no matter who the representative of the party is?

On Nov. 8, I sat down in front of my TV with some homework, expecting the election to be called fairly early. I thought that I knew which way the election was going to go: I saw the polls and the debates, and it looked like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the upper hand. As the polls closed on the east coast, I felt hopeful as the states were beginning to be called. I felt a sense of pride when my home state of New Jersey and a handful of others went to Clinton and I thought that everything was going to be okay. That hopefulness turned to uncertainty when Florida and Pennsylvania became too close to call. Watching Florida change between red and blue and then finally be solidified in red made my stomach turn. The tone of the night got darker as more and more states reported their numbers. As we all know, the election was called around 2:30 a.m. in favor of Trump. I started getting texts from friends saying how devastated, tired and legitimately scared they were. These messages, of course, were only the beginning.

The next morning, my social media was full of posts in outrage of the results from the night before. People were writing long paragraphs about how disappointed they were in the country and I saw the hashtag #NotMyPresident floating around. That is when I realized that the election was not as secure as I had originally thought. Most of my friends on Facebook are liberal and in recent weeks became more outspoken due to the election. Liberal media is all that I have seen on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other forms of social media. I also live on a liberal arts college campus in Connecticut, so I have sort of created a bubble for myself by only interacting with like-minded people in the same geographical area. However, bubble or not, there are greater issues at hand.

The U.S. is historically a country by the people, for the people and the people have spoken — or, excuse me, half the people have spoken. Only 50 percent of eligible voters went to the polls on Election Day. To the people who voted for Trump — an honest congratulations to you. I hope that your candidate lives up to your expectations. To the people who voted for Clinton, I am with you. I am one of you. We have put major cracks in the glass ceiling and we must continue. We need to keep making strides for equal rights, social justice and creating an America that people are safe and happy to live in. Whether you voted for Clinton, Trump or Johnson, we as a country need to come together for the greater good. I am appalled that the rights and freedoms of women, the LGBTQ community, Muslims, Mexicans and many other communities could potentially be limited based on gender, sexuality, religion or race. How can a president represent the American people if he has spoken out against many of the groups that make the U.S. the diverse and cultural country that it is? As a result, I am only motivated to work even harder for nationwide equality in any way that I can. This is still the people’s America, not Trump’s. Open your minds and open your hearts, but most importantly, get to work. We will be able to "Make America Great Again" because we are "Stronger Together." Now go and set the world on fire.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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