On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Donald Trump pulled one of the most stunning upsets Presidential election History. His win sparked outrage amongst the opponents of the Republican Party. Many took to the streets. Some protested via social media posts. A petition was started that garnered almost 4 Million signatures in two days calling for members of the Electoral College to switch their state’s votes to Trump’s opponent as “Faithless Electors.” Most of all, though, people just tried to cope and pray for the best.
In the wake of the election, analysts have analyzed and analyzed and over-analyzed every part of the process in an attempt to figure out how all of their polls could be so wrong. Everyone is pointing fingers, blaming this one and that one for such a crushing blow to the Democrats. Sadly, the realization is that they mostly defeated themselves.
Think of it this way: The DNC force fed their constituents a candidate that was surrounded in more controversy than the Casey Anthony verdict AND THEN put the cherry on top with one of the most puzzling VP choices when someone more likable like Martin O’Malley could have been tapped for the job. Not too mention, they pandered to the youth and never really connected with them in a way like Bernie Sanders did. They assumed that the minority vote would just come their way based on President Obama’s legacy and never really spoke TO them, merely reiterating their problems.
On the flip side, the Republicans did the same, with slight variations. And they won. Trump was force fed to America, but by main stream media, not the party. The party actually tried to stop him. Once he had the nomination, he chose one of the most extreme and hated Republican politicians he could in anti-LGBTQ governor, Mike Pence. They expected minorities to flock to them, despite their racists overtones and threats of deportation, believing that Obama did nothing to better their situation.
At the end of the day, Hillary Clinton had received the majority and won the popular vote. That was a symbolic and meaningless effort as Trump had managed to unlock a “hidden” vote in the states that mattered and walked away with the Electoral College victory, making him our President-Elect.
Throughout the last month of his campaign, Trump threatened to “Drain the Swamp” if he was elected President. The “swamp” he was referring to was Washington D.C. Referred to as such for it’s filth, corruption, lobbyists and career political insiders and politicians. Now, we are one week into Trump’s transition and he has already parted ways with a few of the members of his transition team. But don’t let that be the glimmer of hope that Mr. Trump would stand by his “Drain the Swamp” mantra. Because he is solidly stacking his administration with some of the worst leeches in the political realm.
Reince Priebus, the former head of the RNC and who tried to stop Trump during the primaries, has been named Chief of Staff. Steve Bannon, who ran the alt-right news forum Brietbart, was named Chief Strategist. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s name has been floated as possible Secretary of State. Ted Cruz, labeled “Lying Ted” by Donald Trump during the primaries is rumored to on the short list for Attorney General. Just these names alone carry more controversy than they do hope that Trump will honor his promises.
On top of Trump’s picks for key positions adding to the dissatisfaction of his nomination, it has been said that Trump is exploring the possibilities of creating a Muslim registry for those of the faith that live in America. The creation of such a database would be akin to what the Nazis did to the Jewish people. And, quite frankly, this is alarming.
So people have taken to the streets. Schools are being walked out of in protest. I think what we fail to see during the protests is that the protesters aren’t simply unhappy about the results of the election and being whiny. No. This is happening because people are scared. They are scared of what authoritarianism will look like under Trump. Minorities are scared because the future looks like more of the past for them. Immigrants are scared because most of them traveled a hellish route to reach our country for work so that they might escape impoverished conditions in their country.
So, what’s the truth?
The truth is that there is no one to blame but the voters ourselves. I read a comment on social media that explained our current situation perfectly: This election is what you get when you have spent your life voting for the lesser of two evils. Exactly. As American voters, we have no independent thought because we have felt the need for so long to support one of the two major political parties. All throughout this election I have heard why a third party candidate can’t get elected. The real reason is that instead of turning to a third party that could offer our nation a different path (mainly because third party candidates in the past have been worse than the two majors running) we, as Americans, have continued to support two parties that never seem to find middle ground. No, we support them and it’s the same as it ever was. One makes laws, the other repeals them.
The truth is that we are running in circles, never moving forward. Because we continue to vote for two parties who haven’t had a new idea for governing since the 1950’s. They bicker and fight over the same issues, over and over again. Meanwhile, in America, new problems are taking hold in our communities. People are uncertain what the future looks like in this nation. All because we treat new problems with old strategies.
America, you can’t move forward if you are stuck in the past. Stop relying on old ideals.