The 2016 Presidential Election has been over for three days now. But the aftermath of the results is still fresh on everyone’s mind. It definitely is for me. It’s hard to believe how much raw emotions and reaction have dominated the news forums since Tuesday’s election.
While many people are happy with Donald Trump are winning the election, others are not. If I could describe this election in one word, I couldn’t. I would need more than one. But here are two words I would use to describe it: fear and hatred. Many people felt like their voices were heard and it shows in the results while others felt their vote didn’t matter and their future is now in question. But bottom line, regardless who you voted for, you mostly voted out of fear and hatred. You voted not to put someone in the White House, but to keep the other candidate out. You had trust issues with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and decided to either pick the lesser of two evils, vote third party or not even vote at all. But it still all comes down to choosing what to do out of fear and hatred.
In doing so, the election has shown how divided this country has become over the years. Arguments have swelled up, friendships torn apart, racial tensions everywhere, it is like we all are living a horrible nightmare that we can’t wake up. It is ironic that this country is called the United States of America, upon speaking with other UWM students and seeing everyone react, we couldn’t possibly be anymore divided. We just elected a president who has openly spoken hate messages towards every demographic that is not a heterosexual, Christian Caucasian man.
But that leads to this question, “Where do we go from here?”
That answer couldn’t be anymore cloudy. Seeing Trump give his victory and sounding like a completely different person saying he “wants to make this country great for all Americans” it is a little hard to believe given all that he said during his campaign. Also, to see media professionals covering the election in complete shock over the results and seeing CNN’s Van Jones almost crying on air asking “How am I going to explain this to my children,” it is very off putting. It is sad to see many people who have struggled to get to where they and now feel they will be left out of the new plan. But the question still remains, “where do we go from here?”
If I was to ask a Trump supporter this question, they might say, the system is broken and we need to fix it. Trump could be the one help us in fixing that problem.” If I asked a Clinton supporter this question, they might say, “We are about to head back 50 years where, unless you are a white man, your opinion, your voice doesn’t matter,” I don’t know what to believe anymore. I don’t know whose wrong or whose right. While there may be people protesting Trump winning the election as we speak, who’s to say there wouldn’t be as many protest had Hillary won instead?
This election has brought out the worst in all of us and has shown how divided we are as a country. It has made people fear for their lives going forward and how they are going to change for better or worse. “How can we live as a nation knowing that we could have a guy who is known as a loose cannon as our leader,” they ask. “How can we accept him as the President when he may hate us or our friends based on our gender, race, religion or sexual orientation?”
A dark cloud is hovering this country and Trump has not even been inaugurated yet. What’s to come for this country when the clock strikes midnight and we have reached 2017. Will the world as we know it cease to exist? Will we just go on with our merry lives regardless of who is in the Oval Office? I can’t say if that will be the case or not. Trump cannot change who we are before and after the election, Hillary can’t either. The only people who can determine where we go from here are ourselves, as a country and as individuals. Bottom line, Trump will be our next president whether we like it or not (and a lot of people don’t). We just need to swallow our pride and let ourselves dictate our fate and not let him do it for us. Unless we don’t, the division in this country will grow and the fault of it will not be on Trump, Clinton or even President Obama, It will be on us.