In the wake of Donald Trump’s win, there are undoubtedly many competing explanations for such a shocking electoral upset. While I agree with the assertion that the election hinged on the political voices of the disillusioned, it is inaccurate to characterize Trump’s win as a crowning triumph of the conservative movement. In fact, Trump’s platform defies traditional conservative principles in almost every way. The United States didn’t collectively embrace conservatism overnight. The idea that America somehow chose a conservative federal government has no basis in what actually happened on Nov. 8th.
As it turns out, that is the opposite of what happened. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.5 million votes. Trump performed worse than Mitt Romney in 2012. To say nothing of the irresponsibility and incompetence of Clinton’s campaign for letting this happen, a clear majority of the country rejected Trump. This was not an empowering victory for the conservative movement, regardless of whom President-elect Trump surrounds himself with. I can understand the system was intended to make the federal government work with respect to the will of the minority, as well as the majority. That being said, the Democrats will have virtually no voice in the Republicans’ decision to strip 20 million people of their healthcare.
In your opinion, you fail to acknowledge the irrationality of a man winning an election by a 2.5 million-vote deficit. People aren’t rejecting fairness—they are outraged by its absence in this election. The Electoral College allowed the president to be chosen by a quarter of the population of the United States. Clinton’s ineptitude throughout the election does not negate that basic fact. Conservatism was not legitimized as the true way forward by this election.
In light of everything that was at stake in this election, on top of the fact that Trump lost the popular vote by a huge margin, you cannot dismiss the protests of the outcome. Kneeling to the prospect of Trump’s presidency would normalize the objectives on which he campaigned—very few of which are actually conservative. He advocated for the largest forced deportation since the Holocaust and a national registry for people of a certain religion. Protest is the rational response to an election result that is starkly irrational. Aside from voting, there is no other way for people to voice their outrage.
Andrew Vaccaro, MCAS ’20
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