At the present time, we at The Beacon do not know who will win the presidential election because our paper is coming out the day of this most important election. In advance we would like to congratulate whichever candidate has won on their win.
This presidential race has been a strange and contentious one. Many SMCC students can probably say that this was their first time voting for a presidential candidate. Many of us saw a vision of hope and progress in former candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders. I pride myself in having gone to a Bernie rally (to support) and a Trump rally the next day (in a protesting fashion). But whatever faith or trust we lost in our ideal of America, we cannot allow these tensions to divide us for very much longer. This does not end with election day.
At this late date it is easy to see similar tacts employed by Trump and Sanders. Both developed an “outsider” stance to the current political system and drew support from the various disillusioned demographics in America. Bernie got the broke college kids, Trump got broke, white, middle-America. The commonality within these two groups is that they both feel ripped off by what is commonly revered as the American Dream. The core belief is that there’s something they deserve which has not been provided for them, whether it be an affordable college education, entry-level jobs, or any other social issue.
Donald Trump has made many, many disgusting comments. Comments targeting women, the latino community, and countless others; comments which for a normal candidate would probably prove career-ending on the presidential scale. But people continue to support him, regardless of his toxic comments or his fascistic ideals for America.
Instead of focusing all of our energy on him, we should turn instead to these supporters. These people are not stupid. The absurd orange potato with a toupee: he deserves ridicule. But his constituency, the people he has pandered to since discovering an audience? They deserve reconciliation.
While many of the Bernie Bro clan accepted that this race was over back in June, many descended into apathy. Blaming the system and backing a third party seemed the viable option, but even that revealed schisms in the Democratic Party. No, the Bernie Bros, Trump supporters, and the disillusioned of America deserve to know that they can make change. Maybe not at a presidential level, but in small governing systems and activist groups across the country.
There is a new generation of hopeful disillusioned folks who see the cracks and fractured systems in place that need to be dismantled or at the very least, amended.