November 8, 2016 marked a monumental day that will rewrite history books. To many it was a tragic day as the nation found out that the winner of the 2016 presidential election, and the 45th President of the United States, was none other than businessman turned politician, Donald Trump.
I, for one, took the day after the election not as a day of joy, but as a day of mourning. I may have been over reacting, but many Americans are not sure how to handle the news. During election night, and after Hillary Clinton had no chance of winning the presidency, college students flooded the streets of Oakland to protest. Tensions were high in America as protests broke out in every major city in America during the days following the election.
How is the nation supposed to take this news? It is understandable why people are protesting. People do not want to accept a president who has no former political or military experience and has disrespected women, including his daughter, too many times to count.
At some point or another, you have to question what the nation could have done differently to change this outcome. With rumors that over 15,000 people voted for the late gorilla Harambe, many people just didn’t take the election seriously. If more people took the election seriously, could that have changed the outcome?
It is understandable, however, that many people did not take this election candidly. Given that both candidates were truly horrendous this election was easy to poke fun at. Clinton, was accused of so many wrong doings, that I wouldn’t be surprised if people are going to start accusing her of rigging her own loss.
I am ashamed for the people that took voting in this election as a joke. I believe that it is our civic duty to vote, it was a right given to us by the Founding Fathers over 200 years ago. On election day, 41.1% of eligible voters didn’t take to the polls and didn’t fulfill their civic duty. Now, whether or not they could have actually changed the outcome of the election, I am not sure. I would like to say that if all 241 million eligible voters took to the polls, Clinton would have won. Considering the fact that she won the popular vote by more than 219,762 votes.
The 2016 presidential election marks the 5th time in history that a candidate who won the popular vote didn’t win the electoral college votes. The last time being nearly 16 years ago with the Bush v. Gore election. Although it has not been outwardly stated, many of the protests seem to be in response to the electoral college and America’s voting system in an attempt to initiate change in an outdated system.
People are pushing for a change, and it is hard not to see the contempt the nation is feeling at this point in time. Yes, this was a terrible election. Yes, no one wanted to make up their minds and pick a “lesser evil”. Maybe the nation will push for a referendum and repeal the election or the electoral college. But unless American citizens begin to see the validity in voting, we won’t see a change in our lifetime.