Post-election confusion and fear

Disbelief, shock, and excitement flooded across campus as students, after a long night of waiting, finally learned who the new President of the United States would be. In a disquieting twist of events, Donald J. Trump was announced the next Commander-in-Chief early Wednesday morning.

Some students were taken aback by the turnout of this election, as the majority of national polls predicted that Clinton would win.

“I guess my reaction was, with all the stats that were showing Hillary was going to win, I was like alright, a woman president, and then when Trump won I was just – I was kind of surprised,” said Bethany Fitzgerald, a sophomore athletic training major.

Although Donald Trump is notorious for having a very bold opinion, especially on his social media accounts, she believes he has the potential to change.

“I hope he just does well and gets rid of the whole social media part of his life, like people just look at him in that way, and I just hope he does something to actively change that image,” she said.

While many people based who they thought would win off the national polls, some ignored the polls and went with their gut feeling. Christian Procida, a senior communication major, knew Trump was going to win from the start.

“I said it since day one that he was going to take it, and a lot of it had to do with the fact that everyone was basing what was going to happen off these polls that they kept coming out with,” he said. “When he took Florida, I knew it was over.”

As pollsters all over the nation are at a loss of words with their extremely inaccurate predictions, many just want to know where they went wrong and how they went wrong.

“All of our predictions were wrong. Absolutely wrong, not even like a little bit wrong. It was a huge surprise, and caught everybody off guard. I'm a little despondent, I think, like anybody, if their profession were seen as kind of – knocked out from its foundations,” said Richard Clark, political science program coordinator and director of the Castleton Polling Institute.  

“We shouldn’t be the people that know everything and try to tell people. We should be the people who are learning new stuff, and sharing what we learn as we go. But I think we got arrogant and I think we got a little too comfortable and confident in the methodologies that we use,” Clark added.

As many people were surprised Clinton didn’t win, there were many people who were furious she didn’t win as well.

“I’m actually shocked that he won – I thought for sure Clinton would be our next president. I'm disgusted that a racist, homophobic, sexist, ignorant asshole is going to be running this country after Obama has done so much in restoring basic human rights,” said Haydn Renouf, a sophomore art and philosophy major.

Donald Trump does not support marriage equality (look it up), a right that has been granted across all fifty states by the Obama Administration.

“There literally could be no worse person in office,” Renouf said.

Nick Gauthier, a sophomore nursing major, is sick about the results and was almost at a loss of words.

“Trash, absolutely trash. I’m terrified. I just can’t believe our country would stand by somebody who has marginalized so many people that make up or country. And some of the supporters, I think are part of those groups that have just been, I don’t even know. The wounds are too fresh,” he said in disappointment.

Not only are students feeling the sting of this election, professors around campus are feeling it as well.

“I just don't know how to feel, I feel really sort of, untethered in a way that I’ve never felt before. It’s astonishing that Hillary didn’t win, and I think that’s something we need to address,” said Michael Talbott, communications professor and cinema studies program coordinator.

“I think a lot of people wanted something different, they wanted change, and just like Obama was a change candidate, Trump is a change candidate. Although, that change might mean something else, and I think everybody needs to think long and hard about what that means,” Talbott added.

Although the election is officially over, hindsight is 2020 and people are still feeling the “Bern.” Even professors for that matter. Philosophy professor Joseph Markowski, still believes Bernie Sanders could have beaten Trump if he had won in the primaries.  

“It was an election season for a time of change, of political change. People are not interested in status quo presidents, and I felt as if Bernie Sanders offered the Democratic Party an opportunity to have a change candidate against another change candidate. So, I’m really bothered by this because I really think the DNC should own this and it is, in many ways, their fault,” said Markowski.

“With Trump being president, it's like you don't even know what to think at this point, it just seems like a dystopian reality that we are all living within.”

It is apparent that a lot of voices on campus fear for the future and well-being of this country, but it is always important to have an open mind and give the president elect a chance to put his money where his mouth is (literally).

“I’m not as surprised about it as some people are, but regardless, I feel like bashing either candidate that would have been successful is kind of ridiculous,” said Nathan McCormick, a senior health science major.

“You have to support them and hope that they can create the best change that will move our nation forward.” he said

Roy Vestrich, communications and theater arts professor, believes no matter who is in the white house, there will always be other political figures who will ensure that our way of life will not be compromised.

“I’m scared like anyone else is, about what might come,” he said. “I ultimately believe that we have to have some faith, that there is logical people even on the right side of the fence, who will not allow things to go so overboard that it really threatens the nature of our democracy and our integrity.”

Tyler Sturtevant, a senior business major, is very optimistic about a Trump presidency.

“I think America was ready for change,” he said. “Let’s make Castleton great again.”




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