Emotions Surface in Wake of Presidential Election

11111111By Iginio Hernandez

President-Elect Donald Trump’s win struck somberness on campus.

Trump won the election with 290 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232, according to USA Today’s calculation on Nov. 22. Although Clinton lost the election she won the popular vote by 1.7 million votes, which will continue to increase as absentee ballots are counted in coming days.

The last time a president elect won the Electoral College but not the popular vote was in 2000 when George W. Bush beat Al Gore.

“I voted for Donald Trump because, if I am truthfully honest, I do not trust Hillary,” said Arvind Patel, business major at CSN. “I was shocked when I knew Trump was in the lead. I thought it was going to be close that Hillary was going to win straight out, both in the electoral and the popular [vote].”

The day after the election, Patel didn’t go to school but he did go to work. He felt America was divided. “I saw people who were ecstatic that Trump won and people who were literally crying at my drive-through window at Starbucks.”

Francis Carleton, instructor at CSN’s Charleston campus, said he was a Clinton supporter. He was unhappy with the election results and concerned for the students on campus who seemed solemn following Trump’s win.

“Students at CSN, of course by their nature, tend to be disproportionately young and disproportionately people of color,” Carleton said. Many of those voted for Clinton and in the aftermath were unhappy, somber and disappointed with the results while Trump supporters were elated.

One lesson learned this election is the country is polarized with two very separate belief systems.

“What [the election] signifies is that our country is divided,” said Dr. William Davis, chair of social sciences at CSN. “Each side is demanding that it get everything that it wants. Our system, however, is designed to forge and even force compromise. It used to be the case that America was divided but not deeply divided. It appears now that it is deeply divided. When each side considers its positions to be the very essence of morality, compromise becomes practically impossible. It is in my view the moral responsibility of responsible people to pull back their dogs before they all get unleashed.”

In the aftermath, students responded to the election in many ways.

img_0260Journalism major Tristan Torres voted for Clinton. He was deeply upset with Trump’s win. He participated in a protest Nov. 12 on the Las Vegas Strip from the The LINQ to Trump International Hotel. Torres thought it would be a peaceful protest but his friend got punched in the face and he had an altercation with someone in the crowd.

Students’ reactions were varied on campus and many students were deeply concerned about the results.

“A little bit of the long view would help those who are discouraged right now,” Carleton said. “America is changing in ways that are going to require changes in who we elect and what kind of government we have but it is happening very slowly.”

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