It was the election result everyone thought was a joke. As I sat in a room with liberal, college age students at George Mason University I realized that it was the first time these students ever took Donald Trump seriously, and ever even heard his message.
For the liberal student, college has been an environment in which liberal ideas are encouraged to thrive and students constantly relate on progressive ideology, liberal students around me all shared the same baffled sentiment as they wondered how this could ever happen.
So, I told them how.
What students don’t learn in their college safe spaces, is that people across the country are struggling economically and have been struggling for years. Outside the protection of university walls and the echo chamber of liberal conversation, Americans have grown weary on the political status quo.
Liberal students I find myself surrounded by have begun their social media assessments of the election claiming that Trump supports were racists, patriarchal, low income and impoverished white people. But they ignore one important reality, Trump won with more than just that vote; Trump won with the backing of females, minorities, and educated workers across the country and proved that a silent majority exists.
As Clinton supporters reminded Republicans to hold out for Pennsylvania and wait for the big cities last night, I reminded them of the rust belt workers who lost their job due to Bill Clinton’s trade policies and Hillary Clinton’s support for them. I reminded students that Trump was the only person who has promised to get their jobs back. The candidate that they believed would have a landslide, monumental victory, suddenly didn’t represent the class that needed a voice.
An analysis of exit polls from the BBC found that 42 percent of women voted for Trump as well as nearly 30 percent of Hispanic voters. Trump spoke to a consistent message which transcended race and gender. By claiming his support was won over only by ignorant racists, liberal advocates ignored the reality that Trump’s goals are relatable to millions of Americans struggling to establish their own American Dream. Last night was the first time, liberal students came to the realization that people are angry with the corruption of our political system and want something new.
As one fellow student asked me, “How can Clinton not win, she is the most qualified and most electable candidate?” I reminded my friend that she might have had the most political experience, but that does not make her the most qualified or the most electable to the entire nation.
These students on campus proudly exclaimed that they are “still with Her” are baffled that the first female presidential candidate could lose and many immediately blamed sexism. The 42 percent of women voting for Trump proved them wrong. Clinton represents the elite more than any average American.
As Politico’s Molly Roberts explained earlier in the election season, Clinton has more elements of privilege than she does minority, and in backing “her husband’s incarceration and welfare reform policies, critics say, and it’s not just that Clinton doesn’t personally embody intersecting identities — it’s that as a politician, she’s been part of the problem.”
With a new president elect this morning, students at universities across the country have begun protesting Americas decision. These are college students who still reject the reality that Americans have struggled for generations and are no longer content with liberal policy that does not induce change. These are college students who cannot accept that Donald Trump is who the American people want to be president.
As I tried to explain to my left leaning classmates, the people who have been silently looking for leadership are now awake and ready to dramatically alter the face of American politics; you have the option to be a part of the change and mold a new American identity. Despite how unpredictable it might have seemed; this was democracy in action. Here, the lesson learned by Millennials will be