California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

The Trumpocalypse: Let’s Stay Optimistic

A Trump presidency might plunge the United States into an era of unknowns. But that isn’t a reason to panic, it’s a reason to unite.

Donald Trump is the President-elect of the United States. Those were the words that I hadn’t been expecting to see in the early hours of Nov.9.

I placed my vote for Hillary Clinton the day before, and I basically expected her to become the next president, which is what I believe most people who voted for her thought as well.

While I was initially angered at the results I realized through self-reflection that having Trump as the president wouldn’t be the end of the world. The sun did indeed come up that morning, and so I feel that the American people should give him the benefit of the doubt, because whether we voted for him or not, he was elected fairly, and we have to accept that fact.

I’m definitely not saying that we should forget all that Trump said or talked about doing during his campaign, but my belief is that we should give Trump a chance for him to prove us all wrong, and actually be a fair president.

Michaela Reaves, the chair of the History Department, spoke about the idea that because of the election, people have felt the need to associate solely with people who agree with them, and cut off the ones who don’t, in a process called echo chambering. This process can cause Clinton supporters to be cut off from other opinions, which might lead to a lack of openness to a Trump presidency. There has to be compromise on some level.

“Students are only friends with people [on Facebook] who agree with them, and the negativism is so virulent that you unfriend someone who is calling you a bunch of names. So everyone only hears their own little pocket of agreement, and the result is that they were quite surprised,” Reaves said.

Gail Collins of The New York Times, in her opinion article “Ten-Step Program to Adjusting to President-Elect Trump,” made reference to President Barack Obama who, despite the past sentiments, stated that Trump should be given a chance.

“We ought to give anybody a second chance, even if it’s Donald Trump. We now are all rooting for his success,” said President Obama.

It seems fair to give Trump a chance to prove himself as president before throwing him out immediately, just because he won and Clinton didn’t.

In the Slate article “How to Preserve the Ideals of Liberal Democracy in the Face of a Trump Presidency,” Yascha Mounk made a specific reference to the fact that Trump hasn’t talked about destroying American liberalism, which seems to me like grounds to give him a chance.

“So there is an outside chance that he will prove to be a surprisingly conventional—or simply a historically ineffective—president,” Mounk said.

I think a noteworthy point for my opinions on the matter, though, is who I am: I’m a white heterosexual male, so I have literally nothing to fear in a Trump presidency, because I’m part of the group that has governed America since the beginning.

So I understand the fear that African-American, Hispanic, Muslim or LGBT people have for this new future, and I encourage them to fight for their beliefs and ideas. But I don’t think that that means we should condemn Trump before he’s actually instituted any policies, just because of what he has said. I believe in fairness, and that just doesn’t seem fair for me.

To put all this to a point, Reaves was adamant that this generation should place our faith in the system of checks and balances because, despite its flaws, the system has worked in the past, and will continue to do so. Power is equally spread.

“It doesn’t seem like, for many people, it’s working, but the system has worked before. And I truly, truly, and I know I’m biased because I’m an American historian, I truly think that the United States has the most innovated and best system in the world. So, I choose to trust it, and I hope I won’t be disappointed,” Reaves said.

I’m with Reaves on this. I’m placing my faith in history and the system itself, and hoping for the best. If Trump starts pushing for policies that seek to hurt Americans, whether they’re Hispanic, Muslim, African-American, LGBT or any other minority group, I have faith that the system will seek out the best solution for him.

If the solution is impeachment, then we’ll deal with that as we’ve dealt with this election; by standing strong and by standing together. This is certainly not the end of the United States. It’s just a test of unity, patriotism, and true American ideals.

Henry Studebaker
Staff Writer

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