By Caroline Ahearn
By the time The Crusader publishes this article, we will have a new president-elect. It may be former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or the “mediocre” (according to The Economist) businessman Donald J. Trump. No matter who is inaugurated into the highest office in the land this January, the 2016 election will have a lasting effect on the United States.
Since 1776 our country has followed the motto e pluribus unum—“out of many, one.” How can we uphold that ideal when we have a candidate who has built his campaign on dividing us in hatred? I mean, the New York Times filled two full pages with 282 insults spewed by Trump over the course of his campaign. He has insulted, demeaned, and dehumanized women, Latin Americans, African Americans, Arab Americans, members of the LGBTQ+ community, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Muslims, Jews, and even the Pope. He has said that the Geneva Conventions’ prohibitions are a problem and is a proponent of torture. He was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan and never denounced the endorsement. He has suggested that his supporters could literally shoot Hillary Clinton in order to stop her. He made Kid President afraid of becoming a grown up! Yet he may very well be our next president.
This is a man who does not understand what our country is about. He believes that he “alone can fix it.” He does not ask the country to put their faith in God or in democracy. For the two centuries the United States has existed we have had presidents who acknowledge that they have an incredible responsibility to bear and therefore they rely on others to help them do the best they can for the nation. Donald Trump believes he can go it alone, and, judging by the things he has said about numerous Republican leaders, he may have to.
I hope this piece was written in vain. I hope America makes the right choice for our whole country and elects the most qualified candidate as our next president. You can say what you want about Hillary Clinton; as I know she is far from a perfect candidate. However, you have to admit that she knows what it takes to be a public servant and that’s what the job of a president is—to serve the people of their country and to find common ground.
Yet even if we are saying “Madam President” in a few months, we still have to deal with the repercussions of the Trump campaign. The heightened presence of violence and hateful rhetoric across the country is easy to see, and whichever way the election goes, this will likely increase. Even if Trump loses, he will continue to have a massive effect on the state of our nation. We will be dealing with the fact that “Make America Great Again” has changed “out of many, one” into “out of many, many more different, hateful opinions that refuse to change or understand others.’”
I do not know what is going to happen on Nov. 8, and I really, really do not know what is going to happen after. I only hope we can move past the divide the 2016 election has caused and return to e pluribus unum soon.