I will be honest, I would not have been happy regardless of who won this election. Both sides engaged in dirty tactics and spat on others in order to give themselves advantages. I found myself in the peculiar position of voting for a third party candidate instead of one of the two big-ticket candidates.
Call it throwing away my vote, but if someone asks why I didn’t vote for Trump or Hillary, my answer will be because I had to choose between one of them.
I remember coming to the realization that it would be the first year I would be able to vote. I wanted my vote to matter, and after a very successful second term by current President Barack Obama, I felt empowered to register as Democrat and keep my eyes on the Democratic primaries. I think I can say that things were simpler back then, usually because the Republican primaries were like a Real Housewives reunion and had too many people in them to keep track of, while the Democrats only had to choose between three people. At the time, everyone had their eyes on Bernie Sanders, an older politician whom had been speaking the same message for years and never flip-flopped or got wrapped up in a scandal. Another big-name candidate was Hillary Clinton, wife of ex-President Bill Clinton.
There was also Martin O’Malley, but who cares?
Clinton and Bernie were like night and day. Clinton was “the establishment” with lots of donations and companies behind her, Sanders was the underdog who was fueled by the people. Clinton changed her political tune with what was “trendy” in the world, Bernie kept fighting for equality and civil rights since his college days. Clinton got wrapped up in secrecy, scandals, and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), while Bernie was a pristine candidate. In presidential projections, Clinton would only have a 3-4 point lead over Trump, while Bernie would hold at least 10 points at the very least over Trump.
What happened next was the biggest slap in the face I have ever experienced as an American citizen. I witnessed any news about Bernie from American news outlets shuttered or twisted, resulting in a massive “Bernie Bros” collusion to disenfranchise Bernie supporters and to drive away people who were even considering Bernie. The year of 2016 has seen a rise to this dishonest form of journalism where the only response to dissent is to discredit and defame. Look at Rolling Stone’s sexual harassment story (that they recently lost a lawsuit about) or anything relating to Gamergate.
As the race went on, the scandals began. I remember when the emails were the hot-button topic. The content of Hillary Clinton’s emails were irrelevant, I smelled a rat when she lied about deleting them. The last time a Clinton lied, the President was impeached. Donald Trump was a walking scandal, as well. He flew off the handle all the time, and I catalogued all of his insults on my previous posting about the Trump Tapes. Such repeated scandals kept Trump in the spotlight, the opposite of what the media did with Bernie, and achieving the opposite effect. Trump had constant momentum from the media, so I find it funny that journalists scratch their heads trying to figure how such a bigot was so popular.
I also took no pleasure in reading through the numerous Wikileaks dumps to find collusion between the media, the DNC, and the Clinton campaign in order to silence anti-Clinton people on social media through the frankly disgusting “Correct the Record” organization. It was because of this Bernie lost and the DNC pushed a candidate that only stood a ghost of a chance against Trump. We saw the fruits of their labors tonight.
I may seem like I have a lot to say about Hillary, but it was also exhausting to see Trump win state after state. While many posts you will see on Twitter or Facebook from anti-Trump voters will blow him and the power he will have out of proportion, it pains me to say that we know how we could have prevented this from happening. Obama won his campaigns by being optimistic, it makes almost no sense to not elect the total antithesis of him. We had the opportunity to nominate optimists, people who didn’t see America as broken or not great or even good. People who saw America as the greatest country in the world and wanted to keep it that way.
But it isn’t all bad, I learned a lot from this election. Simply, I learned America doesn’t care. America, the industrialized corporate dystopia that we live in does not care about what those who will be running the country have to say. The opinions and ideals of millennials are often swept under the rug because they want to break apart the corrupted webs that have media and politics tangled in their threads. The young people wanted an anti-establishment leader, and we could’ve had two, but America took one from us out of greed. America wanted the establishment, America wanted Clinton, and look what happened.
So where does that leave us? Well, we will see if we were right to bet it all on Trump, but past that: We are still together. We are still America and we will have opportunities again and again to change things. We will never stop getting opportunities and we will never run out of chances to act on them. Of course, that’s all worthless if we don’t act at all.
I realize I sound angry (and I am) but this has been the most insulting event I have ever witnessed. I don’t support either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and I think Trump will do horrible in office. I’d love to be proven wrong, though. I’d really, really love to be proven wrong.
See you next time.