The Ring-tum Phi

Letter to the Editor

Skyler Zunk

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The push back we are seeing against our next president was perhaps the only prediction the pundits got right this election. The prognosticators and the media assured us the results would be the other way around: disgruntled Trump supporters with accusations of a “rigged system” electing Clinton. In true 2016 fashion, Trump prevailed against all odds, but despite the near universal concern of his ego getting in the way of a unification effort, he’s off to a promising start.

Clinton and Obama have both set a good example in their post-election speeches. Each have stayed above the fray, emphasized the need for a peaceful transition of power, and wished President Trump the best of luck moving forward. Now, the examples each have set are to be followed by the electorate on each side of the fight. As evidenced by the contentious social media postings, the fear mongering now being employed by liberals, and the recent protests, the nation is not ready to reconcile. The burden of the healing process falls equally upon both Trump and Clinton supporters, and without an honest and concerted effort from each side, so divided America will remain.

Hillary Clinton supporters are stunned and in denial. The media was all but handing the election to her as early as the moment her convention ended. To some, the polls were clear, and the New York Times and the Huffington Post rather irresponsibly gave Clinton a 95- 99% chance of winning the election. America had not

entertained the idea that Hillary Clinton may in fact lose the election she was sure to win. From this it is easy to see why the backlash, in the many forms we see it, is occurring.

In contrast to the Trump voter who had prepared for a loss of the White House as well as the Senate, the Clinton voters were told to expect nothing less than a landslide, and to a landslide they fell victim. The incredible gap between their expectations and today’s reality is being filled in by the social media vitriol, the threats to leave the country, and the unfounded protests in the nation’s cities. Whether by fault of the media pundits or of their own lack of humility, I urge millennials and all who stand in the way to a peaceful transfer to step outside of your “safe space” and greet the next four years with an open and optimistic heart.

To urge the Clinton voters not to be sore losers also requires the Trump camp to be gracious and courteous winners. Trump supporters are fortunate in that the nation will necessarily need to heal in the Trump direction, but do not adopt the arrogant “I told you so” mantra. Draw wider support for our new president with a message of empathy, tolerance, and unification. Please do not spoil this win for the rest of us. Prove with your words and actions that you are not in fact deplorable. When they take to Facebook and call every Trump voter a racist, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic bigot, truthfully, who is going low and who is going high?

Many are wondering if protests would have taken place if Trump had lost the election to Clinton. If a group of McCain voters in 2008 claimed that President Obama was “not their president,” not only would they be just as wrong as these protesters are today, but they would be labeled racist and bigoted. These rioters praised the democratic process until their democracy presented them a leader with whom they agreed. The #NotMyPresident phenomenon is as nonsensical as the celebrities who have vowed to leave the country in a Donald Trump presidency and implies to our children that one should simply withdraw from the political process wholly rather than working to advance a competing agenda. To these American protestors and Facebook warriors, I ask, who is your president? Because if the President of the United States is not yours, how do you intend to be American?

If there is any silver lining, it’s that people are finally talking. The country will change in response to the American voter, just as our republic was designed to do. Have faith. Stop making fools of yourselves on Facebook. Pray for the success of our new president and our democracy. Should you so feel inclined in two or four years, by all means, vote against President Trump.

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The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University
Letter to the Editor