the 250 Words series, the RU Student Life writers are posed a question, and in 250 words they each offer their insights. These views represent the unique views of the RU Student Life bloggers.
Question 15: What do you think and what have you been feeling about the recent US Presidential Election results?
Sunita: No, No, No – With a Little Hope
As soon as I heard the news, I repeatedly said ‘no’ over and over again. I was in complete denial. What should have been a historic moment of celebration became one of the most tragic events I’ve seen unfold in my lifetime. I wish I could say I was more shocked, but something in my gut was telling me that America would never let a woman become president, as sad as that is. An overly-qualified woman lost out to a racist sexual abuser. I so badly wanted to be proven wrong. I so badly wanted to wake up to a world where minorities, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, muslims & the LGBTQ community were celebrated and loved. Instead it felt like I had woken up to a living nightmare, where hatred and bigotry prevailed. Van Jones said it best when he described this as “whitelash” against a black president. “People have talked about a miracle,” Jones said. “I’m hearing about a nightmare.” Glass ceilings should have been shattered. Instead, a wall is being built.
The one glimmer of hope I found was that the majority of the younger generation voted for Hillary Clinton to be president, just as they tried to prevent Brexit from happening in the UK. I have so much faith in our generation, that we will remain hopeful and purposeful, and that we will continue the fight for faith and strength and togetherness in the midst of this crazy world. I believe that people will prosper, despite their gender, race, age, religion, ability, or status in life. I believe in the little girls, may they all grow up to shatter glass ceilings and empower us all. Most of all I believe in love, that it will always be the small yet constant glimmer of light amidst all the darkness, and that light will lead us back home.
Jessica: Check Yourself
I have been feeling completely distraught and disheartened since discovering the US Presidential Election results. My friend texted me an analogy the other day that so perfectly describes how I’ve been feeling:
“I feel like I broke up with a partner every time I log onto social media. I’m going about my day happy until I go on social media and I see a picture of Donald Trump (the ex-partner in this scenario). Once again, I’m reminded that he’s president and I have to let reality sink in. Do you know that feeling I’m talking about? That feeling you experience right after a breakup where you keep forgetting it happened? And every time you remember, it’s almost like you’re hearing it for the first time and need to process it all over again?”
Every time Donald Trump gets brought up, my stomach churns. I consider myself to be very liberal in my thinking, which makes it extremely difficult for me to wrap my head around the idea that anyone (let alone half of America) would support a racist, misogynistic pig. But if I have learned anything from the Hunger Games trilogy, it’s that it’s entirely too easy to vilify the other side before checking to see if your own hands are covered in blood.
We are allowed to be angry about the results, but I don’t think being divided by politics is the answer to our problems. There is definitely something more sinister and corrupt with our system that permeates our society beyond these two unappealing candidates.
I wrote a fairly lengthy post titled ‘Trump is a piece shit, but Clinton isn’t our Mockingjay” on my personal blog to try to work through some of these rollercoaster of emotions I’ve been having. I was hesitant on sharing it with my peers on Facebook, but after receiving an outpour of positive feedback, it has pushed me to continue dialogue surrounding this topic. I am still upset, but I have not lost all hope.
I was sitting in my bed trying to re-read an essay while listening to the election results chime in through my computer. Earlier that day I told a friend there was no way America would elect Trump, so, watching it pre-occupied in my bed, I was not worried about the results. That is until Trump took Florida. Listening attentively to Peter Mansbridge and the other commentators on CBC, I was completely shocked. I could no longer focus on anything other than the results, so I put my paper down. Within the hour he took another state and another. I couldn’t focus on anything else. The clock kept ticking into the early morning hours but I couldn’t go to bed, I had to know who won. At 2:00 a.m. on CBC the conversation had changed. No longer were they saying “what if” Trump becomes president, they had started talking about Trump as the new president-elect.
Despite the articles and activism in the media surrounding the homophobia, racism, ableism, and sexism in America, I thought there was just no way he could be elected. How can anyone vote for someone as overtly bigoted as this man? How can someone tell their daughter they voted for a man who assaults women thanks to his position of power? How can someone tell their son they voted for a man who wants to keep immigrants, like their grandparents, out of the country? It seemed impossible; but I was wrong.
In an article in the Atlantic Salena Zito writes, “The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.” That would mean when Trump talks about building a wall, his supporters hear “stricter immigration laws” while the press hears sounds of construction starting, automatically asking about the logistics like, how much and how high? If this analogy were true across all voters, I would feel a bit better about the opinions of the majority of my neighbours, but the problem is there is no way to know for sure. In light of the recent protests, I hope that my neighbours can find some common ground among themselves and rise above this set back.
We know there’s a lot to be thinking about and a lot of feelings tied to these election results. Tell us what you think @RUStudentLife in your own 250 words.