Donald trumps Hillary; Whitman reacts

Video by Eli Saletan

By Lily Friedman

Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump stunned the nation by capturing the electorate last night with 279 electoral votes, compared to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s 228, with Arizona, Michigan and New Hampshire still too close to call. The news shocked many Whitman students and teachers.

Clinton narrowly won the popular vote by about 236,000 votes according to The Associated Press. Despite her close victory in the popular vote, Trump triumphed in most swing states, including Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida. His success disproved many polls by organizations such as Pew Research and CNN that predicted Clinton would easily take office.

Some people attribute Trump’s victory to increased turnout by first-time voters in rural areas, NSL government teacher Colin O’Brien said.

“A lot of people say it’s just uneducated white men who vote, but I think it’s more than just that,” O’Brien said. “It’s good for democracy that a lot of people were energized and showed up to vote even though I personally think Trump’s rhetoric was divisive and appealed to our negative instincts and prejudices.”

Despite Whitman’s predominantly liberal makeup, some students support Trump, even if it’s only because he’s “the lesser evil” of the two candidates, senior Chris Greenberg said.

“I don’t think people were voting for Trump, but rather voting against Hillary,” Greenberg said. “Both candidates were horrible, but I do believe the right one for the job was elected.”

The results devastated many liberal Whitman students. Sophomore Elyssa Seltzer now fears what a Trump presidency will mean for minority groups because of his policies and personal opinions, she said.

“I don’t think he has proper morals, filters or common sense, but I hope he and his team can pull through and not ruin everything Obama worked towards,” Seltzer said. “Every day there’s a new Trump scandal and I feel embarrassed to live in a country where somebody like this has so much power.”

Trump’s new power especially concerns some specific groups, including Whitman’s LGBT+ community.

“Trump could make gay marriage illegal again,” sophomore Isaac De Marchi said. “A 16-year-old should not have to worry if his basic rights to love others will be taken away.”

Latino students also expressed concerns about Trump’s potential policy.

“He views himself and his race above others which is the opposite of what the person in charge of and uniting the country should be like,” sophomore Emilio Cano Renteria said. “I doubt the wall will be constructed and if it is it probably won’t actually hinder the amount of illegal immigration.”

Citizens will have to wait to assess the extent of Trump’s policies until he takes the White House in January, but his conversion of traditionally Democratic states and personal perspectives may have lasting impacts on the country.

“This election will affect future elections in specifying which groups of people to campaign for and the key swing states to campaign in,” Greenberg said. “It’s hard to say what’s appealing about a guy who openly promotes sexual assault, but Trump’s experience in business and his success making money is definitely a plus.”

Other students are even more excited for Trump’s presidency because of his new ideas and devotion to truly representing the American people, junior Clark Boinis said.

“Donald Trump didn’t feel he was entitled to be president and was able to connect with the average American in a way Hillary Clinton and the establishment simply could not,” Boinis said. “He can bring much-needed change to this country and I believe he’ll surprise many of his detractors.”