What now, America?

The 2016 presidential election was unique, to say the least.

Voters have expressed deep concern with the extreme bipartisanship in Washington, the electoral college deciding the vote as opposed to the popular vote, and the media’s skewed perception of our political realities.

This election was not so much about who voters wanted to be president as it was about who voters didn’t want to be president. In theory, this was a protest election. This silent majority must be given props for supporting their candidate to the extent they did.

This election was unforeseeable for all, including Trump himself, up until the evening of the official results.

As the votes from the electoral college were tallied, Donald Trump emerged as president-elect, in spite of the fact that Secretary Clinton won the popular vote by a landslide. So while many Americans are ecstatic for what the next four years may bring, many others are protesting in cities around the country and trying to dry their tears.

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This Republican victory is such a shock to the Democratic party because of the extreme clash in values that each candidate represents, as well as the contrast in experience.

Many believe that Donald Trump has no business whatsoever in the world in politics, though others make the argument that it is time for “new blood” in the White House. But does “new blood” also mean a lack of rapport?

The main problem with this election is that it sends the message that you can be vulgar, unprepared, and all together discriminatory and still become president of the free world. Why do we have to be civil in the sandbox, but not with our neighbors or those who live south of the border?

The nation’s divide runs deeper than debates on taxes and government spending; it taps into the morality of the voter.

The general public has shown that it is no longer interested in political correctness, respect for diversity, or traditional values. (Normally these are key aspects of a presidential campaign that helps to get candidates elected.) This is evidenced by the fact that Donald Trump has been making controversial and offensive statements since his campaign began 18 months ago, leading many to worry for a world in which he is the president of the United States. 

The political game has been changed forever.

No matter who won the election with a race as close as this one, half the country would inevitably feel uncomfortable with the president they would wake up to on Nov. 9. 

But as I see it, the problem with Trump’s victory is that half the country now feels uncomfortable and unsafe. His rhetoric has excluded women, Muslims, Mexicans, homosexuals, and veterans. 

A recent poll reported that 60% of Trump voters disliked the fact that they voted for Trump, but they felt they had no other option. To me, this is a clear indication the system has essentially failed us.

My fellow Americans, we are better than a failed system. No citizen should feel that they have no options for representation in their government. Remember that the government only has the power to govern through our consent.

So express your dissent! Express your opinions online and in person, form political groups, and let your voice heard. And hear others’ voices! Listen to those with opposing views and try to understand how we can all work for effective change as a unified people.

If you were anywhere between dissatisfied and terrified by the results of this election, as President Obama would say, “Don’t boo. Vote!” I could not agree more.

Register to vote if you haven’t already. Get or remain politically active today, tomorrow, and through 2020 and the next general election. When election season falls upon us next time, millennials will be a force to be reckoned with.

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