Four thoughts on the 2016 election:
1. The Silent Majority
The outcome of this presidential election was a huge shock to most of America, largely because everyone talking about the election seemed to be a Hillary supporter. Between the ever-present liberal media coverage and the most vocal of our friends and colleagues, everyone seemed to be voting blue, leading the nation to assume Trump had basically no shot at winning. The key mistake, I believe, was that we as a nation only listened to those who were talking. But so much more was going on in the undercurrents of our country’s populace.
Trump supporters made up a SILENT majority. Most people who voted for Trump did so half-heartedly. Few people think he is a moral, upstanding man worthy of our respect as a person. But many voters would rather have Trump in office than Hillary; even so, they felt shamed into silence. The first person who admitted to me that they voted for Trump did so by saying reluctantly, “I’m guilty. I’m one of the deplorables.” The general consensus among this group seems to be: “I’m disappointed Trump won, but I’m glad Hillary didn’t.”
Throughout the entire process, Trump voters remained a Silent Majority. Before the election, the American media led us all to believe Trump had no chance of victory. The night of the election, my social media feeds were full of Hillary supporters asking in shock, “Is this really happening?” And post-election, everyone around me keeps talking about how angry and upset they are that such a “racist, bullying bigot” is our President Elect. Every conversation around me seems to include the words: hurt, confused and scared. It’s still Hillary supporters doing most of the talking. Trump voters remain a Silent Majority. But the Silent Majority has spoken.
2. The Swing of the Pendulum
All of the polls and logical rationale pointed to Hillary being named the first female president, but if we throw away all the analysis and use intuition instead, it’s actually not so surprising that Trump won.
After Bill Clinton’s escapades with Monica, the nation wanted the squeaky-clean and morally upright George W. Bush for president. After good ol’ boy “W”, the nation voted in the intellectual and well-spoken Barack Obama. We as a nation repeatedly seek out change, and the pendulum ever swings to the opposite extreme (many of us do this with significant others as well).
Trump is the antithesis of Obama and therefore – from this purely intuitive, psychological perspective – he fit the pattern and was the obvious choice of American voters as a whole.
3. Third Party Voters
I have been amazed by how many of my friends have admitted in the past 24 hours that they voted Third Party. When I’ve asked them if they believed Gary Johnson (or other third parties, for that matter) had any chance of winning, they all said “No.” When I asked if they had a preference between Trump and Clinton, most of them said “Yes.” None of them are indifferent to the outcome; they are all either outraged or relieved.
I understand from an ideological perspective why someone would vote Third Party. My inner child and idealist would have loved to vote for a Third Party rather than the two primary options afforded to us. But no one was under the illusion that a Third Party candidate had a chance at the win, so practicality insisted that a decision be made.
Every time I find out that yet another friend voted Third Party, I feel hurt, frustrated and (honestly) used. Again, I understand the decision, but it makes feel like – whether my friend’s preference was Trump over Hillary or vice versa – they opted to take the “moral high ground” and keep their own hands and consciences “clean”, all the while hoping the rest of us would dirty our hands and sell our souls to get the “win” for them. I wish they would have helped to share the burden.
4. Racism & Moving to Canada
The Canadian immigration website crashed on Tuesday night. That is amusing to me. What is not amusing are the hateful, racist comments being posted across social media in the wake of the election.
Most Americans – even Trump voters – acknowledge that Trump has made a number of horrible, racist comments. And I have heard stories that help me understand the fear and concern of minorities. But many of these same minorities have started to post horrible, racist comments themselves as a backlash against all caucasians.
One of my own Facebook friends wrote yesterday: “We see you, white people. We will always remember how we’ve been treated, and one day, you’ll pay. We are coming for you, f***ing white people. We see you.”
This is deeply disturbing to me. Do they not realize that, in making these comments, they are guilty of the very crime – racism! – of which they accuse caucasians in their broad, sweeping, embittered, racist generalizations? Not all white people voted for Trump, and not all Trump voters condone his racist comments. Hatred will only propagate more hatred. We need to stop this cycle.
On a lighter note: