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A Rainy Day

Jason Ferris, Head Editor

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A couple months ago, in the morning of the election’s aftermath, I awoke to a gentle rain tapping on my roof and slipping off the leaves, and the news that Donald Trump won this year’s election against Hillary Clinton. But, I was not sure how to view this omen. Was it akin to rain on one’s wedding day, a fortuitous sign, or the heavens weeping for four years of uncertainty? My friends, parents, grandparents, all would know how to interpret it. They are ready to fight for their opinions but I, like many, have not decided whether to cheer or weep.

For months now, I have been a political chameleon, unsure of my place in this divisive country. Visiting my family for Thanksgiving only reminded me again of how polarized the nation is, and these concerns have not waned in the midst of oncoming festivities or the results of the election. This tone started over a year ago when candidates at each extreme of the political landscape lined up in the hopes of assuming the office of presidency. The tone has grown vulgar as the remaining candidates stooped lower and lower each week to mudsling at one another. It seems only natural, then, that the outcome of the election should perpetuate such uproar. The nation has been conditioned for over a year to partake in the country’s caustic atmosphere. To make matters worse, people were not ready for the election’s result. For those at each extreme, it is obvious to approach the election results in pleasant or deflated surprise but I am left somewhere between the gap of these adjectives.

Yet, these fears often seem justified. One senior confided to me that “I think we are entering very dangerous territory. I think we have put somebody in control who is not only inexperienced but also doesn’t have many strong suits politically. I think his campaign has run on a platform of hate and I think that electing a trained politician, in spite of her faults, would have made the country better because she would make calculated decisions before going to war or having access to the nuclear codes.” She adds that “It might only affect minorities (LGTB, women or the lower class) but there is a possibility that it could affect all of us. It is a time of uncertainty and fear, and we need to stay strong, unite, and speak up if we see something we do not like.” This student’s outrage is born of fear and she understands the outrage of protesters, all nervous for their civil rights and the uncertain course of an inexperienced politician.

However, the slant in opinion is quite different in other students. One explained that “the hope is that big businesses will remain in the country under Trump’s deregulation and continue to employ workers. He will hopefully fix the economy and boost the military.” Those on this end of the spectrum are unsatisfied with the current state of the nation. Trump has most recently proved these hopes in brokering a deal to keep Carrier in the company to save 1,000 jobs. These citizens are less focused on civil rights, and more on cutting down the monstrous national debt and growing the economy.

Neither the aims of the Democratic Party nor the Republican victors are unfounded. Yet each side struggles to put aside the volatile political landscape between them. The stakes are high. The president is the most powerful man in the free world and he has influence over the course of the nation. Yet, the nation perhaps needs to put aside its differences. The outcome of the election has been decided and those who do not stand at the extremes of the decision are awaiting a return to stability. Perhaps I am not odd or ambivalent for not vehemently supporting one candidate or another. Perhaps I am unwilling to participate in a year of squabbling.

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A Rainy Day