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The Blue & Gray Press | October 24, 2017

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Staff Ed: Editorial board implores community to stick together despite divisive election

Staff Ed: Editorial board implores community to stick together despite divisive election

By THE BLUE & GRAY PRESS STAFF

In an unprecedented electoral sweep, Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party defied all odds. Every major polling source had almost unanimously, paved a clear path to victory for Hillary Clinton on election night. As of November 8, RealClearPolitics had projected a +3.2 point advantage in favor of Hillary Clinton, 46.8 to Trump’s 43.6. RCP had also predicted a favorable standing electorally for the Clinton campaign, with her resting at 203 and Trump at 164, with 171 electoral votes up for grabs.

As the night progressed Clinton’s lead evaporated as she failed to win Ohio, Florida, Michigan and other key battleground states. Late into the night the race trudged on as Hillary’s electoral standing remained almost stagnant as Trump inched his way closer and closer to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure the presidency. Donald Trump finished the race at electoral count of 279 to Hillary Clinton’s 228, an unprecedented landslide in favor of the Republican nominee in what was supposed to be a contentious, but favorable night for the Democratic Party.

In the hours following Election Day, our country handed the Republican Party a series of significant wins. The GOP will retain their majority in the House of Representatives and have successfully gained the majority in the Senate. Donald Trump pledges to also appoint conservative Supreme Court justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia, shifting a somewhat “liberal” Supreme Court to the hard right.

Donald Trump has made it clear that he intends to appoint pro-life justices who will work to overturn Roe v. Wade during his time in office, along with hopes of repealing Barack Obama’s signature piece of healthcare legislation known as the Affordable Care Act.

The stakes have never been higher in a modern political election as both candidates campaigned fiercely to garner support for their vision of America. Hillary Clinton called for an economy that her supporters felt would represent the majority of the American people instead of the interests of corporations and the one percent.

She called for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 / hour, a plan to eradicate student loan debt and work towards tuition free higher education, a plan to expand and reform key provisions of The Affordable Care Act, and a path to citizenship for all immigrants wishing to build a future in the United States.

On the other hand, Donald Trump has pushed for a repeal of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans Pacific Partnership, which his supporters feel have outsourced jobs and weakened American manufacturing.

In the morning that followed what many would call the most divisive election in modern political history, President Obama spoke at the White House alongside Joe Biden, stating, “We all want what’s best for this country. That’s what I heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night, that’s what I heard when I spoke to him directly, and I was heartened by that. That’s what the country needs. A sense of unity. A sense of inclusion. A respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law, and respect for each other. I hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition and I certainly hope that’s how his presidency has a chance to begin.”

Our country is deeply divided, as well as our campus. An email from UMW President Troy Paino was sent out earlier this week, encouraging UMW students to remain a community no matter the result of the election. Emotions are high at this time and his message may have drifted off your minds, but keep it close to heart as you come to terms with the results. We must continue to be civil and compassionate towards one another, regardless of who we call our commander in chief.