Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Nation, campus move forward past Trump's election to the presidency

November 10, 2016
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a speech on Nov. 7, 2016 at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Mich. The DeVos Place Convention Center was Trump's last stop for the 2016 election season.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a speech on Nov. 7, 2016 at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Mich. The DeVos Place Convention Center was Trump's last stop for the 2016 election season. —
Photo by Nic Antaya | and Nic Antaya The State News

Trump won 279 electoral votes according to the Associated Press, notably winning key races in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida and very likely Michigan as of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"I have no words, no words at all. This isn’t how it was supposed to be. This isn’t what was supposed to happen"

Although Trump secured the necessary electoral votes, Democrat Hillary Clinton carried the popular vote, 47.7 percent to Trump’s 47.5 percent, a difference of about 200,000 votes.

Local results

In Ingham County, Trump earned 32.88 percent of the popular vote, while Clinton won 60.24 percent.

Reactions to Trump’s win speak to the divisive nature of the 2016 elections.

“It’s certainly a massive surprise compared to what we were expecting going into the night,” director of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research Matt Grossmann said of the election results.

Trump supporters say they weren’t surprised at all by the win.

“I’m not surprised by anything so far,” School of Human Resources and Labor Relations professor Joseph Guzman said. “Based on our sense of what’s going on the ground, based on the ground swell of support for our future president, Trump, based on being able to amass rallies, multiple a day, drawing tens of thousands over and over again. ... We felt that was a tremendous statement, more powerful than any poll.”

In fact, Trump’s poor performance in polls leading up to the election encouraged supporters, Guzman said.

“We were very mindful of what was going on with the polls,” he said. “They made us work harder. We always felt that we were in good shape in all of these places.”

Democrats, on the other hand, were shocked by their candidate’s defeat.

“I have no words, no words at all,” MSU College Democrats Chief of Staff Michael Sandoval said. “This isn’t how it was supposed to be. This isn’t what was supposed to happen.”

For many Clinton supporters, the election’s results still don’t feel real.

“I’m in complete shock,” zoology junior Dana Saunders said. “I thought there was absolutely no way, but it happened.”

"Based on our sense of what’s going on the ground, based on the ground swell of support for our future president, Trump, based on being able to amass rallies, multiple a day, drawing tens of thousands over and over again. ... We felt that was a tremendous statement, more powerful than any poll."

Supply chain management senior and member of MSU College Republicans Leslie Seery likened the faces of Clinton’s supporters to “U-M fans when (MSU) won last year.”

For many Republicans, Trump’s success is indicative of a change in the national mood toward the policies of the current President Barack Obama administration.

“It shows that our country is tired,” MSU College Republicans Chair Jeff Litten said. “You can see it all the way from the top to the bottom of the ballot, people are exhausted and tired.”

College Republicans Treasurer Ryan McIntyre attributed much of Trump’s success in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania to his lack of hostility toward unions.


“Traditionally, Republican candidates have gone after unions as the reason that jobs are leaving us,” McIntyre said. “In the case of Trump, he’s not necessarily saying what he’s going to do ... which is actually being very appealing to union workers, because all they see is their jobs coming back.”

In the early days of his presidency, Trump might avoid divisive issues, Grossmann said.

“The only policy proposal that he mentioned last night was actually basically infrastructure spending, which is a traditionally bipartisan proposal,” he said. “It could be that he’ll get a little bit of cooperation in the beginning.”

Additionally, Grossmann said, Democrats in Congress from states where Trump did well might be more willing to work with the new president to keep their constituency happy.

The results come in

Tensions ran high as projections came in on election night.

At the MSU College Republicans watch party at Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub, Litten asked the group not to start chants and said he didn’t want to start anything.

At the Trump Lansing headquarters watch party held at FieldHouse, Trump supporters started chants of “drain the swamp” and “build the wall.”

Early Wednesday morning, crowds in Oakland, Calif. started small fires and broke windows at local businesses, including a window at the Oakland Tribune newsroom.

More demonstrations have also been reported in downtown Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., Seattle and Pittsburgh.

In Lansing, a building displaying Trump campaign signs was vandalized overnight, according to the Lansing State Journal. Windows were reportedly smashed and anti-Trump messages were spray-painted on the building.

“The next couple weeks are going to be hard,” Litten said. “I think a lot of people are going to have a tough time accepting this election — no matter who would have won last night, it was gonna be a tough two months before inauguration.”

Litten added that he remains hopeful Trump will reach out to all Americans and work toward unity as a nation.

Grossmann said he believes unity might be a long way off.

“He’s going to come into office with a lower approval rating by far than any new president, so he’s going to face a divided public right away,” Grossmann said. “It’s hard to see it getting better anytime soon.”

MSU goes forward

The nation remains apprehensive.

“(Indiana Gov. Mike) Pence seriously thinks that women who have miscarriages, which is completely out of their control, he thinks that they should be punished,” marine biology senior Andrea Judd said. “That’s not OK, it’s appalling. I’m still with her.”

The MSU College Democrats are solemn.

“While I congratulate the president elect, the America that we are now entering is an America that we should have left behind a long time ago,” Sandoval said. “I’m not going to pretend to know what tomorrow is going to look like or what next year is going to look like. I don’t know.”

MSU College Democrats will host a “Rally Against Hate, Bigotry, Racism, & Sexism at MSU” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Rock on Farm Lane.

“This is no longer about Democrat or Republican, it is about the well-being of this country and our people versus oppression and bigotry,” MSU College Democrats wrote on the Facebook event.

As of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 2,700 students have responded that they’re interested in attending the rally.

The Black Student Alliance, Culturas de las Razas Unidas, the Alliance of Queer and Ally Students, REHS, and the MSU Counseling Center have set up “healing spaces” to help students process the election.

These events will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 14 and 15 in the Lake Superior Room at the Union and, according to flyers, will be “debate-free.”

McIntyre said he believes “safe spaces” are interesting as a response to election results.

“It’s something that’s totally within their power to control by exercising their civic duty to go vote,” he said.

The Associated Students of Michigan State University plan to address student concerns regarding the results of the election.

ASMSU President Lorenzo Santavicca tweeted a screenshot of an email he sent to members of ASMSU Wednesday morning.

“I know that this election cycle has been particularly divisive for a multitude of Spartans in our community,” Santavicca wrote. “We have much work to do as we continue to build and re-build our connections, friendships, and daily experiences as Spartans all over campus.”

Though America enters a period of great uncertainty, the presidential election has finally come to a close.

“Let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart,” Clinton said in her concession speech. “We owe (Trump) an open mind and a chance to lead.”

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