My First Election

My First Election

I voted for the first time and I am scared for America.
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November of 2016 was the very first time I got to vote in a presidential election. It was something that I looked forward to for quite some time. I heard my family talk about voting, we learned about it in school and around election time messages about it were every where, all of this combined made me want to experience voting for myself.

Well the time finally came. I didn't get to vote in the traditional sense of going to the polls and filling out the ballot there, because I am away at school I had to vote with and absentee ballot. Nonetheless, I was still exited, full of hope and happiness that I would be voting for the next president of the United States. When the ballot was complete I felt important and like I was actually helping to make a difference in the world and I couldn't wait to watch the results.

This election was the most I have ever been involved in politics. I thought that it was important to follow the news and the happenings of the two presidential candidates. When people were talking about the election and the views of Trump and Hillary, I actually knew and cared about what they were saying. I never expected to feel so involved and informed about what was happening.

My roommates and I made plans to watch the election results on Tuesday night, and we set the goal of not falling asleep until we knew for sure who the president was going to be. Tuesday night came along and we sat glued to the television screen for hours. It was almost impossible to focus on anything else. As the polls started to close and the votes started to come in we felt a variety of emotions, and it felt almost as if we were watching a sporting event.

One minute there were anxious feelings, the next there was hope and excitement, and then curiosity and disbelief. These emotions seemed go back and forth for the remainder of the night, but as the map started to fill up our feelings of hope and excitement turned to shock and despair. We couldn't believe what was playing out before our eyes. Was this a joke? Am I dreaming right now? Oh no, this cannot be happening.

It was true, it was happening and I have never felt so let down in my life. Remembering our vows to stay up until finding out who would be president, we pushed through trying to hang on to the little bit of hope that remained. We eventually abandoned all hope somewhere between 1:30 and 2 a.m. when Trump won over Pennsylvania. We went to bed sad, anxious and in fear of what was in store for our future.

Walking around campus, it was clear that a lot of others felt the same way. Everyone seemed to be down and moving at a slower pace than usual. All having similar thoughts on our mind. Social media wasn't an different, people posting things that everyone was thinking.

The only good things coming from this election were seen after the fact. Everyday people, and even celebrities, came together to show support and encouragement for one another. Similar support to that shown after a terrorist attack or mass shooting, but it was still a great amount of support and encouragement.

I have no idea what this means for America, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous and a little bit afraid of what is to come. I know that as Americans we will not let anyone take away our rights or stop us from reaching our full potential. Great things will happen when we stand together and stick up for what we believe in. We must live up to the expectations of our founding fathers, the soldiers who gave their lives, and all the people who worked so hard to get America to where it is today. Trump cannot make America great again, but if we stand together and fight for what is right we can keep America great.


Cover Image Credit: searchengineland

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Pete Buttigieg Is On Everybody's Radar Now, But Can Mayor Pete Really Become President Pete?

Charisma, polyglot and success in reviving a Midwestern city make him a viable candidate for president. But will this hold?

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At the time of writing this, at least 18 people are vying for the Democratic Party nomination to challenge Donald Trump during the Presidential election in 2020. This includes some heavyweights, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Cory Booker. There are also fringe candidates, like Andrew Yang. Then there are the formerly fringe candidates. One person fits that bill: Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Pete Buttigieg has erupted as a potential candidate for the Presidency. He recently took 9% of a recent poll in Iowa, the state that begins the general election season. The question is this: why has he gained so much traction? There are several potential reasons.

First, Mayor Pete has, at least compared to Trump, significant governmental experience as the mayor of South Bend. He has been mayor since 2011. He began his time in office at the age of 29 and has since been re-elected with 80% of the vote in 2015. His success in the city has shown: the city experienced significant growth following a population decline between 2000-2010.

The Mayor has also spearheaded some rebirth projects in the city, including converting the old Studebaker plant in town into a tech hub, conversion of the city streets downtown, and millions of dollars of private investment into the city. As a result, Mayor Pete can tout his success here as examples of why he could be president.

Other supporters claim that he is immensely talented and intelligent (though I do not like this reasoning). Mayor Pete was a Rhodes Scholar after attending Harvard. He knows myriad languages, including Norwegian. He is well-acquainted with various philosophies, including that of well-known intellectual Antonio Gramsci, whom his father has written on.

Though this line of thinking is flawed (I mean, Julian Castro attended Stanford, Cory Booker was also a Rhodes Scholar and Elizabeth Warren lectured at Harvard Law School), it is easy to see WHY he resonates: when compared to the President, Pete is levels above him.

Finally, a lot of what he says resonates with people. He speaks about his faith with fervor and honesty, something I appreciate greatly. He talks about the virtues of progressive politics and supporting policies like universal healthcare, labor unionism, combating climate change among other policies. His youth ideals combined are valued by many.

However, Pete still has his critics. Concerns about the gentrification of the city, wiretapping, and targeting of vacant properties that led to accusations of targeting of minorities in the city are what concerns many people. There were also previous issues with the police chief in the town, who recorded conversations, and who he demoted, which raised concerns for racial bias.

Whether or not this affects the primary at all is anyone's guess. However, he has momentum. Maybe Mayor Pete will become President Pete someday.

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