As much as I disliked Hillary Clinton, I disliked Donald Trump the same if not more. Like many people, I felt pretty confident that Clinton would win this election, and I’m not sure I know what to do now that Trump has become the President-Elect.
The truth is, for the past few months a large part of me just refused to acknowledge that his campaign was real. I kept expecting to wake up and hear that he had dropped out or that this had all been a terrible joke. But this did not happen.
I think the only thing I can do right now is try to reason with this new reality I’ve found myself in, and the best way to do that is to look at the numbers.
Our system for elections is broken. According to US Election Atlas.org, Clinton narrowly won the popular vote. This means that more individual people voted for Clinton than voted for Trump. However, the popular vote doesn’t matter; the electoral vote does. Trump won the electoral vote by about 9%, or 51 votes.
The way we elect officials, like the president, in this country is broken. There are ways to more fairly represent the actual will of the people, but the broken system seems to never be called into question. Why?
Easy. Why would the party that currently has power be displeased with the system that gave them their position? They wouldn’t. The system stays the same because it works for those who have the power to change it.
So we’re stuck with it until something drastic happens. I was hoping this “something drastic” would happen in the 2016 election, but alas the third-party and independent candidates were unable to garner the support they needed.
That’s not to say they didn’t try. Libertarian Gary Johnson fell short of his goal of getting 5% of the popular vote, but the about 3% he did garner is a respectable number (and more than two points higher than he attained in the 2012 election). Moreover, independent candidate Evan McMullin got 20% of the popular vote in Utah, a number higher than I expected.
So maybe there is hope for the next election, if not in the numbers than in the fact that most reporting sites were including third-party candidates in their discussions as the results were revealed.
I point out these numbers specifically because they are a sign of hope to me, and I dearly need some hope right now.
Trump’s presidency scares me because he never truly addressed questions on important issues during his campaign. He would give vague answers and stick like glue to the talking points he had. He was obviously unprepared for every debate, and his disrespect for women is clear in both his mannerisms and his past actions.
I’m not excited about the next four years. But I know that no matter who had won, I would not have been pleased. Trump’s win just makes everything a little more complicated than I was hoping for.
No matter how much I disliked Hillary, I never suspected that she was a puppet for something more sinister. Trump’s lack of policy ideas and focus on monetary gain make me think there’s something darker underneath his orange exterior.
That is to say, I trust him least of all.