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When I was 11 years old, I had an irrational fear of sailing. I didn’t like the way the wind jerked the boom violently in irons, it filled me with an overwhelming anxiety. This changed when my summer camp counselor taught me a lesson that has stayed with me for over two decades.
For many Dartmouth freshmen, winter break is a time to reflect on the past term while relaxing with family and planning for the terms ahead. It is a much-deserved period for rest and introspection. And, of course, a time to watch Netflix.
I didn’t expect to be on campus on Dec. 30, 2016. Instead of trudging up Mount Cube, I trudged up the stairs to my third floor dorm, kicked off my overboots and microspikes, dropped my frame pack and, well, cried.
In the wake of such a contentious election, it is easy to lash out and be afraid. It is perfectly understandable that one might feel apprehensive about the future of American politics, or fear for what may follow in the years to come. Nonetheless, it is inexcusable to unfairly brand an entire voting demographic as a force of oppression, and I will not remain silent when my fellow students insist upon doing so. In that regard I must write in fervent opposition to Michael Mayer ’17’s guest column, and in defense of Tyler Baum ’20’s guest column.
Let’s start out with a really simple question: what’s the most common occupation in the United States? We’ll end with a Ronald Reagan ’84 presidential campaign commercial — but more on that later. The answer, as it turns out, is either long-haul trucker or retail salesperson, depending on how you sort the data. But that’s probably not what you thought it’d be, so we have to ask another question: what things are fundamentally American?
Judging from internet memes, press coverage and the national election, 2016 was the year the world went mad. To paraphrase the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” the world seemed to have turned upside down. One piece of unity amongst a year of division came from grief, however. Celebrity death after celebrity death marred 2016 — and, as the baby boomer stars of our youth age, that trend will likely accelerate.
On the night of Nov. 8, I went to sleep early. It would be 3 a.m. in Madrid before the results were finalized. An ardent — albeit silent — supporter of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton since her first run for the highest office in the country, I expected her to take it home in a landslide considering her poised performance in the debates and good standing in the polls. But when I woke up that cold morning after, I had a sunken feeling of despair that not all was right with the world. The electoral college had failed to accept Clinton as our first female president and now President-elect Donald Trump had taken several swing states.
Of all the leaks of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s personal emails, one that attracted the least attention in the end was her description of having both a private and public stance on Wall Street. Clinton was articulating something deeper here: the idea of politicians having differing — perhaps untruthful — personas in public. In itself, this is not a bad thing. As long as public promises are kept, or there is at least an attempt to keep them, I see no reason to care about a politician’s personal beliefs. That said, this notion of a divided identity can only work when it is not public. And keeping it secret is increasingly improbable in a time of hacks and leaks — those grown-up offspring of yesteryear’s tabloid journalism. Today, politicians’ private lives are fair game for the public eye — but so are everyone else’s.
The column “Why I Voted for Trump” perpetuates violence and reinforces perspectives that must become unacceptable if we are to create a world of peace and justice for everyone.
Every year, during the holiday season, I find myself constantly cringing at interactions between my generation, the next generation and the previous generation. It’s painfully unavoidable. Whether it’s discussing relationship advice, American politics or nostalgic movies, there’s always at least one time per party where I wince at some sort of awkward discussion.
The clothing options on Hanover’s Main Street, like J. Crew and other aesthetically similar boutiques, epitomize the general fashion trends of our campus and town. This is why one of my first destinations upon returning to California for winter break was Fairfax Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a refreshing break from chinos and plaid. Regional fashion, of course, is not homogenous, but Los Angeles taste-makers err towards a deceptively casual aesthetic.
Shortly after Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced his candidacy for president of the United States on April 13, 2015, I pledged my support to his campaign — a campaign largely grounded on the rural conservative ideologies I was raised with. My support for the Republican candidate’s campaign strengthened as the GOP debates progressed last fall, and I did not look back. I distinctly remember when Rubio, while on the campaign trail in Waverly, Iowa this past January, promised an atheist voter that “no one’s going to force you to believe in God. But no one’s going to force me to stop talking about God.” As an evangelical Christian and a Constitutionalist who supports atheists’ rights as firmly as those of Christians, I became even more committed to Rubio and his campaign after hearing this.
Donald Trump is the next president of the United States. It seems easy to lose hope, to believe that this election shows the irredeemable hate that lives in this nation’s underbelly. We desperately want to disengage and hope that, in four years, there will be enough of a millennial or minority vote to return us to the path of “progress.” Mostly rural, white Americans decided this election. They felt left out, excluded from the progress of the past eight years. They have grounds to believe that globalization and technology have robbed them of their once-thriving livelihoods. They have been told that life is better now than it was eight years ago by people for whom that is true — but that is not how they feel. They have expressed this anxiety through a rhetoric rife with hate, but hate alone did not win this election. To continue to believe that it did would be to continue missing what the media and liberal America have failed to recognize over the past year and a half.
The 2016 presidential election is finally behind us and many of us are surprised, some disappointed and others jubilant, with the results. Criticism of the Electoral College from both sides has become the bold new national sentiment. Surely it’s antiquated. Surely it must go. Surely we can do better.
This election was about race. This election was about gender. This election was about sexuality. This election was about religion. This election was about inequality.
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.
We had a hot summer this year — and not just because of the weather. Tensions rose and protests exploded across the country after police officers shot and killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in two separate altercations within the same week, adding to the growing number of black men killed by the cops. The shootings of several police officers in Dallas and Baton Rogue, Louisiana further added to the chaos. Only weeks earlier, the United States had been rocked by the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which has become the largest mass shooting in American history and the deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11. Meanwhile, social media flooded with disturbing images of the war in Syria while nativist policies, intended to stem waves of immigration, gained popular support in Europe, manifesting most notably in the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union. Despite these controversial events, I fully expected America to make what I believed was the right choice by electing Hillary Clinton to be 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 of us, the most incredulous aspect of this presidential election cycle was the rise of Donald Trump. Never in recent history have we seen such crudity, vulgarity, pomposity and blunt honesty combined into one candidate. But perhaps more importantly, the current election has drastically changed the political landscape of the United States. Gone are the time-worn ideologies of the Democratic or Republican parties. This election has caused both parties to adopt beliefs they have not necessarily embraced before.