Words On Wednesday

2016-11-23 Results of the 2016 Presidential Election

It’s been just over 2 weeks since Donald Trump won the election for President of the United States of America.

Uncertainty with the Election

These past 2 weeks have been absolute insanity. There have been protests, riots, lots of nasty articles, and even a petition asking the electoral college voters to vote for Clinton, no matter how their state voted. I may have only been around for 6 presidential elections, but this one is easily the nastiest, most polarizing, most talked about election that I’ve ever seen.

People are pitching a fit about how Donald Trump is #NotMyPresident, and I find that absolutely ridiculous. Regardless of whether you voted for him or not, the American people have spoken. Yes, it turns out that Clinton did win the popular vote, but the electoral college is the system we have in place to decide who our next president is. Whether you like it or not, Trump is your president if you’re a citizen of the United States.

I realize that the electoral college is a weird institution, but it isn’t without merit. This sort of mechanic means that rural and urban areas have roughly the same amount of influence on the the election. Sure, it would make more sense if all states could split their electoral college votes, rather than the current winner takes all mentality of most of the nation. Yes, the electoral college does favor conservative candidates over liberal candidates, but that’s because rural areas typically lean right, while urban areas lean left and urban areas have more people.

While I do recognize flaws in the electoral college system, I think the petition encouraging faithless electors to side with Clinton is an absolute slap in the face of democracy. Clinton did win the popular vote, yes, but those who support the petition are suggesting that the electoral college should ignore the popular vote entirely. They don’t care about the results of the election, they just don’t want Trump for president.

Let’s ponder for a moment if the petition does manage to swing the electoral college votes in favor of Clinton. In that situation, I think the entire concept of the electoral college should be analyzed, and possibly rebuilt from the ground up. Is the voter pool for the electoral college truly balanced and unbiased? If so, I don’t think that any sort of petition should be able to swing enough votes to change the outcome of the election. Why do the election results not immediately give those electoral college votes to the respective candidate? Is there any sort of situation that there would be a legitimate reason for the electoral college to have to vote distinctly with voters? If Clinton does win the presidency, despite not being allotted enough electoral college votes based on the election, there should be a massive investigation on why things operate the way they do. She should become president, yes, but this sort of dynamic should not be repeated in the future.

My Vote

I personally voted Libertarian. If you tell me that my vote was wasted, or that it was a vote for any other candidate, I’ll kindly direct you to Penn Jillette’s opinion on the matter. My vote is my voice, and I refuse to express support for either the Republican or Democratic candidate from this presidential election.

Honestly, I knew Gary Johnson had no chance to win the election. However, I voted for a policy change. I voted Libertarian, hoping for a 5% popular vote to ensure that the Libertarian party have a permanent place on the presidential ballot into the future. I voted for the candidate that I truly thought was the best of the bunch. He may be rather goofy, and maybe some of his stances were half-baked, but I agree with him on most points.

In the future, I will probably continue to vote Libertarian, not out of a desire to follow the party no matter what, but because that’s how my opinion on government normally trends. If there is a Republican or Democratic candidate for president that I can really get behind, I’ll vote for them without a doubt. But I refuse to accept bipartisan politics as the only option. If more people would accept third party candidates as legitimate options, we may be able to finally shake free of this awful bipartisan system.

Trump as President

Outside of death, impeachment, or some other uncommon scenario, we’re stuck with Trump for a full presidential term. For better or for worse, Donald J. Trump is POTUS until the end of 2020 at least.

First and foremost, I accept that the American people have spoken, and this is who they chose as president. Any gripe that I have with the electoral college aside, this is how we vote as Americans, and that’s how the ball bounces. Regardless of who I or anyone else voted for, we all have to accept that the POTUS has been decided.

I will agree that his racism, sexism, and discrimination against Muslims is concerning. He can be brash and loud, but I don’t necessarily see that as a risk for World War 3 or anything similar. Clinton’s aggressive tactics with Russia would’ve been more concerning to me than anything about Trump’s foreign policy. I also hate that Trump gets to decide at least 1 supreme court justice, possibly more throughout his 4 year term. Then again, I didn’t really like the idea of Clinton selecting a justice either. My concern with both of them is that they lean quite a bit in their respective directions, while a supreme court justice should be as moderate and centrist as possible.

Overall, I hope that Trump’s presidency goes well, as anyone should. I hope that he doesn’t get into too much trouble, I hope that he at least doesn’t destroy the economy, and I hope that we get to 2020 in better shape than we are now. Any president should move our country forward, making us better than we were before.

Into the Future

As for the future, I’ve got a pretty good idea about how the 2020 presidential election might play out.

First, I think the majority of the country is going to be mostly tired of Trump before his 4 years are up. Only the most conservative of Republicans are going to be fully supportive of him, going into the 2020 election. Obviously, as the incumbent president, this means that the GOP can’t nominate a new candidate to run against or for him. However, this doesn’t mean that conservative voters don’t have other options.

What if, instead of nominating someone as radical as Trump in the opposite direction, the DNC nominates a moderate liberal? For example, someone like Bernie Sanders. In the Democratic primaries, Sanders seemed to have much wider crowd appeal to the common folk. Some described him as socialist, sure, but most seemed far more interested in nominating him as the Democratic candidate, rather than Clinton. She had businesses and the media on her side, as well as feminists who really wanted to see the first female president elected.

I genuinely think that if Bernie Sanders runs for presidential nomination leading into the 2020 election, he would have a fantastic chance at winning the DNC support, and furthermore a great shot at becoming president. He had crowd appeal, especially with younger generations that have suffered from the negative effects that baby boomers had on the economy. He’s in favor of legalizing marijuana, which seems to be a pretty hot topic for recent elections. But at the same time, he isn’t so liberal that Republicans are disgusted by the idea of him. He’s moderate enough to have support from liberals and conservatives alike, at least those who aren’t extremists.

Will that be the case for certain? Absolutely not. For all I know, Trump may end up being a pretty good president and maintain most of the Republican support, both from the GOP and conservative voters. However, I have a pretty good hunch that he will lean too far right during his presidency, and result in a rubber band effect causing more moderate voters to look to the Democrats for a better option.

My Frustration

I refuse to get behind the new president as the savior of America. He is the president, sure, and I can respect him as such, but I don’t see him “making America great again.” At the end of the day, he is a politician. I’ve never once seen a politician who wasn’t a lying, deceitful, worthless sack of flesh, whose entire goal is getting re-elected as many times as possible. Maybe it’s my fault for holding leadership positions to a standard that is simply too high.

I hate the idea that “career politician” has become a legitimate profession choice. Governmental leaders were supposed to be members of the community that stepped up and took a break from their actual job to serve their community. I don’t feel like it was ever intended that people would spend their entire lives in leadership to some degree.

That’s one thing that people lauded about Hillary Clinton and criticized about Donald Trump, being an experienced politician. To me, that’s a bad thing. You’ve become jaded by the system, your target is being re-elected. It doesn’t matter what you accomplish as a leader, or that you do the best thing for the American people. You make the decisions that will most likely get you elected. Ideally, I want somebody who sees governmental leadership as a civil duty, not a paycheck. I don’t want someone who thrives on having power over others, I want a candidate who both fears and respects the power that the president of the United States holds.

If you’ve made it this far, I’m sure I sound cynical to a fault. Admittedly, I really am. I despise politics and politicians alike. I feel like the bipartisan nature of our government is inherently flawed, and I think extremists on both sides are absolute idiots. The raving Social Justice Warrior of the left and Bible-beating conservative on the right are one in the same to me.

If you think that Democrats/Republicans are the good guys and Republicans/Democrats are the bad guys, you’ve already been hoodwinked. They’ve pulled the wool over your eyes, and you’re blind to how vile and self-centered they both are. I’m convinced that if you consistently vote with a party and look at nothing more than the ‘D’ or ‘R’ next to a name, then *you* are part of the problem.

Enough Politics for a Now

At this point, I’ve probably droned on about my disdain for politics and politicians enough. We have a new president, one that we can expect to be president for the next 4 years. Maybe now, people can shut up about the election and go on about their lives (at least for a few years). I hope that Trump will pleasantly surprise me as a leader.

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Words: 1832 | Characters: 10775 | Sentences: 95

Paragraphs: 30 | Reading Level: College Student

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