The elephant in the room

Cartoon by Gabbie Evans


I am still in shock. Donald Trump is going to be our next president.

There is no other way to put it — Nov. 8 was the most shocking political moment our generation has been alive to witness.

However, upon further reflection of not only Tuesday, but of the past 18 months, I am not sure why I am even surprised by the results.  

Ever since he announced he was running for president, President-elect Trump broke the unwritten rules of politics and defied the odds — which have been against him from the start — over and over again.  

He has no political background and had no business running for president, but he did.  In the biggest pool of GOP candidates America has seen in a long time, many of whom were much more qualified than Trump, he should not have run away with the Republican nomination, but he did.  

There was no reason to believe he would win Michigan and Pennsylvania, who have not gone Republican since 1988, but he did.  Per New York Times, he had only a 15 percent chance to beat Hillary Clinton, but he did.

I am typically opposed to expressing my political views to large crowds due to the argument and backlash inevitably succeeding one’s expression of opinion.  

However, after a week of seeing dozens of different opinions and reactions from my peers on social media, I now see it as an effective coping mechanism while the nation is in the state that it is in. It is important not only to express your opinions and emotions, but to also hear others as well.

The result we got was a shock.  Trump won, and regardless of who you voted for or what you think of the president-elect, there is nothing we can do but accept the result.  It is the part we play in ensuring there is a peaceful transition of power.

Regardless of what you think of him, it is irrational and closed-minded to count him out of doing some good for the country since he has not even been sworn into office yet.  It is hypocritical for citizens to take the streets in protest.  Lastly, it is unpatriotic and wrong to wish our president fails at his job.  If he fails, do we succeed?  No.

For democrats, Nov. 8 was a nightmare they hope to wake up from.  For republicans, it was a triumph…  Right?  To some, including me, not so much.

As someone who affiliates himself with the Republican Party, I should be thrilled about a conservative, unified government, right?

I cannot say I am.  It can be a little embarrassing to be affiliated with the GOP when Donald Trump, the nominee we selected, is going be the next president.  

Donald Trump does not represent all republicans or those with conservative views.  He is not like any president-elect America has ever seen.  

Many have argued this is what it will take for progress to be made an outsider coming to D.C. to break up lobbyists and profiting promise breakers who have extended their welcome in Congress and forgotten to represent “We the People.”

However, it appears the American voters were willing to turn a blind eye on Trump’s ethics.

There is not and never will be justification for racism, it is never acceptable to mock disabled people, and never can sexual assault be tolerated.

Since last June, Trump has expressed a tolerance for all of these unethical and unacceptable actions and values.

Last Thursday, my FYS professor decided to hold an open discussion on the election during class, which I initially thought was a stupid idea until I listened to the multiple views, opinions and emotions of my classmates.  

I am really glad I did not decide to skip class that day, because I learned more about myself and the world we live in.

One of the girls shared a story from the day after Election Day, where a boy walking past her told her to watch what she says right now since she is a girl.

There are students Trump failed to represent in his campaign who expressed concern about how some ethics he represents will continue to be deemed acceptable in society.

One student pointed out how easy it is to only put into account how certain events, like the election, affect you instead of how it affects all people.

I think she was right and I will admit I was that type of person before last Thursday.  While watching the results, I remember telling my white friends not to worry too much because whoever won, it would not affect our lives too much.  This infuriated one of my friends and I now see why it did.

This is something I thought about all of last week.  This type of mindset will only divide people even more, which is the opposite of what the country needs right now.  

It was thought provoking.  It reminded me how important it is to be open to views, ideas and opinions differing from your own. This is how progress is made in our country and it is how we will reach our full potential as human beings.  

The country needs unity.  We reached a point where politicians are so polarized that nobody is willing to budge from where they stand on certain issues and policies, and this happens on both sides of the political spectrum.

 There comes a time where people need to set aside their agenda and ideology and practice moral values for the greater good of all citizens, rather than just the people whose views coincide with their own.  

Over the past week, I read dozens of posts saying people were ashamed to be an American, which is the worst mindset one can have.

So, do not move to Canada.  Do not take the streets in protest.  Accept the results and if you have not already, learn to accept ideas and views differing from your own, but never let go of strong moral values.  America is not doomed and greatness will come from unity, compassion and understanding from 320 million of us before it comes from just one man.

I will never be ashamed to be an American and will never lose faith in this country and neither should you.



Read Austin Klawitter’s thoughts on the election results as a democrat here.


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