The Oracle

Remembrances of a lone Republican

Looking back at the biggest change our country has experienced in the past year.

Chloé McElmury, Senior Columinst

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I remember the morning after. I was in a fairly good mood, although my eyes were heavy, laden with the regret I hadn’t slept more. I had been awake until almost three in the morning, waiting to hear him speak. I remember flipping back and forth through the channels, watching Clinton campaigners cry in the audience, waiting for a speech that would never come. A friend had been texting me throughout the evening, telling me her fears and how she kept throwing her laptop across the room at just the mere thought of him becoming our next president. I didn’t understand the extent of her despair. While electing a president is an important choice that affects us for at least four years, I felt like she hadn’t given him a fair chance even before the results were tallied and called.

I walked onto campus that morning optimistic, but unchanged. To me, it was just another day. The November air stung at my cheeks as I entered Anderson, overhearing conversations in line for Starbucks. Everyone was in a haze and it felt like I was the only one still concerned with anything other than election results. People on campus were so upset that Trump had won, so baffled, they couldn’t come into class. I wasn’t one of those who made Facebook post after post, announcing to the world that I just couldn’t come to class that day, that it was just too much to bear. I unfollowed friend after friend on social media. Everyone was up on their soapbox, on both sides of the political spectrum.

Admittedly, I was probably the same way when Obama was first elected, but this time was different. I was more aware of the cultural climate around me, my own political identity and how that was hugely contrasted by my campus.

My professors were somber, carefully sowing their thoughts to us as if we all shared the same viewpoints and opinions of our new president-elect. I felt like a stranger. Candidly, I lacked the heartbreak of my peers. To fit in, I sympathetically nodded.

I felt like many just didn’t understand how Trump could have won. They couldn’t fathom such a tragedy. I believe it was because he was different. He wasn’t a politician, perhaps one of the most important things about him. America was understandably sick of politicians and ready for a change. I was admittedly excited and hopeful for what he might be able to do for small businesses and a health care overhaul.

Eventually, it seemed like students on campus relaxed and life returned to semi-normal. With almost a year of Trump being sworn in under America’s belt and more than a year since he was elected, I can’t help but look back. While I’m still not quite sure how I feel about President Trump, I was open to him when he was elected. I listened to his acceptance speech and he actually spoke well, better than he had all along the campaign trail. However, a lot has happened between now and then, some good and some bad. I see the record-breaking closings of the stock market, but I also see the lying and the fake news Trump creates while calling out other “fake news.”

I’m not sure what the point of this piece is; it’s mostly just ramblings that many of you might read and immediately dismiss. Heck, I don’t know how many of you actually made it to this point. However, I think it’s important to remember that although Hamline has its cliques and many like-minded individuals, we are a campus of all different religions, races and beliefs. I believe it’s incredibly important for all of these to be shared, even when they conflict with our own personal views. It can be scary sharing political ideas; I know I’m lucky to be able to write these ahead of time, not having to be shamed on the spot for sharing my opinions. I wholeheartedly encourage trying to understand those on the other side of the aisle as you might be. No one expects you to change your mind, merely to broaden it.

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Remembrances of a lone Republican