By Emily Kulp
Everything felt different when I first emerged from my dorm building on November 9. From what I later heard from friends, acquaintances, and the media, that day felt different for a lot of other people too. Yet for many this difference arose from a sudden fear of the hatred and bigotry that had supposedly “won” the day Donald Trump won the presidency. In reality, what “won” that day was a deep-rooted fight against the establishment, and it is important we realize its victory just may have changed our political system forever
It’s not about the hate. Really, it isn’t. The repugnance Trump voters felt for Hillary Clinton’s status as an establishment politician greatly outweighed their hatred for women, Muslims, Mexicans, or the LGBTQ community in this election. I do not deny Donald Trump has made a great deal of hate-filled comments during his campaign and has admitted to some downright disgusting actions. I also do not deny that many Americans are sexists, racists, or homophobic. Yet I refuse to buy into the idea that the number of white supremacists and other bigots has inflated in our country overnight. The vast majority of people who voted for Donald Trump did so because they could not fathom voting for Hillary Clinton, and this break from our established political system is nothing short of revolutionary.
The ensuing protests against President-Elect Trump in many major cities around the United States showed just how far the hatred of establishment politics has brought us. If thousands of people took to the streets to fight against the election of our president, there must be something about him that stands as an affront to our common humanity. We are all humans and even though some of us chose to protest Trump and some did not, the fact that Trump’s win incited such vehement protests shows that many Americans who voted for Trump must have felt uneasy about his words or actions at one point. This only demonstrates how great Americans’ loathing of established political candidates has become and how far our system of presidential election has fallen.
From here, who knows where American politics and presidential elections are headed. No one would have ever thought Donald Trump would be our President-Elect a year ago or even a few months ago. Will established candidates continue to run for president only to be defeated by celebrities and political outsiders, or will we see an even different type of election in the future? Whatever happens, it’s time to face the facts of the present. I believe that we will be far better-equipped to manage what lies ahead by realizing the real reason Trump won. The longer we dwell on the mistaken idea that every American has become bigoted overnight, the longer we stray from acknowledging and learning from a shift in our political system we are not likely to forget soon.