From the moment Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump announced their candidacies, the world knew that the 2016 presidential election would be unforgettable.
Donald Trump, a businessman and not-your-typical career politician, and Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and first female presidential nominee for a major U.S. political party, going head-to-head in the race for the White House was unique in more ways than one.
However, acclaimed news publications across the U.S. predicted a Clinton victory, the New York Times even forecasted on Nov. 3 that she had a 86 percent chance of securing the presidency.
As the polls came to a close on Nov. 9 and the results came rolling in, Americans eagerly, or in some cases anxiously, watched Trump secure the coveted 270 electoral votes that it takes to win a U.S. presidential election.
As Trump’s vote electoral college vote count grew, images of Americans across the country celebrating an imminent Trump victory donned in red “Make America Great Again” hats and other Trump garb flooded news and social media outlets.
On the flip side, the images 0f Americans mourning Hillary’s loss were somber and depicted men and women crying and holding each other while they watched the dream of a woman as president slip away.
By the early hours of Nov. 10, it was for certain that Trump would become the 45th President-elect of the United States, but not without controversy.
As of Nov. 15, the popular vote count for Clinton is at 47.9 percent with Trump’s at 47.2 percent, placing Hillary at almost 1 million votes ahead of Trump.
“#NotMyPresident” protests have erupted across the country as a result of the popular vote count and as a way for those against Trump to continue to formally express their disagreement with his policies, opinions and rhetoric, which protesters have labeled as racist, sexist, misogynistic and xenophobic.
On ETSU’s campus, no anti-Trump protests have happened yet, but the ETSU College Democrats have called for those who are shocked and frightened to focus on activism.
“We have taken our time to grieve, but now it is time to take action,” said ETSU College Democrats president Catherine Tucker. “Democrats left leaning and others have begun taking a stand against all of the hate that has been unveiled by President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign. We will not give up, and we will not lose hope.”
The ETSU Conservative Coalition, however, is excited for President-elect Trump to assume office.
“As the leading voice for conservatives at ETSU, we are pleased with the results and eager to see what the new administration has in store,” said ETSU Conservative Coalition Chairwoman McKenzie Lee. “We understand the hard work and dedication that is put into each campaign and hope that all of these efforts can now be put forth into ‘Making America Great Again.'”
Tucker said that her organization realizes that the future is unsure for many Americans, but that it is important to keep working to achieving the goals the party has put into place.
“Even though the future looks rather bleak, we cannot stand by and watch all of the work our previous activist leaders have done go to waste,” she said.
Lee hopes that everyone can come together as Trump transitions into his new role.
“The Conservative Coalition hopes that Americans can rally together in support of the President-elect and his plans for our nation,” she added.
Overall, Tucker stressed the importance of activism and self-care.
“Activism has become more important than ever before to ensure that we will not lose all of the effort put forth to make everyone equal,” she said. “Please take care of yourself, and reach out to others who may still be hurting as well.”
President-elect Trump’s inauguration will take place on Jan. 20, 2017 in Washington D.C.