Election 2016 Brings Change and Turmoil

Hurelayn Abdu, Specials Editor

Tensions were at an all-time high on November 8th as families around the world anxiously awaited the results of the 2016 United States Presidential Election.

In the weeks leading up to the election, pollsters and political scientists were predicting that Democrat Hillary Clinton would win the election by a comfortable margin. However, as Election Day neared, the tide began to turn as Republican Donald Trump gained ground and the FBI reopened their investigation into Clinton’s emails. As November 8 dawned, her predicted margins dwindled, but pundits still expected a Clinton win.         Were they ever wrong.

The evening started with Hillary bringing in small Democratic states such as Maryland, Vermont and Illinois and Trump picking up Republican states such as South Carolina, Texas and Tennessee. Then the unthinkable started to happen; Clinton began losing in states that were traditionally Democratic strongholds such as Michigan and Pennsylvania. These results left Clinton supporters in a state of shock and pollsters in disbelief at how inaccurate their predictions were. The shock of Clinton’s losses in these key states lessened a bit as Clinton picked up California’s 55 electoral votes and sat virtually tied with Trump in the Electoral College.

Shortly after Clinton won California, though, Trump began to pick up electoral votes from around the nation, and the map lit up red all the way from the West to the East coast. Then Trump won Florida, one of the most important swing states, which put the nail in the coffin for Clinton’s presidential hopes. Shortly afterwards, news stations around the country began projecting what had been all but unthinkable to most: Donald Trump would win the presidential election.

When all was said and done, Trump had earned 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232, while Clinton – according to a Time magazine report – was the popular vote winner with 65,259,681 votes to Trump’s 62,692,056.

Trump’s victory brought a wide array of responses from around the country, ranging from joy by his campaign supporters to disbelief and fits of anger from those who not only supported Clinton, but who also strongly opposed Trump.  One rallying cry for the masses against Trump was a call for a change to the Electoral College, a system that many – especially millennials – consider invalid and unnecessary. These young people want to see a system that uses a popular vote – as is done in many European nations, including England.

While Trump celebrated his victory and his supporters rallied around their candidate, others in the nation stood up and protested against a man whom they see as unfit for office. Students in several Montgomery County schools, including Paint Branch, rallied and protested the election results. Paint Branch students made signs reading “Forward Not Back,” “Love trumps Hate” and “Together as One” and stood with them outside the school along Old Columbia Pike, and students from Blair, Northwood, and Einstein marched along University Boulevard in Silver Spring to protest the election results.

Paint Branch student Liya Chanie said, “I feel angered by the fact that a misogynistic, racist, and disgusting man won the election, and it shows how truly divided America is.”

Another Paint Branch student, Niti Mistry, said, ‘I don’t like Donald Trump as a person, but he’s going to be our president, so we need to accept it and move on.”