America has played spectator to the biggest election upset in recent years.
“President-Elect Donald Trump.” These are words many in this nation never thought would fall heavy from the lips of newscasters across the word.
The brutish, bad-mouthed businessman now fills the most important role in our country and will, by all likelihood, continue to hold this role for at least four years. To his credit, he shocked the nation and gave us a classic underdog story.
But was he really the underdog? He took advantage of an angry, majorly white group which has largely been “missing” from previous elections. He was smart enough to target this specific group of individuals, which played a large role in his success. We only perceive him as weaker because of the media and its harmful role in this election.
This political war was inflamed mostly by sites like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. We must understand that the percent of our population active on social media does not represent our population as a whole. Checking #Election2016 Twitter feed yesterday afternoon yielded a flood of pro-Hillary posts and a few on the opposing side. How did these sites represent the election in such a one-sided manner?
There are a lot of possibilities here. For one, Trump voters could have been afraid of online retaliation if they publicly broadcasted their decision. In addition, Trump’s volatile online messages created a mood of silliness around his campaign. We never really took him seriously.
Third party voters have also been blamed for this result. In many battleground states, their vote could have helped Clinton gain the upper hand. However, many thought that they were somehow being brave or noble by throwing away their vote to a candidate who had no chance of winning.
In an article by the New York Daily News, “Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson were immediately compared to 2000 Green candidate Ralph Nader, whose 97,000 votes in Florida could have given the presidency to Al Gore instead of George W. Bush.” Those who had the potential to make a difference chose instead to waste their vote to make a statement.
There is even a website dedicated to this, called burnmyvote.org, where the website proclaims “Democrats and Republicans say voting for a third party is burning your vote. Let’s show them that we will burn our votes in support of better candidates than the two party system has provided.”
None of these factors acts alone, and ultimately the people are to blame for voting this way. It is a choice that will have effects, positive or negative, on every aspect of our lives.
Yesterday morning, who could have imagined that Donald J. Trump would be our proud nation’s 45th president?