Sunday, November 13, 2016

That moment when Millennials realized Trump was winning

It was the election result everyone thought was a joke. As I sat in a room with liberal, college age students at George Mason University I realized that it was the first time these students ever took Donald Trump seriously, and ever even heard his message.

For the liberal student, college has been an environment in which liberal ideas are encouraged to thrive and students constantly relate on progressive ideology, liberal students around me all shared the same baffled sentiment as they wondered how this could ever happen.

So, I told them how.

What students don’t learn in their college safe spaces, is that people across the country are struggling economically and have been struggling for years. Outside the protection of university walls and the echo chamber of liberal conversation, Americans have grown weary on the political status quo.

Liberal students I find myself surrounded by have begun their social media assessments of the election claiming that Trump supports were racists, patriarchal, low income and impoverished white people. But they ignore one important reality, Trump won with more than just that vote; Trump won with the backing of females, minorities, and educated workers across the country and proved that a silent majority exists.

As Clinton supporters reminded Republicans to hold out for Pennsylvania and wait for the big cities last night, I reminded them of the rust belt workers who lost their job due to Bill Clinton’s trade policies and Hillary Clinton’s support for them. I reminded students that Trump was the only person who has promised to get their jobs back. The candidate that they believed would have a landslide, monumental victory, suddenly didn’t represent the class that needed a voice.

An analysis of exit polls from the BBC found that 42 percent of women voted for Trump as well as nearly 30 percent of Hispanic voters. Trump spoke to a consistent message which transcended race and gender. By claiming his support was won over only by ignorant racists, liberal advocates ignored the reality that Trump’s goals are relatable to millions of Americans struggling to establish their own American Dream. Last night was the first time, liberal students came to the realization that people are angry with the corruption of our political system and want something new.

As one fellow student asked me, “How can Clinton not win, she is the most qualified and most electable candidate?” I reminded my friend that she might have had the most political experience, but that does not make her the most qualified or the most electable to the entire nation.

These students on campus proudly exclaimed that they are “still with Her” are baffled that the first female presidential candidate could lose and many immediately blamed sexism. The 42 percent of women voting for Trump proved them wrong. Clinton represents the elite more than any average American.

As Politico’s Molly Roberts explained earlier in the election season, Clinton has more elements of privilege than she does minority, and in backing “her husband’s incarceration and welfare reform policies, critics say, and it’s not just that Clinton doesn’t personally embody intersecting identities — it’s that as a politician, she’s been part of the problem.”

With a new president elect this morning, students at universities across the country have begun protesting Americas decision. These are college students who still reject the reality that Americans have struggled for generations and are no longer content with liberal policy that does not induce change. These are college students who cannot accept that Donald Trump is who the American people want to be president.

As I tried to explain to my left leaning classmates, the people who have been silently looking for leadership are now awake and ready to dramatically alter the face of American politics; you have the option to be a part of the change and mold a new American identity. Despite how unpredictable it might have seemed; this was democracy in action.


A Blow to the Snowflakes' Self-Esteem

College students nationwide are having a hard time coping with Trump

On college campuses around the nation, horrified students stayed up into early Wednesday morning and stared in disbelief at the fate that had befallen them: Hillary Clinton would not be the president to make their college free and enforce political correctness on the non-campus “real world.” Many who desperately sought a “safe space,” though, were accommodated in other ways by faculty and administration who shared their angst.

For example, those staring at a Wednesday exam in one Yale introductory microeconomics class were allowed to skip it, with the unnamed instructor noting, “I am getting many heartfelt notes from students who are in shock over the election returns.” University of Maryland astronomy lecturer Alan Peel went even further, cancelling a Wednesday exam. “Given that the nation in which you currently reside decided last night to elect a president whose own words have painted him a moral and possibly physical hazard to many of us,” Peel said, students could not muster “the monumental effort necessary to accept what must be a personally threatening election result.”

“Our class is very diverse,” said one Peel student, who recommended that “a bit of grieving time” would be in order. And many colleges provided the space to grieve, opening up jars of Play-Doh and coloring books to those students who felt the “unspeakable shock at the manifestation of hate and bigotry that is on par with how people felt when Orlando happened, when Charleston happened,” as one director of multi-ethnic student affairs hyperventilated. Another campus hosted “support and community” gatherings in several locations: their American Indian & Indigenous Community Center, Black Cultural Center, Hispanic Latino Cultural Center, LGBTQ+ Center, Multicultural Center, and Intercultural Engagement Center. (That seems to cover all the bases of the aggrieved.)

Taking the prize in the snowflake sweepstakes, though, was the group of Cornell University students distraught enough to hold a “cry-in” despite the cold and rain. A Cornell student who is co-president of the campus group Planned Parenthood Generation Action noted that much of the campus “never seriously contemplated” a Trump presidency. “Two weeks ago,” she said, “the co-president and I jokingly said ‘Oh, we need to do something if Trump wins,’ but never actually thought that would happen.”

But you also had the students who needed the space to destroy stuff, such as those who burned flags at American University, just a few miles from where Trump will be inaugurated in January. While these loud campus protests paled in comparison to larger gatherings led by left-wing groups around the country since the election results became known early Wednesday morning, they’re reminiscent of the anti-Vietnam War protests that rocked colleges nearly 50 years ago.

Naturally, as with any good institution of higher learning, there are others who are skeptical of the whole thing. “I am sure that these support services were never provided after previous elections, and certainly not in 2008 or 2012,” said University of Michigan-Flint economics professor Mark Perry. “And if the outcome of the election had been different, I am confident that either no emails would have been sent out to the campus community, or they would have been announcements for post-election campus celebrations.”

College students between the ages of 18 and 22 have little to no recollection of 9/11, although they likely remember the media-fueled unpopularity of George W. Bush. Clearly, they were hoping to have the same sort of celebration from Hillary Clinton shattering the “glass ceiling” that their older siblings had when Barack Obama was elected to usher in a post-racial America. Instead, they came of age at the other end of what has been a relatively regular eight-year cycle since the end of World War II, as Republicans and Democrats trade places in the Oval Office. Apparently these children are processing a normal electoral transfer of power the in same way they’d cry about getting clothes for Christmas instead of the video console they wanted.

We are reminded, though, that “Donald Trump is going to be our president — we owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.” After pinning their hopes and dreams on her leading up to Tuesday, students don’t seem to be listening to Hillary Clinton’s words now.


Trump Wins, Parents Panic

You can't make this up. From schools convening assemblies to sing "We Shall Overcome" to parents consulting with psychologists for tips on how to reassure their kids that they are safe, one is led to believe either one of two things: Kids are in a complete panic over Trump's win, or their parents are losing their minds. You can't totally blame them. Many parents headed off to bed Tuesday night with the paranoid sentiments of Van Jones ringing in their ears:

    It's hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, ‘Don't be a bully.' You tell your kids, ‘Don't be a bigot.' You tell your kids, ‘Do your homework and be prepared. Then you have this outcome, and you have people putting children to bed tonight and they're afraid of breakfast. They're afraid of, ‘How do I explain this to my children?'

Reading between the lines I can't help but wonder if these feel-good sing-alongs and psych sessions weren't designed to ease parental nerves. The reality is that, contrary to Hillary's ad campaign, kids don't sit in front of the television watching stump speeches. Parents do. Therefore, a child's impression of Donald Trump isn't really up to Donald Trump, it's up to their parents. That's right, regardless of current trends in kid tech, parents are supposed to be the gatekeepers between children and the media. Therefore, if parents were truly concerned about the impression Donald Trump might make on their child, they should've simply prevented their child from mass exposure.

I can hear my critics now. "You just don't understand, they see everything nowadays." No, they don't. Not as long as you're the one holding the remote and controlling the Internet access. Media is only as pervasive as you permit it to be. The overwhelming amount of parental fear is nothing short of a testimony to the fact that a gross number of parents have resigned their natural authority over to the almighty iPad.

As much as these parents fear Trump's power over their children, they're incredibly hesitant to claim any of their own. I've seen an endless number of articles discussing the dangers of President Trump becoming a role model. What kid looks to a president to be a role model? Despite eight years of being told to practically worship at Barack Obama's feet, the majority of kids in America still look first to mom and dad. It's the peril and pleasure of parenting: Everything we do is admired and imitated because we are so deeply loved.

If there's one lesson parents should take away from this election, it is that they are the ones in charge of their children's lives. Not the president. Not the government. Not the news anchors, pundits, bloggers, or even experts. When it comes to kids, Mom and Dad are the authority figures and role models in and outside of the home. Everyone else will always be second-best no matter what title they hold.


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