The results of the election on Tuesday, Nov. 8 have completely dominated the media the last several days, and for good reason. The prediction polls were further off than they have ever been, the popular and electoral votes differ like they did in 2000 and the polarization of the candidates leaves many people either ecstatic or devastated.
The devastation felt by supporters of Hillary Clinton is of common concern: that a person who so blatantly uses racist and sexist rhetoric can climb so high in power is a problem for us all. Videos are already popping up of people happily chanting for walls, or telling people to get out of the country.
The hashtag #NotMyPresident has since been used by many liberals as a sign that they would resist the potential use of presidential powers against Muslims, people of color, women, queer people, etc., and that they would place their values above the decree of authority. Many are also calling for an end to the Electoral College due to the disparity between the popular and electoral vote. Meanwhile, Donald Trump supporters are calling for unity, rejecting protests against Trump and rejecting criticism of the Electoral College.
Rewind eight years, and you will see similar concerns. President Barack Obama clearly won the popular vote, so that was not as hot a topic, but the amount of backlash against him by those on the right was astounding, whereas excited progressives were optimistic, criticizing those who protested against the results, and calling for unity (which ultimately failed as we had eight years of obstruction by the right).
Of course, there are plenty of counter-examples of those who supported the losing party, in 2008 and today, that wanted to support the winner regardless, and hoped the best for them. However, these two similar elections bring up some questions: Do we value democratic vote over our principles? What lengths should we go to to defend those principles? How do I protect myself against those that would destroy my principles?
Both major party supporters have had to ask themselves these questions in the last eight years, and both have acted rebelliously or with conformity, depending on if their preferred candidate won. What this tells me is that for many, their principles come before democracy. If 50.1 percent of people want to deport Muslims, then many people would defend their Muslim friends despite the fact that more people want them gone. If 50.1 percent of people want to tax you for health care, many will fight that tax even though more people want state-funded healthcare.
Over the last eight years, both progressives and conservatives have now felt how a libertarian feels every day. Both parties wanted to expand the powers of government to support their vision, but when the opposition wins an election, they fear them using those same powers against them. Such a large risk for so little a gain we’ve experience under either party! Everybody has felt that their president was not their president; however, that seems to be what the majority wants, just a little different every four or eight years.
But every day, I see the majority of people bombing innocents in the Middle East. I saw the majority deport 3.5 million undocumented immigrants from this country in the last eight years. I saw the majority take my money and give it to the bourgeoisie who tanked the economy in 2008. I saw the majority kill the minority in the streets and get a paid vacation for it. In the past, we saw the majority drop two atom bombs on innocents and imprisoned 100,000 people who looked like them. We saw the majority turn away Jews to face the camps. We saw the majority enslave the minority for hundreds of years and segregate them for hundreds more.
Trump is not my president. Neither was Obama, Bush or Clinton, and if I had been alive earlier, nor would Kennedy or Eisenhower or either Roosevelt or Lincoln or Jefferson, all the way back to George Washington. No one that could take away my freedom and happiness because the majority want to is my president. No one that would harm others to please the majority is my president. No one that would coerce anyone to do anything for the majority is my president.
Everybody is not my president, because no one can be.
Alexander Habbart is a second-year student majoring in economics, math and finance. He can be reached at AH855514@wcupa.edu.