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I’m writing this article on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and let me just say that I don’t want to write it. I’m tired, bitter. Part of me is deeply saddened that I must pen these words. Another part of me is stunned. Another part frightened. Another numb. But this isn’t about me — this is about an election result that would have been the punch line of a joke just six months ago. This is about coping with a result that is at best surprising and at worst terrifying, depending on who you ask. This is about President-elect Donald Trump, and how we should respond.
I remember a year ago sitting in my high school cafeteria with my friends and confidently proclaiming: “Hillary’s going to win.” My friends and I saw Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s victory as a given since, living in Michigan, a state that has voted blue for the past 24 years, we couldn’t imagine the vote going any other way. Yet look at us now, in the aftermath of an election that shocked the world — and an election in which Michigan bled red instead of blue — and that put a man into power who, as recently as a year ago, no one thought would be a presidential candidate yet alone the 45th President of the United States.
In an Oct. 26 interview with Donald Trump, CNN reporter Dana Bash noted the president-elect’s large bank account and grilled him on how much money he was willing to spend on advertising in his final two-week sprint towards the White House. Eventually, Trump had to ask Bash to move on to a different question, and in doing so he implied a major — even alarming — flaw in the news and media industry, namely money and what its ramifications are for the journalism that reaches us.
For many Dartmouth students, this November will mark the first time they cast a ballot in a presidential election. Today, students will be lined up outside Hanover High School to pull a lever that will determine the course of our nation — no pressure for you first-time voters.
Newly on the brink of adulthood, Dartmouth students are tasked with great responsibility, especially during this election season. It is a test of your character and it asks that you embrace the noble art of being uncool.
Many times throughout this election season, Donald Trump has proven himself unfit to be president of the United States, and this is precisely why he is the most important candidate.
Despite being here for three years now, the first and only time I have participated in making the Homecoming Bonfire was this past weekend, when the 2017 Class Council hosted a brunch for the senior class so we could all sign the Class of 2017 board. By the time I arrived — after taking advantage of having no classes on Friday and sleeping in — a sizeable crowd had already come and gone in Collis Common Ground. But as I signed my name, I noticed that my signature only added to maybe 30 or so others.
On Oct. 21, the Dartmouth Editorial Board voiced its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. I do not share my colleagues’ enthusiasm for the Democratic nominee. I am instead among the plurality of Americans that reserves a deep skepticism for both major party candidates, and I cannot overlook the many questions surrounding Clinton’s credibility as a leader. No matter how innately flawed her Republican counterpart might be, I find Donald Trump’s failings an ill excuse for Clinton’s own shortcomings.
I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been a shoddy friend.
If you’re a Donald Trump supporter at Dartmouth, you might as well be invisible. In visiting campus this past week, Bill Clinton continued the trend of liberal candidates speaking to liberal students on an overwhelmingly liberal campus. This trend implies that it’s acceptable if “you’re with her,” but there’s no place for you here if you want to “make America great again.”
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College has recently refined its mission statement. Along with the headline, “Tuck educates wise leaders to better the world of business,” Tuck has integrated a small paragraph explaining the meaning of wisdom:
I apologize in advance if this column comes across as a petulant plea from a hopelessly jaded senior. While yes, I am a member of the Class of 2017 graduating this spring, no, I am not jaded.
I don’t feel lonely at 2 a.m. when I hole myself up in King Arthur Flour with the musical compositions of Dmitri Shostakovich secretly blasting through my earphones. Many of my fellow crammers are unfamiliar with orchestral music’s power to soothe angst, so no, I don’t feel lonely then. Nor do I feel lonely when I embark across the long, cold walk back to my dorm in the Lodge (thank you, housing system) across a deathly silent campus. To be honest, my days are quite busy, and I get very little time to actually be alone. I welcome the peace and quiet as I walk home.
In my past three years at Dartmouth, my absolute favorite moments have been when I’ve failed. Let me explain.
A friend of mine recently argued that you cannot be both a brother in a fraternity and a good runner. While I’m not here to dissect the scrupulous grind of long-distance running or the singular focus it requires, I raise the topic for a point: There is a particular lifestyle associated with being in a fraternity, and that lifestyle, at least to my friend, is counterproductive to athletic achievement, at least with regards to running. I disagree.
As a female chess player, I had to prepare myself every time I stepped into the tournament hall for one simple truth: I would most likely be the only woman there. Sure, there are women that play chess — the tournaments for younger children or lower ranked players are filled with them, but as they get older and the playing level increases, almost all drop out, unable to handle the pressure of having to constantly prove their worth in a field where few appreciate female effort.
We the rejects of sorority recruitment are here. We exist, in the flesh.
Western society has always placed a premium on debate. From the early forums of Rome to the current political boxing ring, intellectual activity has been consistently built on discussion. Yet this blind worship of discourse has its drawbacks, notably when it comes to how easily it can silence minority voices. We as a society are so insistent on proving our own points that we unintentionally silence those who need to be heard the most.
On Wednesday, I had breakfast with South House professor Kathryn Lively to discuss ways to improve the new housing system at the College. Before our meeting, I was admittedly skeptical: According to upperclassmen, the housing system was a device engineered by the administration to squash the Greek system and micromanage student life. I was told that the administration was opaque and sluggish; in short, good luck trying to get anything meaningful done on campus.
In the final sprint of arguably the most bizarre election in American history, every possible news source is beyond saturated with the words “Trump” and “Clinton.” Like many Americans, I am tired. I am tired of the political vitriol, the crude and indecent dialogue and the utter failure of the media and candidates to ge nuinely address matters of substance. I am tired of having to justify everything as a choice between the lesser of two evils. And most of all, I am tired of feeling embarrassed, as an American citizen, of the international laughingstock we have become.