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The Aftermath of the Presidential Election

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The nation is still in shock from Tuesday night’s election results. Leading up, most major news outlets made it seem as if Hillary Clinton had already won the election. Little did they know that on November 9, 2016, Donald Trump would surpass 270 electoral votes, making him the 45th president of the United States of America. 

After hearing the results, it was apparent that the country had been divided. Protesters have begun rioting throughout the nation in cities such as Portland, Oregon, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Some protesters are also located outside of Trump’s hotels in Chicago and New York. Many are holding signs saying “He’s not my president” and chanting “We reject the president-elect.” Some of these protests have even turned violent, and others been burning the American flag. Over 200 people have been arrested in various cities because of these protests.

Protesting, if peaceful, may be a great way for people with a common belief to gather, and make their voice heard, but it will not change the results of the election. As these protesters turn towards violence, it is clear that it is time for them to come to an end. The country is turning more into the ‘Divided States of America’ everyday. Even Barack Obama is calling for unity in hopes of terminating the protests.

One of the many criticisms of the results the election is that although Trump won the electoral vote, he did not win the popular vote. This is not the first time this has occurred. The same situation happened during the 2000 presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore. These results brought up the discussion about the electoral college, and if it is still the best way to select the president. To compare the two systems, we can compare the most populated state, California, and the least populated state, Wyoming. With the popular vote, one vote in California would have the same weight as one vote in, but because of the drastic population difference in these two states, California would a much larger impact on the election than Wyoming would. With the electoral college, California still has more of an impact than Wyoming, but not to the same extent. By population, California is about 65 times larger than Wyoming. With the electoral college, Wyoming receives 3 votes, while California gets 55 votes, which is only 18 times the amount of Wyoming. The electoral college allows smaller states, like Wyoming, to have more of an impact on the election, and make the needs and wants of their state heard.

Taking this into consideration, it is no surprise that Trump won the election. Throughout his campaign, his message resonated with the citizens in the mid-western and the southern parts of the nation, which tend to be less populated. The citizens in these states are more focused on manufactured goods, and they have a larger population of white citizens without college degrees. These people have had the hardest time economically in recent years, with the coal mines gone and many of the steel mills closing. As a result these people turned to Trump, because he was making their future look the greatest.

However, these are not the only people that voted for Trump. Some voted for Trump because of his immigration policy. These tended to be people who were concerned about their children finding jobs that do not require a college degree, but also some that felt their race was superior. There have been many stories that show that people believe that they can be racist now that Trump is the president-elect. Many minorities have become afraid of the results were released. In Minnesota, racist graffiti was all over the walls of a high school bathroom, and ‘#go back to Africa’ was written on the toilet paper dispenser. At San Diego State University, a Muslim student was the target of a hate crime because of her faith and the hijab that she was wearing.

The United States is supposed to be to be a safe haven for anyone who wants to make this country their home. Although this has never fully been reality, we are beginning to stray farther and farther away from this every day. The citizens of the United States should stick to the goal of making this country feel welcoming. Just because Trump is the president-elect, does not give the country the right to make people feel unsafe here. The citizens of the country can determine the atmosphere and the ideals of the country, not the president.

he United States needs to move past the fact that Trump was elected president, and begin to look towards the country’s future. If the nation can finally move on, the country could possibly begin to make forward, positive change in this country, despite the president-elect.

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The student news site of Oakton High School
The Aftermath of the Presidential Election