The 2016 election was the first political race that I got to vote in. Going in, I was way more excited than many of my peers. Finally getting my say, my voice, my thoughts, and opinions heard was exhilarating. Even though it was just going to be drowned in the crowds of the millions of other people who also live in this country. Regardless, I was going to be one of them and I was ecstatic.
I knew this election was going to be a rollercoaster. President Obama, the man rocking the oval o ce chair, couldn’t run again, despite what the Internet wanted. e o ce chair was going to be lled by a new candidate, and it seemed everyone wanted in. Like I said, I thought it was going to be a rollercoaster. I was wrong. is wasn’t a rollercoaster but that whirl wind spinny ride you see in the corner of the county fair that you are pretty sure is being operated by someone intoxicated. at ride was our election. And every day we wanted to throw up even more. No one knew what was happening. e polls were rising and dropping. People were opting out of the race. Mass panic. Hysteria. Dogs and cats living together. And dogs and cats running for president.
Then it came to the nal two. First up to the stage, Hillary Clinton. Let me tell you, this woman has been through everything. From political scandals to personal scandals, it felt like people were just making up scandals and we assumed them to be true because, well…it’s Hillary. Her and scandals seem to go together like peanut butter & jelly or Samsung & lawsuits. They just go hand in hand. Then hobbling onto the stage comes our Republican front runner. The guy that helps Wall Street feel safe at night. Donald J. Trump, someone who the political scene has never handled before. Say what you will about his tactics, they seem to have worked out.
I remember watching the election, my co-worker and I at the time, looking at state polls like it was the final quarter of the Super Bowl. Screaming out in the middle of our local gift shop, Customers looking confused at our distress, “WHAT?”
We cried. “NO WAY” I shouted. “TEXAS IS GOING BLUE? WHAT’S HAPPENING?” Our customers only wanted a new candle, we wanted a new election result.
Despite what every poll told us was going to happen, Donald J. Trump took o ce and was sworn in as our 45th president of the United States. And the country let out a huge “Huh?”. No matter who you voted for, everyone had a moment of sheer confusion at the results. People were taken aback. No one saw this coming, mostly because, we haven’t had a man like Donald Trump make it this far. e following day, can only be described as “when everything changed.”
Like a tectonic plate shifting, everything felt a little off. We were in a new America now, almost. Not like a dystopian future kind of way, but we felt more divided than ever. For the past few generations anyone could tell you our two parties in government did not like each other. Each fought for dominance. They wanted all their ideas as the norm of government. ere was little to no talk of compromise. When Trump won it was very much a victory for the Republican party.
Like I said, watching the election was like watching the Superbowl, and that feeling didn’t stop after the results.
It feels like it’s still going on. People have been treating our two- party system like they are sports teams and they’re tossing around statements like: “We won, learn to deal with it!” Now as a millennial, I follow the liberal stereotype. I’ve been told many times that “You’re young, you don’t understand” for countless opinions I feel truly passionate about. Cheaper education, affordable access to healthcare. To have my voice suddenly undermined due to my age (Being a wee lass of 19), however, feels like everything I fought for has vanished overnight. e worst part of that is, not that my hopes for the country are gone, but those who undermine my voice now seem to be stronger, they now have a president again who supports their viewpoints. Granted it may not have been many of their first, second, or even tenth choice. However he’s a Republican and ready to take action. The new change has seem to inspire many of his supporters to continue to belittle my voice. Our voices. We’ve been called “whiney babies,” and “spoiled.” That we are now, in the words of our commander in chief. “WRONG!” is is not speaking for everyone who voted for Trump. However they keep telling us to give up and that our “crying” won’t help. Do we just give up? Do we accept that this is the new norm? My personal answer to that is: no. No matter who is in charge. I hope the people never stop protesting, never stop taking to the streets if they feel it necessary. I don’t care if “he won there is nothing you can do about it.” Because that attitude – no matter what political side you are on – just isn’t American. Rioting and protesting is in our DNA. It was the spark that started our nation. When Britain was taxing us too much we threw some tea into the river. When women couldn’t vote, they took to the streets and made people pay attention. Just recently many of Trump’s cabinet members have dropped due to boycotts of their industries. Uber’s C.E.O. addressed concern due to his involvement in Trump’s cabinet and dropped (however he didn’t address why his drivers never know where my damn house is!)
The truth of the matter is, our government is not made up of gods. They are people. They are like us, they bleed. Eventually they will return to the streets from where they came. Don’t think they can’t be stopped. We are not “Wrong!”
To those protesting Trump, I applaud you and want you to keep going. To Republicans who won, your policies are beginning to be placed. Obamacare is in talks to be repealed, and laws that are protecting the environment are now going bye-bye. And your voice seemed to outweigh ours, but remember. This is not your country. It’s our country. United we stand. Divided we fall. Don’t belittle our voices. We liberals (the losing team) share this country with you. We are concerned for it just as much as you. We should not ght but discuss. Create new ideas, compromise, progress. And if the next president happens to be a Democrat, I hope you stand up for your beliefs, too. We were founded on the principle of combined ideas. Let’s continue to talk and move this country forward. To bring together a country of unity. America was never truly great, the idea of it is – the idea to keep on building.
So Republicans, please pull up a chair and let’s have a chat. It’ll be “HUGE!”