The Student Blog Post series invites students from my PLS 321: Electoral Process course to author their own blogs about recent election events.
There have been numerous protests all over the country since the recent 2016 presidential. As most people know by now, Donald Trump will be our next president and the country is extremely divided because of it. One key fact is that 49.6 percent of the country did not vote. It seems evident that people were simply not interested in voting for the two candidates running. However, there is a strong collection of citizens across the country that are united in anger of President-elect Donald Trumps victory.
The reality of this election is that while votes have not been fully counted, it seems that Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote by a wide margin. And while that doesnt mean anything in the grand scheme of things, it does mean that there are more people upset about Trumps victory than people who are happy. This is one explanation for the protests that are going on in the country. A lot of people dont like the Electoral College. People who are protesting across the country feel that we the people have spoken, and that the popular vote should be all we ever need to have a president be elected into office. Anyone who votes for a candidate will feel disappointed when his or her candidate loses an election. However, this country has seen five presidential elections with the candidate winning the popular vote losing the election. And to put more of twist on this, it has happened twice within the last twenty years. Both candidates losing happen to be from the Democratic Party: Al Gore in 2000 and now Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Electoral College, in many peoples eyes, is an institution that needs to be put to rest. And this is an idea that is supported by the many protestors marching the streets in America for the past week.
Love him or hate him, Trump has run a very controversial campaign over the past year and a half. He has used a lot of rhetoric that has offended people across the board. Hispanics, Muslims, women, and many other groups of people have all taken offense to Trumps comments and rhetoric used throughout his campaign. And therefore, we are seeing such a major backlash post-election. Not too long ago, during the 2012 presidential election, we saw Republican candidate Mitt Romney lose a lot of momentum in the race for the infamous 47 percent comment. In a very controversial video, we saw him essentially say that 47 percent of the country is looking for handouts from the government. And that comment damaged his run for president and ultimately lost him the election. When you fast forward four years to our 2016 election and compare his so called horrible statement to the kinds of statements that have been said by Donald Trump, well, it just kind of makes you think. Our country has brutally become numb to the rhetoric that Trump has used over this year and a half of campaigning. His rhetoric has been filled with hate, prejudice, bigotry, and objectification of women and that didnt stop him from winning. When you look back at some of the so-called horrible statements said by politicians and compare them to Trumps statements, its hard to not get the feeling that we have taken a step back. And thats why these protestors are marching. They may not be able to change the outcome of the election, but they are trying to take steps forward in a situation where they feel that our country has taken a step back.
Andre Newman is a fourth-year political science major at Cal poly Pomona. He enjoys writing as a freelance poet and performing spoken word poetry for local churches. He plans on a long-term career as a firefighter in LA City after he graduates.