On election night, Montclair State students and the rest of America eagerly sat at the edge of their seats as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lost state after state to her opponent Donald Trump. Election results continued to roll until the wee hours of the morning, when it was ultimately Trump who went from presidential candidate to our president-elect.
This surprise victory came as an upset to a majority of young first-time New Jersey voters, as 64 percent of those aged 18 to 24 cast their ballots for Clinton, according to CNN reports. Just two weeks ago, The Montclarion endorsed Secretary Clinton for President of the United States. While many students of Montclair State University are conflicted with the results of the 2016 presidential election, there is no reason to lose faith in the electoral system.
Clearly, Clinton’s supporters feel like the electoral process has failed them, and Trump supports feel like the electoral process has failed them throughout the election cycle. However, the electoral process worked exactly as it should have and after over a year of campaigning, Trump was elected.
While Clinton supporters are weary of the bleak days that may lie ahead, the sun rose in the morning, just as President Obama had reminded Americans hours before the official election results were announced. Like it or not, the American people have spoken and Trump will become the 45th President of the United States of America, and that is something we as Americans must accept.
On Nov. 9, President Obama emphasized to all Americans that “we are all on the same team.” Regardless of party affiliation or feelings on the president-elect, we are all working toward one goal: the betterment of the country. Even though Democrats and Republicans have different ways of achieving those goals, the goals themselves are fundamentally the same.
Trump will be the president for the next four years, but the beautiful thing about the electoral system is that the American people will have the opportunity to vote again in four more years. When voting in the 2020 presidential election, Americans will have the opportunity to once again choose a candidate who best represents their views and beliefs. While a lot can change in four years, that candidate may be Trump or someone else, and that is all fine, as long as Americans make it a point to have their voice heard through voting.
The best way for New Jersians to get their voice heard is to ensure they vote in the 2017 gubernatorial elections. Many people are clearly dissatisfied with the current state of affairs in the country and it is no different within the state of New Jersey.
In 2013, current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won re-election with 60.4 percent of the vote. Yet, in recent years Governor Christie’s approval rating has dramatically decreased. This may set the stage for a gubernatorial election that comes down to the wire just as this presidential election has.
While elections may not always turn out as planned, it is important to continue to place trust in American democracy. Elections are the best way to make our voices heard. On Election Day, the American people made their voices heard by voting for Trump to be the 45th President of the United States, but this is not the last election. Continue to vote and continue to be heard.