The political climate of America following the victory of Donald Trump is one of extreme fragility. With half of the voting population in uproar, riots and aggression ensued during the months of November and early December. Cities like Portland, Los Angeles and even Chicago dispatched police units to calm the violence. Angered Americans took to social media, ranting about the president elect and, in some cases, ended their tweets with the now infamous line, #notmypresident.
Well, I’m sorry to break it to you if you were one of these people, but Trump is, in fact, going to be your president. I fully understand the concerns regarding Trump and certainly don’t endorse all of his policies or campaign methods, but ignoring the inevitable won’t do the country any good.
With the popular vote going to nominee Hillary Clinton with 48.2% of votes over Trump’s 46.3%, many have compared this election to the election of 2000 in which George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore, but he still won the presidency through the electoral college. This brings to light the fact that 2016 doesn’t harbor the first controversial election in American history by any stretch of the imagination. As in the case of 2000, many are understandably upset, but violence and disrespect for President Elect Trump is not the answer. Division of ideals comes hand in hand with the party system.
AP United States history teacher Melinda Perkins shed light on the election results and attitude of the country. “Barring voter fraud, we have to accept the results of the election because it’s the decision of the country,” Perkins said.
She went on to explain that the electoral college is the system agreed upon for the country and noted that a large percentage of Americans didn’t vote at all.
Trump has a maximum of only eight years as acting president, a rather small period of time when looked at with a bit of perspective, and although the Republicans have the house majority and Trump will likely appoint multiple Supreme Court justices, the president can’t act unilaterally. Some will recall that President Barack Obama faced similar circumstances in 2008, but by 2010, shifts in the Senate and House of Representatives made it less easy for Obama to act.
The real issue behind #notmypresident is the lack of initiative and refusal to work demonstrated on the part of those who use it. Clinton herself, in her concession speech, argued for Democrats and Republicans alike to rally behind Trump and get involved in the future.
The solution for those upset by the election results is simple: face the fact that Trump is your president and work toward the next election. I don’t just mean the next presidential election either. House representatives only serve terms of two years so real change can potentially be made by current high school students in 2018.