By LOUIS THOMSON
This election has been a roller-coaster filled with emotion and angst. For the first time in history, an individual is going to be in office with no previous political history or military service. For all of our history, when citizens voted for politicians they semi-knew who they were voting for since they all had a track record. I want to use an example from the Dark Knight because I believe it is applicable; in the movie the Joker says, “Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even when the plan is horrifying.” For the most part, Hillary was the choice of the people and Trump was the underdog, but come Nov. 9, Trump was our president-elect. Then all hell broke loose.
I have to admit I voted for Hillary and I am not thrilled that Donald Trump is our president, but it is what it is. I am not advocating for Trump by any means, but I do not want to see this country rip itself apart from what a guy says. I know everything he said is completely terrible, and it’s unimaginable that a person can say what he has and people still voted for him. The real question is that after everything he has said, how many businesses that failed under him, and him avoiding paying taxes for almost two decades – even with all this damaging evidence, how did he defeat Hillary Clinton? The next question is, should the Electoral College be dismembered?
Donald Trump is a business man but he has bankrupted a lot of his companies, he avoided paying taxes to the federal government for almost two decades, he had made sexist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic remarks and he also made fun of disabled people, which I find personally incomprehensible since I have a disability of my own. After all this information has come to light, then one can ask how he can still be the president-elect. The answer is that people didn’t trust Hillary Clinton. Over the months before the election, there had been a lot of information that doesn’t show Clinton in the best of light, such as the Clinton Foundation, the e-mails, Whitewater, Benghazi, and so on. Although none of it stuck and she didn’t go to prison, people saw that as dishonest and didn’t like her. The reality of it is that the longer you spend in politics, the more muddied up you get, and after 30-plus years of her being involved in politics, it finally came back to bite her.
The Electoral College has an equal amount of electors in proportion to the Senate and the House of Representatives. The purpose of the Electoral College is to prevent one presidential candidate manipulating the public into voting one way and also to curb back-room deals. Some people want to break up the Electoral College because sometimes it feels like it is unfair but, in reality, it’s pretty fair. Only five times in our nation’s history, presidents have been elected using the Electoral College even though they won the popular vote; for example, George Bush defeated Al Gore in 2000 even though Gore won the popular vote. The Electoral College was set up to keep the elections out of the hands of elected officials for an unbiased vote. I can see how people want to get rid of the Electoral College because the wording is confusing, but overall I think it is a pretty solid, non-biased system. I would argue to dismantle it if president after president won the Electoral College even though their opponent won the popular vote. If you take into consideration there have been 44 presidents not including Donald Trump. There have been five times, or less than 1 percent, the Electoral College has put presidents in the Oval Office while losing the popular vote since 1776. However, since the 2000 election, the Electoral College has decided two elections, or 40 percent of our presidents from 2000 to 2016.
During the pre-election period there was already a divide in this country between Trump and Clinton supporters, but after the election the divide grew larger. One of the questions to be asked is who exactly brought out this feeling of hatred toward a person speaking about deportation on a massive scale, banning Muslims, and building a wall. Was the hatred already in countless millions of people? There are very few leaders like Stalin, Hitler, or Mussolini with the ability to incite their citizens to hatred and violence. Should we start blaming individuals that increase tensions in a nation or do we look towards a leader than brings out tensions?
As a person with a disability I am kind of afraid of what a person like Trump can do when he publicly shamed a disabled person. I am appalled of how he refers to immigrants and women. I have to believe in this system of government that what he says and what he will do and actually does is different, and I believe it will. If people got upset at what people said then there would be constant protesting on the streets.
Since Trump won the election, there has been unprecedented protest throughout America. High school students are protesting and that doesn’t often happen. Immigrants are afraid for their lives, women are outraged because of his comments, and non-whites are terrified. The reason people are worried is because Trump is a wild card, no one knows what he will and will not do. Never in history have people immediately stood up and protested the election in this magnitude.
People have always protested wars and social injustice such as the war in Iraq, the Vietnam War, police shootings against African Americans, and during the civil rights era. But no one has ever protested a president-elect right out of the gate. There are some references throughout history such as Winston Churchill and his fear of a psychopath’s rise to power. When Hitler started his reign over Germany, leaders thought he was harmless, except Winston Churchill, who viewed Hitler as a psychopath. But no one believed him until it was too late. To apply this line of thinking to Trump is a bit of a stretch, because as of now he has only made comments about deporting immigrants and building a wall, but has not physically done anything. There are similarities between Trump and Hitler because they both exploited fears between races and played on the current mood of society, but unlike Trump, Hitler’s rise of power was in a different type of government, which was a totalitarian dictatorship. One can say the KKK supporting Trump is a sign that Trump is like Hitler, but I think this is also a stretch.
I am not defending Trump by any means, but give the guy a chance. If he screws up, then feed him to the wolves. I do not want a repeat of history of what happened in Germany. There is also cause for concern about who Trump will pick for his cabinet, such as Stephen K. Bannon who is connected to the group alt-right. This election has done a lot of damage in the sense about dividing the country. Progressives should stop calling people uneducated people – that is a discriminatory word and that lumps people into groups.