On Nov. 8, Donald Trump stood in front of our nation to give his acceptance speech as our 45th President of the United States. This may have come as a shock for many people, especially since Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but still lost the election. However, that is why we have the Electoral College. Our government allows everyone to have a voice, until that voice goes against what the people in power want.
The Electoral College was created to ensure each state is fairly represented and has some sense of equal say during the election. However, a candidate like Clinton, who was ahead in the popular vote, still lost to Trump because he made it to 270 electoral votes first.
While the system was created to fairly represent smaller states like Rhode Island alongside much larger states such as California, it overlooked one small thing: the votes of the actual people a representative democracy is supposed to empower. When the candidate with the most votes loses an election, it reinforces the idea many Americans have that their votes truly don’t matter. So many people stay home on Election Day because of outcomes like this one. What is the point of voting if the candidate chosen by the people is ignored for the candidate the people in power have chosen?
People all over the nation are outraged at how many US citizens decided to sit this election out and watch from the sidelines. Americans are told they have a civic duty to go out and vote for who they want to see run the country, but are then told their votes were nowhere near as important as the Electoral College. In the 2014 census, a total of 318.9 million people resided in the US. Over 100 million eligible voters did not vote in the election.
While yes, it is extremely important to have a say in who will run the country, can we really blame people for believing their votes don’t matter? Can we really look at write in slips that say “Harambe” and not understand why people just don’t care anymore?
A majority of the votes in this 2016 election went to a woman who promised forward motion in progressive ideals. Clinton’s platform consisted of supporting the DREAM Act and creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, advocating for a woman’s right to control her own body by being pro-choice and expanding gun control legislation. Fair and square, more people in the US decided that a President with these ideals would be best to run our country.
So what did our government do? Elect. The. Exact. Opposite.
Trump is pro-life. He wants to deport all undocumented immigrants and build a wall on the Mexican border to ensure no further illegal immigration and he also does not want to expand gun control legislation.
Trump has instilled a vice president that publically and repeatedly opposed same sex marriage laws, degraded women and belittled immigrants and minorities. So for the majority of you, who decided that a progressive, tolerant woman wouldn’t be the right choice for our country, piss off.
Instead, if you feel women should be told what to do with their bodies, LGBTQ people, along with immigrants and minorities, should live in fear of having their rights taken from them, and guns should be kept in every household (because we all know how safe that is), then say Hallelujah because you’re in the best damn country in the world.
But for those of you who performed your civic duty, went out, voted for Clinton and watched her lose even after winning the popular vote, you’re living in the real America: a place where democracy means your vote matters, until it no longer serves a purpose to those who hold the power.