by Stanley Delgado
November 8 of 2016 may have felt like the longest day of many people’s lives.
After a close race, real estate and television mogul Donald Trump won the election over career politician Hillary Clinton and he will be the 45th President of the United States. His inauguration will take place on Jan. 20, 2017.
The election was held Nov. 8 from 7 a.m. To 8 p.m. and, to those who waited in line or were on social media, it may have felt much longer than 13 hours.
“It just feels like this day is going on forever and ever,” said Harry Swift, 22, a Kinesiology major at Cerritos College. “Everybody keeps staring at their phones like every two seconds – ‘did you hear this?’, ‘did you hear that?’ – it’s just crazy. It’s why I went so early to vote.” Swift had a class at Cerritos at 9: 30 a.m. So he showed up to the polls promptly at 7:30 a.m.
“When I voted for [2012 presidential election] last time, I waited like 20, 30 minutes because I came late.” Swift said.
Swift falls in line with some millenials which, according to Pew Research Center, consistently vote Democratic.
“I mean, like it’s pretty obvious [Clinton’s] going to win, once they count the west coast.”
Swift not only echoes what some Americans thought the weeks leading up to the election but also how they felt about both candidates.
“[Trump and Clinton] have so many skeletons in their closet and at this point it’s just about like how hateful you are. Or xenophobic, basically.”
This “Vote For The Lesser Evil” mentality is one that is shared by other voters as well. For some voters however, “evil is evil” and that the right to vote means just that: the right to vote or not vote. Such is the case for Nick Mezeraani, a Graphic Design major at Cerritos College.
“I will probably not be voting today, honestly,” Mezeraani said. “It’s such a corrupted fight between them. With Trump: he’ll ruin the country as soon as possible. With Hillary: she’ll ruin it in the long term. Meanwhile, there’s still next to no media on any of the third parties. I don’t see the point of doing something about it – not in California.”
Mezeraani shares a similar sentiment that many Californian voters feel which is the fact that California almost always votes Democrat with few exceptions (Lincoln, Reagan, and Kennedy) and that the swing states are what matter.
“I don’t really consider my vote wasted. This is California,” said Mezeraani. “It’s always a blue state.”
This kind of tradition was kept in mind by voters including Marissa Loza, 20, an English major at Cerritos College who had to wait for her school day to end at 5 p.m. before heading out to the polls.
“Clinton, Clinton, Clinton for California. That’s obvious. It’s like Trump for Kentucky or something in the South.” said Loza.
Loza also stated that she was mainly voting because of the propositions.
“California’s like its own thing. Like you see change a lot quicker if you vote for local things like mayors, [district] attorneys,” Loza said. “The swing states are what’s scary. Or the [electoral] college. I mean, they’re basically who choose the president in the end. I don’t remember it but I know that’s what happened with Bush and Gore and everything.”
Both Loza and Mezeraani were right about tradition and the swing states. California’s history as a blue state secured Clinton 55 electoral votes. And many political outlets are citing the swing states Republican leanings as what closed the election for Trump.
Loza and Mezeraani were also correct about the electoral college. Although it was a close race, Clinton won the popular vote by 233, 404 votes but lost the electoral vote. Either candidate only needed 270 electoral votes and Clinton stood at 228 while Trump defied expectations and secured 279.
Trump’s unexpected victory over Clinton has had repercussions felt both politically and socially.
Trump’s seemingly unscripted and candid behavior during his campaign and the debates seems to be how he tapped into an America that was tired with the capital-E Establishment; an agenda that proved to be what won him several of the mid-western states that Mitt Romney was unable to win during the 2012 election.
Socially, Trump’s victory has been a major cause of outrage. Outrage in the form of protests across the nation against the president-elect and in the form of various hate crimes documented on Twitter and Facebook (although the validity of many are yet to be confirmed).
As Trump has yet to take office, only time will tell where the nation is exactly headed towards.