Division: Half the country kept quiet



The winner of the 2016 Presidential Election was announced in the early hours of Wednesday, Nov. 9 and since then, it feels as though the world has been turned upside down. The Electoral College’s legitimacy has been both praised and denied due to the difference between it and the Popular Vote. Oddly enough, each one favored a different candidate.

For the past week, it seems that the nation is more divided than we once thought, with Secretary Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by more than 100 thousand votes. People seem to forget the looming statistic of how many eligible Americans did not vote: 100 million, according to the Washington Post. That number is close to how many eligible Americans did vote: 132 million.

According to the Pew Research Center, the United States voter turnout is one of the lowest in the developed world.

Is the nation as divided as we think?

It is uncertain to who the non-voters would have chosen as the preferred candidate, but they could have easily made a difference in the election if they went out and cast their ballots.

With that said, the current anti-Trump protests are a little too late as he was fairly crowned President-Elect. Although I voted for and support Clinton, Donald Trump was chosen but the Electoral College, a system put in place by the Founding Fathers, which seems to never have been spoken about as a problem until this recent election.

There were similar protests when Barack Obama was first elected president but not to the extreme of President-Elect Trump, where tens of thousands of people, mostly students, have been orchestrating walkouts in urban areas.

It does not, however, seem that we are as divided as a nation as the media has portrayed. Whether we choose to believe it or not, the media, including social media, can sway people to think a certain way. Especially with this past election, the media made both sides look bad, swaying voters one way or another.

It is worth saying that the media has portrayed only the extreme Trump supporters who embody all of his rhetoric. There’s also something to be said about the people the media does not show; those are the ones who make up the majority of Americans. The ones that receive airtime are often epitomes of the stereotype.

Also, with close to half the nation not casting their vote, there is no way to tell how divided our nation is, since we do not know half of their opinion. We only know of the ones who speak out and make their voices heard which cannot be assumed as the majority. Without the statistic involving the majority of the country, it is hard to say which candidate is genuinely more liked.

So, what’s next?

It is time to stop protesting something we cannot control. It is time to talk to legislators, vote in local elections and re-establish the Senate and the House. Stand up for what you believe in but do not focus on just one leader. The Senate and the House are just as important as the president.

It would be wise for the other half of the nation to start speaking out and sharing their opinions so we do not seem so divided. What is stopping you all from saying something?

Understandably, many citizens don’t enjoy talking about politics or this past election. However, this was the time for everyone to join together and unify with their parties to elect a candidate the country would be happy with. As of right now, the country does not seem unified.

But again, 100 million citizens did not vote. This is not an accurate representation on the division within our country.