America mocked democracy in presidential election

Edwin J. Viera, Columnist

During the early hours of Wednesday, Nov. 9, much of the world went into mourning as Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. In one of the strangest presidential elections, with both major party candidates having major faults, the one with the most won.

In result of the election, a number of hate crimes has skyrocketed in Buffalo. At Canisius College, a black doll was hung in one of the residence hall elevator’s. At a baseball field in Wellsville, the words, “Make America White Again” were spray painted on a baseball dugout in all capital letters with a swastika separating the four words into two groups.

Since many people cannot bear the idea of having Trump as president, American citizens are preparing to leave the country. The immigration website for Canada crashed on election night around 10:30 p.m., as many people are slowly becoming refugees, unwilling to live in a country of possible tyranny.

Some people are saying that the presidential election will not impact people as much, but this was an election based on fear and who could control people with it. This subtle yet ever common practice is called fear-mongering. And apparently it worked because now people’s fears have come to life. I refuse to give anyone sympathy, though.

Hillary Clinton lost because people wanted to take the election as the joke it was and wrote in “Harambe” as a candidate. Both Clinton and Bernie Sanders faced the same problem. Not enough people went out to vote, either because they didn’t want to or “because their moral compass couldn’t make them vote for either candidate.” That moral compass response is so weak because it does not excuse a person from failing to take action.

This presidency has many people scared for their lives with the freedom to be African American, Latino/a, gay, bisexual, gender fluid, etc. People feel threatened by the next president. The collateral damage was great beyond compare.

SUNY Buffalo State has been in the local news due to the headline on the post-election issue. The paper’s front page, above the fold, read, “Making Amerikkka Great Again.” While many were outraged over how controversial this was, those same people should remember that the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) endorsed Trump’s campaign.

Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner sent out a campus-wide email to try and reassure students that things would be okay as well as to read the article in the Record about the election.

Many criticized the headline for going too far, and being too controversial. Nevertheless, the article itself is great because it describes the thoughts, as well as the fears, of many Buffalo State students.

One student, theatre major Sophie Corwin, is terrified because of the way the country has changed overnight into one of the most racist nations.

“The morning after the election, I watched the most liberal city I’ve ever lived in revert back to the 1950’s literally overnight.” Corwin said. “My friend was walking through campus and got spit on and called a faggot. Meanwhile a black baby doll was found hung in a nearby college campus, and people have started spray-painting swastikas everywhere.

“It’s happening so fast because now that Trump is here, the standards of what is acceptable is changing fast. And THAT is what scares me the most; because it took our country decades to come out of those mindsets, and now it’s back.”

The LGBTQ community is looking at tough times under a Trump presidency because of some of the programs that soon-to-be Vice President Mike Pence supports. One of them is gay conversion therapy, which was banned in New York this year.

Gay conversion therapy is exactly what is sounds like, and is something that many people have fought against for many years. Being gay isn’t a disease, but is a person’s way of life. Another student Collin Kirdahy had this to say about Trump’s presidency and what frightens him about it:

“There are so many things about Trump’s presidency that scares me beyond words,” Kirdahy said. “First of all, his personal views and the way he ran were very not user friendly. He ran a campaign based solely on hate.

“Beyond that, there is the potential for him to be impeached; it would lead to a President Pence, who as a person has more conservative views than Trump. As a young gay person, it is very pained to think that anyone is still that close minded and awful. There are so many things that just hurt beyond words, to think of when thinking of having a conservative as a president.

“After eight years of the liberals being able to voice their opinions and rights being given to the people, the people’s voice is shot down by the electoral college. One can only pray for a better tomorrow.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Now people actually have a right to be afraid. But this is a different type of fear because it isn’t based on the unknown. Rather it is based on things to come.

America did this on its own, with people deciding not to vote and people wanting to watch the principles of democracy be stripped away one by one. Now our society must reap what they sow and know why the protests will continue because this is the fight to keep American democracy alive.

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