For most of the country, politics can be a polarizing topic, so much so that many wise people advise against discussing anything politically related with strangers and mere acquaintances. However, this year’s election was so steeped in hostility and divisiveness that many of us had a hard time discussing our political feelings with family members. For the first time, in quite a while, we weren’t presented with a good enough option for the presidential position, and America became entrenched in the mudslinging of the candidates. We became a nation that was entirely divided, and we allowed the candidates to draw us further apart.
Now, in the wake of the election’s results, we have yet to come together again. In her concession speech, candidate Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying that we must give “President-Elect Trump a chance to lead”, however, Americans don’t seem to want to acquiesce to that request as many Hillary supporters have taken to the streets to voice their distress. They’ve also taken to the internet, as social media streams are being filled with cries asking what has happened, that the country is doomed and that we’re all in for a dangerous four years.
Donald Trump, the future President of the United States, as of January 20th, began his campaign in his traditional fashion. He was larger than life, with a cocky attitude and a big mouth. He made statements that won’t be easily retracted, even going so far as to call some immigrants criminals. His campaign speeches were dripping with derision and what many are calling, hate speech. He passionately painted himself into a picture of a candidate that was racist, bigoted, and not at all interested in furthering the interests of the female population, all under the guise of making American “great again”.
Hillary, on the other hand, ran a somewhat respectable campaign for herself, but her reputation was sullied by the Benghazi attack, her husband, former President Bill Clinton’s actions while he was in office, and the email scandal that surrounded her. Whether or not she was the most viable candidate, Americans found difficulty in trusting her, and rightfully so, as she perjured herself when questioned about sending classified emails. Her position on the important issues may have been what people wanted to hear, but her questionable political background was too much for many of the voters in America.
In this election year, many of the voters were calling for the change that President Barrack Obama had promised, and many feel he did not deliver on. For this reason, Trump seemed to be a great option. He had no political history and was making promises to make our wonderful country great again, whether he had the power to make that happen or not. This election was set up to be a rock and a hard place election year; neither choice was a good one, but we had to pick and very few people were willing to throw their vote away on the Independent or Green party candidates.
Still, in this country, nearly 50% of the people didn’t vote. Most of us are taught that voting gives us our voice in America, and if we don’t get out and at least hit the button of the candidate we most believe in, we don’t get to complain. However, this election was different from any other. We held the possibility of having the first female President of the United States, but it also was one of the first years that people bowed out of voting for anyone, because they didn’t believe in either major party candidate. Yet, people are protesting, complaining, and making a general nuisance of themselves because, in their opinion, things went the wrong way, and our new President represents a stance of hatred.
No matter how the next four years play out, one thing is certain; America will likely never be the same. The President has access to a lot of information that people don’t necessarily trust a businessman to have. A mass of people didn’t trust Hillary Clinton to have that access either, and now we’re in between that proverbial rock and a hard place, as the public outcries echo that Donald Trump is “not my president”.