Student Reactions to Election Results

Donald+Trump%E2%80%99s+soon-to-be+residence%2C+the+White+House.+%28Wikimedia+Commons%29%0A

Donald Trump’s soon-to-be residence, the White House. (Wikimedia Commons)

Zach Lynch, Opinion Editor

The unlikely election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has created nationwide controversy, even leading Green Party candidate Jill Stein to call for a recount of the votes. Local students, meanwhile, remain sharply divided as to President-Elect Trump’s merit as a leader. Senior Sarah Pouladdej, for example, claimed to still be in the process of recovering from the sheer surprise of the results.

A stack of newly minted Trump campaign hats sit at the end of a production line. (Luis Sinco - The Los Angeles Times)

A stack of newly minted Trump campaign hats sit at the end of a production line. (Luis Sinco – The Los Angeles Times)

“[When the results were announced] I just went numb for 24 hours,” Pouladdej said. “I’m honestly trying not to think about it.”

In an unexpected turn of events last seen with George W. Bush’s narrow victory over Al Gore in 2000, Trump won the election despite his opponent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, receiving over  2 million more votes. His victory is attributable to the electoral college system, in which he received 290 electoral votes compared to Clinton’s 230. This unusual circumstance has led some to call for the abolition of the electoral college in future elections, with the most radical protesters even contesting the validity of Trump’s election and advocating complete vote recounts.

A map displaying the final commitments of the electors in the 2016 Presidential race. (Wikimedia Commons)

A map displaying the final commitments of the electors in the 2016 Presidential race. (Wikimedia Commons)

“When one of the candidates wins the popular vote, the person who wins the election… should not be the person who came in second place,” senior Max Faddick simply stated. “That’s about all I have to say about that.”

 Donald Trump, flanked by his extended family, accepts his election to the Presidency. (Brendan McDermid - Reuters)

Donald Trump, flanked by his extended family, accepts his election to the Presidency. (Brendan McDermid – Reuters)

Other students, however, possess equal levels of enthusiasm for the other side of the debate.

“I’m pretty optimistic,” senior Vincent Milam said. “I think people are judging him a little too quickly… give him a chance, he could save America.” Milam, a long-time supporter of Trump, went on to compare the future president’s unconventional qualifications to those of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. “Despite him having an acting background, I think he did a pretty good job. This could probably be the same.”

It should be noted that these represent only the most coherent of the interviews conducted by The Sage. Many more individuals at all points on the political spectrum responded entirely in the form of inarticulate screaming, or comments regarding their political opponents that were too profane for publication.

It remains to be seen whether American citizens will be able to reunify after such a divisive election cycle, but the president-elect himself appears optimistic.

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” Trump declared in his victory speech Nov. 9. “To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”