Emotions were high across Vanderbilt’s campus as Donald Trump was elected president of the United States Nov. 8. The Hustler reached out to students, asking them to submit responses to the presidential election results.
All images featured are not of those students quoted.
Josie Roth, Sophomore
Thank you, Hillary Clinton, for inspiring me to work hard, study, stand up for myself, speak up for my values, take advantage of every opportunity available to me, and believe in myself. You’ve shown us all that there’s always more progress to be made and more glass ceilings to be shattered.
“Inspired” doesn’t quite do justice to how I feel right now. I am angry and upset and shocked and still processing my feelings, but I do know this: I will be damn sure to dedicate the rest of my life and career to ensuring that the values of equality, respect, and understanding make their way into our country’s policies and ethos. Thanks for reminding us how far we still have to go.
Allie Nickerson, Junior
I’m so shocked, and I feel naive for thinking this would never happen. I’m ashamed of our country and scared for the future. (Particularly scared about Trump’s actions regarding the environment and climate change…but everything else too.) I feel like the election just turned out terribly (thank you, electoral college) and the reverse would have been so exciting to celebrate…I’ve been waiting for a female president since I was little.
Lindsay Grizzard, Junior
I expected the Senate to gain a Democratic majority, and like everyone else, I was sure that Clinton would win the presidency. My fear as a Republican was a Clinton presidency with a blue Senate, but now the opposite has happened. I was in denial about Trump winning even when I went to bed at 2am, expecting to wake up and suddenly have the first female president, a moderate president. The election results have been read as “half of America is racist/sexist” or “half of America is crazy” and other huge assumptions; a vote for Trump, for most people, was simply a vote against Clinton. I’m hopeful that GOP moderates in Congress will speak out against Trump’s more extreme ideas, but I’m fearful of irreparable harm to my party and it’s reputation, especially among younger voters.
The journey to the White House was long and arduous, but now the race has been run and the people chose a victor. I now call upon all of my fellow Americans to pick ourselves off and brush off the bitterness of defeat or put aside the pride of victory. Now, it is our column duty to all work together as Americans to create a country that works for all Americans. A new age of American Exceptionalism awaits.
Adam Witte, Sophomore
Shocked, considering the recent projections. I loathe Hillary Clinton but I loathe the Donald more. Either way I would have been unhappy. I knew Trump would win if Bernie didn’t win the primary (thanks to the DNC) but now at least when things go wrong we can’t blame it on gridlock which may drive us to a more liberal future. Fingers crossed.
David Zhang, Sophomore
I am now convinced we live in a computer simulation, because America segfaulted last night.
Matt Colleran, Junior
Last night’s results marked a historic rejection of liberalism, giving conservatives a great opportunity. Republicans will control all levels of state and federal government, so now is the chance to move policy in a conservative direction. As a social conservative, I worried that a Clinton presidency (and the Supreme Court picks she would have made) would have marked the end of our ability to fight for traditional American values. Instead, there is a window of opportunity as we begin the Trump presidency to even finally overturn Roe v. Wade and restore the right to life to all Americans.
If you supported Clinton and are concerned today, please remember that America is the greatest country on Earth, and no president could change that.
Emery Mintz, Sophomore
I live by a simple rule: don’t support the side that is supported by Neo-Nazis or the KKK.
Robert Harrison, First Year
I’m honestly not that upset that Trump won. I’m just saddened that so many people are now scared, feel marginalized, or question their love of the U.S.. I sincerely hope that Trump proves to be better than his rhetoric and All rights of All people are protected. But I think this election really helped me to realize that those in office don’t change loved it create change. If we support each other and seek understanding then we can move forward together and change without forcing people to give up themselves. The election result was startling but it’s not the end and we’ve made it through worse. I’m still proud to be an American.
Akiva Singer, First Year
I’ve never thought America is perfect; we are a nation whose past is tarnished by slavery, racism, and genocide, but I have always been proud to be an American. I was proud to be a part of a country which I felt exemplified the best of what humanity could be–freedom, optimism, acceptance of human diversity. Even when I believed we had an idiot as our president leading us into unnecessary, bloody, costly wars, I was embarrassed, but never sorry to be American. But today I am truly ASHAMED to be an American. I’m ashamed to be a part of a country who believes it’s best possible leader is a racist, narcissistic, impulse driven, juvenile excuse for a human being. And I even question if all that I once felt proud of as an American was truly unique to our nation, or only lie we told ourselves.
Suk Won Jeong, First Year
I respected Mitt Romney, John McCain, George Bush and his father. They were not fundamentally bad people. I have no respect for a racist sexual predator.
Chad Evans, Sophomore
Many of us often forget the political microcosm that we are in here at Vanderbilt. There is a prevalent liberalism on this campus, and this election indicates that it is not representative of the political dynamic of this country. Therefore, a basic logical extension clearly indicates that there is an ideological separation between Vanderbilt and the general consensus of the rest of the United States. Some may say Vanderbilt kids must be more enlightened and not subject to the horrible “racism” and “sexism” of the right wing. The hard truth is that the hateful Political Correctness movement, economically damning socialist policies, and representation by a corrupt woman are what lost democrats the election. In short, people realized that the democratic party will not help this country.
Dylan Choi, First Year
I simply do not understand how a person with xenophobia and pathological narcissism can be voted to be the President. But, I believe that the American voters decided for change in current Political, economic system, at the expense of social inequality. I do not agree with the decision and I believe that American voters were misguided. However, the complacency of establishment politics and frustration of everyday people decided the result.
One thing is for sure. The U.S. government has to change. It has to become the government of people. It needs to make conscious efforts to represent not only moneyed interests, but all people, including working class and middle class, all racial and ethnic groups, men and women.
Lily Puff-Heffernan, Senior
I am heartbroken and afraid and ashamed. I’m so scared for my friends who are LGBTQ, black, Muslim, immigrants, etc. but I am also inspired to fight harder than ever because it has come to light how far we truly have to go.
Josh Hansan, Sophomore
Donald Trump is the next president of the United States. This is our reality. As a result, America is now in his control. As a Democrat who grew up admiring Barack Obama, I am incredibly disappointed with the result. Feelings aside, I want nothing more than for him to succeed in a way that benefits all. Not just his loyal supporters. We must now hope that the first president with no military or political experience excels at the most difficult job in the modern world. My expectations are low, and I am already looking forward to the 2018 midterms, but for now, I want to see success and unity to emerge out of all the anger and divisiveness I have seen the last few days.
Drew Reynolds, First Year
Donald Trump is going to be the president because of Debbie Wasserman and the Democratic National Convention. Their ineptitude in upholding fairness, one of the tantamount principles in a democracy, is the reason Donald Trump is going to be the most powerful person on the planet for the next four years. Bernie Sanders was a candidate that I and many other citizens felt as though he cared about us as people. How were Bernie supporters supposed to react when their votes, at times, seemed to not matter? Many people politically active during primary season were nowhere to be found for the general election, and the corruption of the DNC not giving democracy a chance is directly to blame. The Democratic Party lost a lot of voters, and they may never get them back.
Anderson Monken, Senior
I think each of us will remember where we were when we realized that there would not be a female President of the United States in 2016. My initial reaction was revulsion and dread. I am fearful of Trump’s America and its potentially deleterious effects on the progress that has ushered in an era of bolstered opportunity and equality. This election should serve as a rallying cry for Americans who champion liberal ideals. We have to fight for what we hold dear. The misogyny, bigotry, and racism surrounding the Trump campaign cannot be allowed to seep through our society. While many share my sentiment that the world has turned upside down, we can’t walk away in despair. Through our voices, votes, and actions we must continue to show the world that love trumps hate.
Ariana Fowler, Senior
As I said in a social media post, “there is no room or excuse for hate, intimidation, fear tactics, verbal/physical/emotional abuse. If you don’t think you are capable of avoiding the aforementioned behaviors, please do yourself and those around you a favor and stay home until you can conduct yourself in a respectful manner.” Our campus and nation are at a very critical and sensitive moment and I ask everyone to be cognizant of that. Even if you do not fully understand, take the time to respect others and acknowledge that what they’re are experiencing is real and valid simply by the virtue of it being their reality. Support your peers and treat each other with kindness.
Sara Ernst, Junior
Hillary supporter. Very surprising results. However, I’ve come to accept the reality. I’m optimistic for the future. Maybe antiestablishment is a good pivot for America. I’m not sure. Hoping for the best.
Katrina Luo, First Year
I’m frightened for myself, but moreso for my friends, whose identities are bigger targets of Trump’s campaign. I never thought I would care about politics much, especially since this is the first year I can vote; yet, this election has taught me that politics is no longer just about domestic or foreign policy. It is about reconciling a nation of people.
This election has taught me that the media has too much power. When every news source screams slander about every representatives, it drives our bipartisan country even farther apart. Above all, it has taught me that I am not as unbiased and fair as I thought. The next years will be years for telling stories, and for listening.
Corinne Fombelle, Sophomore
I am deeply saddened and disturbed that about half of America chose a racist, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic candidate with no political experience. I am truly worried for the safety and mental health of the communities he has targeted. I could go on, but I feel like other people have already said it more eloquently. I am just so disappointed in America.
For those that didn’t vote/voted third party because “of course she’s gonna win”: she didn’t. Now you get to live with the consequences of your apathy.
For those that voted for Trump, it’s sad your minority friends matter less than veering away from “corrupt politicians.” Because if you’re privileged and white you’ll be ok. But not everyone is.
For those that claim that he won’t be that bad, I hope you’re right. But when shit gets bad, I don’t want to hear complaints. Because Trump is honest right? That’s what you liked about him? So you knew what you were voting for. Now we all get to live with that.
For those that voted for Hillary, we’ll continue to fight the difficult fight of making America, not greater, but better, kinder, equal for all. The fight isn’t over, it’s just beginning.
Photography by Claire Barnett, Bruce Brookshire and Ziyi Liu, Multimedia Director