by Brooke Winters
To the surprise of many, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton on Tuesday’s Presidential election. Few polls predicted a Trump victory. This election has dealt out one surprise after the other and has ended in a divisive, divided nation. Trump won 290 Electoral College votes, allowing him to secure the election and become the nation’s President-elect, while Clinton only won 232 votes. As of Nov. 11th, Clinton still secured the nation’s popular vote, but failed to win important states in the Electoral College.
As key states swung to Trump’s favor Tuesday night, Drew students at the Election Watch in Crawford Hall grew more uncertain. What began as a seemingly certain Clinton victory turned into a surprising upset few predicted. Some were ecstatic at a Trump victory, but the vast majority of Drew’s campus became increasingly afraid as results poured in. The Election Watch ended around 11:30 pm, yet the election was drawn out into the early hours of the following morning. Many Drewids stayed up to see the election through to the end on their laptops and TVs.
When it became clear the election was leaning toward Trump’s favor, Drew students, along with the rest of the nation, turned to social media to express their reactions. One Drew student Facebook group that arose from the election is the Feminists Opposed to Donald J. Trump page. Students in this Facebook group have posted messages calling on Drewids to write members of the Electoral College to persuade them to change their votes in December, as well as posts advocating for efforts to mobilize against a candidate who has made numerous sexist, racist, xenophobic, and homophobic comments throughout his campaign.
On Nov. 9th, Drew President MarryAnn Baenninger sent out an email to the Drew community advertising a prayer and meditation event in Craig Chapel in Seminary Hall. Professor Traci West’s Politics and Religion class led the service. At the event, speakers emphasized that Trump, Clinton, Johnson, and Stein voters, along with those who did not vote, were all welcomed to the event. The service consisted of songs meant to bring attendees together through the common ground of faith. One of the speakers at the event, Micah Coleman Campbelle from Drew’s Theological School, said, “I was really proud of what we did here, there was a lot of support and solidarity. This was a good space to grieve together and look ahead to the work to come.”
Grieving seems to be the word many are using to describe their reactions. With wide sentiments of fear and uncertainty throughout the Drew community and the country at large, it is easy to see why this would be the case. Reports of hate crimes and vandalism have been on the rise since Trump’s victory.
Jake Levine (’19) said, “I find it incredibly disheartening and sad for America to stoop to levels so low, that people of color, different religions, the LGBTQ+ community, have to live in fear in what is supposed to be the epitome of freedom. I am incredibly afraid and unsure of what the next four years will be. Hopefully, we will be able to band together as a nation in order to ensure that no one is oppressed or silenced. It is up to us, people with privilege, to speak out and fight for those who don’t have privilege.”
In Trump’s victory speech, he said, “‘I will be a president for all Americans, including those who did not support me and who don’t support me.” Trump faces the arguably impossible task of uniting a country where a significant amount of voters not only did not vote for him, but view him as a threat to the nation.
Two days after the election, Trump met with President Obama at the White House in a 90 minute meeting. Obama said, “My number one priority in the next two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful.”
Protests against a Trump victory began shortly after the results were announced. Outside of Trump Tower in New York, a large crowd gathered in a predominantly peaceful protest. Many chanted slogans such as, “We reject the President-elect!” and, “Not my President!” The hashtag #NotMyPresident has trended in cities where protests are occurring, including Oakland, Baltimore, and Chicago. Future protests are expected to occur across the country.
On Nov. 10, Donald Trump tweeted about the protests, saying, “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”
The next day, Trump reversed his position on the protestors, tweeting, “Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!”