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The Missouri Miner

Missouri S&T's Student Newspaper
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EST. 1915

Take-aways from this election

Leslie Hamilton

I must admit that this election really has not been one where you can anticipate any normalcy because it has literally defied every preconception about American politics that I have previously had. Being a third party Libertarian, I knew there was no chance that Gary Johnson would end up in the White House and honestly, he was not that great of a candidate either. Nonetheless, I went into election day thinking for sure that we would see the first female president in American history, completely underestimating the following that Donald Trump had amassed. Come election day, I had literally just come to terms that Hillary Clinton would be the next POTUS and then I watched the poll count and how the electoral college voted. I was stunned with the fact that Trump took the lead in electoral votes. I just continued refreshing the Safari page on my phone, only for it to continue confirming that Trump had the lead in electoral college votes, only to further and further widen the gap between himself and HRC. It was like watching a car crash, I could not stop watching - ignoring all my obligations of the night. I could not fathom that this was the reality that I was currently living in because I just could not grasp how a Presidential candidate could be so blatantly offensive, unprofessional and immature throughout his entire campaign and still have such a large following and support. I know Hillary Clinton is no angel either, but I thought for sure that her political experience would make up for her own shortcomings. I guess it was mainly my Facebook friends that I base this off of, I did not realize how many liberals that I was friends with until now, but considering the big push towards being more “PC” (politically correct), inclusive, and an overall better nation, this was the last thing that I ever expected to happen.

After the initial shock, where I was just at a loss for words and just in awe of this happening, I took a few steps back to rationalize how this happened. Looking back at it, I guess I should not have been so stunned in that something as equally wild happened in the Brexit vote in the EU. If Brexit could happen, then the same could apply to the US Presidential Election. Granted, a lot of people voted for the separation of Britain from the European Union, with the mindset of something like “this will never happen so yolo?” and it somehow happened. Sure, a lot of people are very upset that Trump is President-elect and blame it on third-party voters, mainly us Libertarians. I get that you look at what happened with Florida and you see the difference in Clinton and Trump and point a finger at the people who voted for Gary Johnson and that those votes were wasted, were a protest vote and would have helped Clinton win Florida. If you are going to point fingers at people for wasting their vote, point your finger at the 11,000 people in America that wrote-in Harambe as the Presidential candidate on the ballot and any other politician or person wrote-in that virtually has no following or running candidacy. I get the right to exercise your right to vote, but writing in Harambe or Paris Hilton is ridiculous. Regardless of the Harambe voters, who is to say that the people who voted for Johnson would have even voted for Clinton if they had to chose between the two? Libertarians are more likely to vote for the Republican Party if it comes down to voting between the two parties. With that logic being said, it really would not have changed the outcome that much, so quit pointing your fingers at people who are voting for something they believe in and justly exercising their right to vote, just like you are. Secondly, it definitely did not help that not as many democrats were pumped up about Clinton as they were with Bernie Sanders.

That enthusiasm not carrying over to Clinton after she became the nominated candidate definitely hindered the outcome of the election, whereas, Trump supporters were loud and proud the entire way. Some of this could be attributed, similarly to what I suggested before, is that there was an underestimation of Trump supporters. A lot of people thought Hillary had it in the bag and that assumption somewhat killed her with the media reporting it as such. People really wanted a change and it apparently was not her. Not to mention, that it did not really help that people did not take voting in the primaries all too seriously.

A week later and I really do not care anymore, I feel like it is out of my hands now and all I can do is trust the system and hope for the best. Who knows… maybe Trump will do some good stuff for our nation. I realize a lot of people are scared and fearful, but considering how long legislation takes to pass, I really question if change is going to be as radical and as fast as people are fearing - regardless, of the Republican majorities. As far as what we can take away from this election is that anything is possible now and voting in the primaries are very important.

To end on a better note and regardless of how “salty” you may or may not be from this election, I just want to take a moment to talk about the good that has come out of this year’s election: THE MEMES. SO DANK. SO FRESH. The vines and memes that came out of this year’s election were no doubt some of my favorite. As someone who was not the biggest fan of the Obama administration, I do love me some Joe Biden memes.


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