Our Take on the 2016 Election

What Happened, How It Happened, and How It Will Impact You

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The Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States

The Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States

Photo by: The Net

Photo by: The Net

The Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States

Elizabeth Grant, Editor-In-Chief

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In early December, families crammed in front of the television to watch our politicians battle it out in a series of debates. Gasps could be hear from the houses of thousands, as one of the candidates in particular shocked the nation. Donald Trump, millionaire and business tycoon, attacked his opponents–not the point. He threw mud at his opponents, insulted their integrity, and displayed a sense of complete ignorance about a variety of topics important in our nation. Women and minorities in particular worried about his blatantly clear sexism and racism, and worried over what might happen should he become the President.

In November, as Election Day drew dangerously near, Californians in particular remained reassured that the lying, petty man before them would not and could not be elected. It seemed clear to millions that not only was his morality was in question, but his intelligence was as well.

On a Tuesday night, concerned students raced home and stared at their television screens for hours, waiting for updates and praying for a favorable outcome. It was Tuesday, November 8th, the 2016 Election Day and one this nation should never be able to forget.

At first, we sat back at home and were relieved to see that Hillary Clinton (the Democratic nominee) was ahead in the polls and was winning the popular vote. However, those numbers changed. Like a well-played football game, the scores switched back and forth. Hillary in the lead. Donald in the lead. Hillary again. Donald again. It seemed as if the nation itself did not know how to choose the best of two evils, which was certainly part of the national sentiment.

The results of the election seemed so unpredictable that even First Lady Michelle Obama turned in early for the night.

I remember my reaction clearly on the day the results of the election was released. There was a sense of numbness, a sense that my faith in the people of my country had dissipated. How? That was the question I asked myself again and again. I poured over the statement and assertions made over the course of the campaign, and I wondered why anybody could vote for so seemingly despicable a man. Comments about women, minorities, and foreign countries seemed appalling. They seemed unprecedented. And for a good, long time before the inauguration the political events of the year seemed so surreal that I thought I might wake up, and this nightmare would vanish.

But, the fact is that a lot of Trump supporters were voting not on Trump’s personality, but his policy. His platform included mass immigration reform, promises of a stronger economy, and the reform of public health careㅡall of which were legitimate concerns. It seemedㅡalthough untruthfullyㅡto a lot of Americans that illegal immigration was leading to an economic downturn that could be solved by the building of a wall and by the promise of new jobs. Though many citizens were disillusioned in believing this, the promises of his campaign, especially for the poor, disgruntled white populations of the nation, were persuasive. Even the stance on public health care was based on the economy, as Republicans felt as if the federal government was spending too much money on the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) and generally believed that free public healthcare was not a right. They believed that it was up to an individual to provide their own health care, which is reasonable.

Still, his election sparked a national movement that stunned the nation. Especially in New York and California, marches against his presidency rose up, and as his administration began to sign new legislation in office these marches have grown.

Among the most controversial of his executive orders is the ban on immigration from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya. Putting aside the fact that this order is a blatant and abhorrent example of the U.S. fight against Muslims, a whole other level of illegality is at play.

Jamie; @quiversarrow on Twitter
Lady Liberty Holds a Muslim Woman In Her Arms

Our Constitutionㅡthe highest form of legislation that exists in this countryㅡhas specific rules on immigration. And our Supreme Court has time and time again shown that a ban on immigration based on race or religion is unconstitutional, and thus illegal. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 banned and regulated the amount of immigrants that came into the United States from China, and this ban was overturned in 1943 by the Supreme Court, which found that it was against the First Amendment; and the First Amendment clearly states that the American government cannot give preference to people of one religion over another. This ban on immigration signed by Donald Trump has faced serious opposition by the lower circuit courts of the judiciary system, most recently the 13th Circuit (which is the California Circuit Court of Appeals), which deemed that the ban was unconstitutional.

Thus far, it is not clear whether or not the Supreme Court will uphold this ban, though it’s important to realize that it might actually be upheld under the false belief that this ban was enacted as a protective measure against terrorist activity. However, the indefinite ban on the acceptance of Syrian refugees and valid visa holders, non-U.S. dual citizens and US legal resident detainment, barring them from planes or ordering them out of the U.S. has caused an incredible amount of opposition from the public.

Thus the question becomes: what can we do about it? For a lot of students, it may seem as if the damage has already been done, and that the upheaval that this administration has already caused cannot be stopped. Some even have sunken into a atrocious belief that this sort of new presidential behavior is the new normal. But this is not normal. And there is absolutely something that we can do about it.

I urge you, stand up for your political beliefs at every opportunity. Write letters to your congressmen, to your senators, and to the representatives of your community and express to them your concerns about the new administration. Whether it be the immigration ban, the reenacting of the use of the Dakota Access and XL Pipelines, or any other of Trump’s measures in office, take action. Just because you are young does not mean that you have no voice in our government. And, in four years, either vote for yourself or urge your family members to vote for a change in political system.

Whatever you do, you cannot stand aside.

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