Top socket or bottom socket?

Having to vote for the lesser of two evils

Graphics by: Jordan Lodge | Production Manager

A lot of America is mourning after the election. Tears streaming down the faces of people who believe America is doomed with Donald Trump at the helm. Facebook has become a battlefield and riots have taken place. Let’s all pause for a minute before we burn bridges with people we respected before the election and burn literal bridges.

I have heard accounts from people that say they know people who they respected that voted on both ends of the ballot. The fact is, this was no ordinary election. Two unworthy candidates with horrific scandals were America’s only choices. Therefore the decision of who is more fit became like holding a butter knife in your hand and saying: “Should I stick this in the top or bottom socket?”

The top socket which we put our collective knifes in gave us a shock before any of this started. Donald Trump began his campaign and millions of Americans laughed it off. There’s no way he’ll make it, right? Well, he was able to capitalize on an existential fear that has been growing in America—terrorism. His iron fist stance on terrorism has been demonstrated with statements such as, “We’re gonna bomb the crap out of ‘em.” This radical approach to just scorch the earth has its own problems in terms of rules of engagement and potential backlash of the world community as thousands of innocent people would die. On the other hand, there are people who believe we should strike first to end “Islamic” terrorism.

“Islamic” terrorism on the surface is a prejudiced term that implies that terrorism only happens in the sphere of Muslims. Some people, particularly some of Trump’s initial supporters, believe that all or most Muslims are terrorists. This assumption is obviously false with over a billion Muslims worldwide.

However, the PRIMARY terrorism threat in the world is an Islamic organization known as ISIS. This gives some credence to the term “Islamic” terrorism but I still believe it is a term that should be abandoned. Nevertheless, this term has been used to Trump’s benefit.

Another reason people resent Trump is the way he talks and carries himself. He lives off distorted hyperboles and does not care much of what other people think.

Whether out of context or not, he has said some things that have shaken people to the core. In a decade old recording, he said in regards to women, “You can do whatever you want. Just grab ‘em by the pussy.” In the climate of Brock Turner, these comments were found to be despicable by the public.

Trump wants to build a wall and deport millions of Mexican immigrants. He wants to stop all Syrian refugees from entering the country. He’s been sued for profiling and denying services to black people. He’s been sued for his failed Trump University with claims of fraud. After the audio of “grab ‘em by the…” surfaced, sexual assault accusations came out of the woodwork.

There’s Trump, now onto Hillary Rodham Clinton. She would have been the first woman president. She would have also been the first president ever to be elected while under investigation from the FBI.

Her email scandal was seen as a “witch hunt” by her supporters considering the FBI said there was not enough evidence of intent to move forward. The fact still remains that she mishandled classified information.

She received and sent emails clearly marked classified on her private server and lied about it to the press and the FBI—an offense that anyone else would be imprisoned for. There have been members of the military imprisoned for the same offense.

Before the investigation began, she deleted thousands of emails before handing over devices. She allegedly even smashed a device with a hammer.

People are so up in arms about this because she has also taken millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments, including those that harbor terrorism. Those emails could have provided insight into what this money is for but the emails are gone.

Most politicians lie. We know this for a fact, but when you couple her flip flopping on almost every major issue you can imagine in the last five years with her receiving money from foreign governments, there is a big red flag as to what her intentions are at the helm of America.

Voters were not OK with potentially hundreds of government employees being paid off by Clinton to rig the election, particularly the DNC primary. They were not OK with the Clinton Foundation receiving millions of dollars in funds to go towards the revival of Haiti and less than five percent went to Haiti.

The point is, don’t scrutinize others for making this difficult decision. Learn their stance. Now that Trump is president, which a lot of Trump voters didn’t want before he was pitted against Clinton, what do we do as a nation to move forward?

I’m not asserting either candidate was better or that we made the right choice on election night. The only thing that matters now is that the people of America continue the trajectory of social change that we’ve been on in previous years.

The people of America are the ones who have paved the way for LGBTQ rights and assimilated multiple cultures into our own. We, the people, are the ones that have changed the culture. Government laws and politicians can only attempt to persuade us of their agenda but we have the power to accept or deny what they tell us.

America is not dead, nor is the progress that has been made. There are threats to our progress in terms of possible legislation to come. However, the seeds planted by the likes of Bernie Sanders will grow in all who choose to accept it.

Sanders has pointed out repeatedly the various injustices in our society, starting with corporate greed and government corruption. He’s pointed out the economic disparity between the classes and the social injustices that Black, Latin@, Muslim and people of different sexual orientations face. The people have been exposed to these ideas and are paying attention.

We, the American people, should not let anything Trump may say or attempt to do to dissuade us from the truth that all people are created equal. We are born with different starting points, some being more disadvantaged than others but we are all Americans.

A small subsection of our population is racist or prejudiced and will have a loud voice in years to come, but the majority of us have fought to end up where we are now and words of one man cannot change that.

If Trump challenges these ideals, we will push back with the likes of Sanders fighting for us on the front lines. All is not lost America. We just have a steeper road ahead.