Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome
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Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome

Matthew Nicholls - April 19, 2018
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America must seek unity after divisive election

Is it me or is everywhere really quiet? That’s completely understandable seeing Donald J. Trump is to be the 45th  President of the United States of America. In Obama’s 2008 victory I remember my mother coming into my bedroom to wake me up for school and the first thing she said was “we won”. My heart swelled with joy as one of my favourite people was going to take office. With his rhetoric of hope and compassion, finally America had a shot at being a likeable country. That didn’t die today.

Undeniably Hillary Clinton wasn’t the best candidate for this election, or arguably, for any. Some might even say if anyone other than Clinton ran we wouldn’t be in this position. But the problem isn’t whether or not Clinton was the right candidate, but rather how many uneducated, angry Americans voted for Trump.

The polls showed that the vast majority of people that voted for Trump didn’t have a college education and are angry at the establishment and at the status quo; without a college education getting a good job is rather unlikely. This also fed into people’s political viewpoints. America has failed them. With college tuition fees at 45k-60k per annum, graduates can expect to be in debt for a vast part of their lives.

U.S. News states: “the standard repayment plan for federal student loans puts borrowers on a 10-year track to pay off their debt, but research has shown the average bachelor’s degree holder takes 21 years to pay off his or her loans”, which explains why, according to howtoedu.org, only 39% of 18-24 year old’s are enrolled in college.

We can’t start a moral war against these people. Their ignorance is the fault of the US government. Shunning them from society or acting like they’ve ruined our country (which they more than likely have) will simply create more tension. Voting for Donald Trump was probably the only ounce of power they’ve ever had for almost a decade – they chose him because he makes them feel like they matter. The “Shy Tory” effect that has engulfed England has now moved into the United States, where Trump supporters were dead-set on voting for Donald but didn’t want to talk openly about it. Probably, because they know somewhere in their minds that all those xenophobic, racist, sexist and homophobic comments are leading America backwards by about 150 years. 

The saddest part isn’t that Clinton wasn’t elected, the saddest part is why Clinton wasn’t elected. In the interviews shown on CNN last night, along with many other news channels, all you heard from Trump supporters is that Clinton is crooked and has committed treason.

These conspiracies are probably what lead to her downfall, not her substandard tenure as Secretary of State or her questionable economic policies. The same way Trump was elected because he’s “just like us” (which is interesting because not many of us can attend Wharton at University of Pennsylvania and have uncles that taught at MIT, but maybe that’s just me) and not for his policies–– which are limited to say the least.

Obama’s rhetoric didn’t die today. His hope still propagates through time, in the good and in the bad. We need to keep his legacy alive by educating these voters, by allowing them to see the flip side of hate, by giving them a real chance at the American Dream.

From someone who is patriotically democratic, I’m first to say the blue party should have campaigned far better. It should have spread its reach to that very people that feel so shunned. We are a country built upon unity: this is no time to start dismembering it. If you don’t get mad at children for misbehaving, then you can’t get mad at Americans voting for Trump. Neither of the two know any better and it’s our fault.

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