Students and staff reflections on the elections, Trump’s win

The 2016 presidential election was as historical for this country as it was shocking and, as many would say, disappointing.

Republican President Donald Trump has been widely criticized and mocked for his bold words, actions, and beliefs.

The Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, faced multiple scandals that threatened to tarnish her reputation, the most well-known being the use of a personal email server to send State department emails.

Many people feel as if both candidates had serious legitimacy issues and were unfit to serve office. As the weeks dwindled down and election day approached, ARHS students and staff felt a mixture of both fear and hope for their futures as well as the country’s well-being.

At the end of the day, when it was announced that Trump had won the presidency, many people across the country and here at ARHS felt defeat, loss, and anger.

Mere hours before election day, junior Malcolm Olendzki spoke at length about his confidence in our country’s future.

“Our country will always have its ups and downs, but ultimately our country’s looking good. We have done a lot over the years to fix major issues with our nation, such as bringing back jobs and paying attention to our people more and more with healthcare. People say times are the worst they have ever been in a while, but I think our country is headed in a positive direction,” he said.

Social studies teacher James Elliott’s views on this year’s election were a bit more dismal. He believed this election had “a more divisive and darker tone.”

Throughout social media,  thousands of political memes surfaced, pleading for different candidates for each party, mostly created by or aimed at younger generations.

Mr. Elliott, though following school guidelines and declining to share his political beliefs in detail, does understand and agree with why so many people are upset with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“I think both parties could’ve done better,” he said.

Senior Ava Blum-Carr supported Senator Bernie Sanders over Clinton and Trump since the primaries.

“I believe that both candidates, Clinton and Trump, were very flawed. I don’t like Hillary Clinton because I think she represents an establishment that is deeply corporate and supportive of the military-industrial complex. In terms of Donald Trump, I am in agreement with the majority that he is an inept, racist, sexist, xenophobic celebrity who is in no position to run a country,” she said.

People all over the country feel anxiety and fear about the future; many worry that they may lose important rights, such as gay marriage and women’s right to abortion and contraception.

“I think Trump won’t really do much; he’s too scared of the people to change anything major,” said senior Ali Abdel-Maksoud.

One of the most concerning elements for many is the now majority Republican government. “I’m not really sure what’s gonna happen. I really can’t judge anymore until he does something,” Abdel-Maksoud said.

“No one actually knows whether or not he will do what he says [he will do],” said an anonymous ARHS senior. “Trump isn’t coming to ruin the country, he’s coming in to make the change he thinks is necessary to better the U.S. at its place now. There’s really no telling what he’ll do until at least January.”

Though it may not appear so to the naked eye, opinions here at ARHS are mixed. While many students and teachers were open about how discouraging the election results are, there were hopefuls who did not believe the country had reached a crisis.

However, the majority of Amherst is frustrated with the electoral college, watching protests unfold around the country as Donald Trump prepared to run the executive branch.