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Post-Election Thoughts

KENA BETANCUR

KENA BETANCUR

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Election Day is always an important day; some will feel like winners, some like losers, and some like nothing changed at all. This election, however, was quite unusual to say the least. The world is used to politicians with different degrees and experience, qualifying them to be considered as candidates to become the next president. But this year, a millionaire/celebrity ran and won the race for presidency, splitting the nation in half and leaving many feeling hopeless and fearing for what will come next.

As a Hispanic woman and an immigrant, I can’t help but condone Trump’s racist, sexists, and hate-filled comments. I can’t respect a man, who instead of talking about new policies and the possibilities of having a man that was little to no association to politics in office, chose to spread hate and run his campaign on xenophobia, racism and reminiscing on the America that was only great for those who are not part of a minority.

I, myself, have experienced all types of reactions from people around me. There’s those who are happy the candidate of their choice won, to those who are utterly terrified and angry at their own country for electing such a man into office. And then there’s the many who don’t care about politics and feel like their life will not be affected by whoever runs their country.

What surprised me the most, however, is that to most of the people I’ve talked to, have no knowledge whatsoever of the candidate’s policies and plans that would’ve been put into motion if they were to become president. A majority of the people, around me at least, seem to have made their decision based on comments made by both parties and the soap opera that this election became and was portrayed in the media. Most people didn’t go the extra mile and research what the candidates proposed, which is what, in my opinion, matters the most.

Comments and public appearances give a hint of character, value, and the type of person the candidates are. These would be enough to judge someone you just met – a classmate, or maybe a coworker. However, when choosing a president, deeper knowledge is required, and it is the citizens duty, as active members of a society, to research and be able to form opinions of their own separate from what they hear from the media, peers, and family members.

This election seems to bring out the worst of some, it seems like a healthy debate has to end with a hostile underlying due to the tension this election has left. As you can imagine, I do not support Trump. I was shocked when 2:30 in the morning  rolled around, and I realized he was really going to be the next president. And yet I will be the first one to admit that Hillary was and still is in my opinion, just another politician, with personal agendas, and not that great of a choice, herself. However, due to her experience and education, she seemed to me like the logical choice and the more qualified candidate.

The two party system left most Americans with no other option but to chose between the lesser or two evils. Although there are million of people that felt strongly about both candidates and everything they stand for. We can’t deny that there were millions of voters stuck in the middle, voting for whatever party they could identify with the most, not necessarily choosing a candidate they were confident about. Hillary won the popular vote, but the system elected Trump.

The divide is pretty clear, but however you feel about this election, Trump is the new elected president. Whether you agree with the system, millions of Americans voted for him. It is everyone’s right to voice their opinion and peacefully protest to express their anger and disappointment, and it’s OK to not feel represented by this man. But it is also important to understand that we live in democracy, where we have to respect the system and accept that he will be the next president.

America deserves to give Trump a chance, waiting for him to fail is like wanting him to sink the ship we are all on. There is time for change, there is room for growth, but most importantly there is a need for tolerance. All of that starts from within, a president can’t influence that.

Let’s not forget that what makes this country so great is how diverse it is. Diversity wouldn’t be possible without immigrants in the first place. Let’s not forget most people are decedents of immigrants that came to the country in hopes of a better a future. Whatever it was, five generations ago or you’re just now coming to the country, immigrants are the backbone of this country.

Let’s not confuse or mask hate speech, racisms, xenophobia and sexism under freedom of speech.

America has come a long way, and has still a long way to go. Let’s not allow this election to set us back. Let’s acknowledge our problems and start a conversation. America’s problem’s are deeper than an election, or a president. Let this election open a door for change, let’s teach kids to be tolerant, start real and educated conversations, and learn how to make up your own opinion without solely relying on the media, change starts from within. Knowledge and an open mind can truly change the world.

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Post-Election Thoughts