Post-Election: Have We Built Our Own Walls?

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AP

Danielle Martin Co-Editor-in-Chief   “REPORT: Hillary Clinton Became PHYSICALLY VIOLENT on Election Night and Tore Into Robby Mook and John Podesta,” posted The Gateway Pundit. “REPORT: Hillary Clinton Screaming Obscenities and Throwing Objects in Election Night Meltdown,” posted Breitbart News. “REPORT: Hillary Clinton Had Drunken Meltdown After Losing Election?” posted snopes.com. There is no reliable source or video evidence that has confirmed these reports, but that is not the point. The point is that whether Hillary did in fact enter a drunken rage or a source leaked a malicious lie to the press, these reports serve as additional evidence that the results of this election have surfaced raw emotions across our country. Emotion does not show weakness; however, the way that these emotions have manifested in our country, and at Latin, does expose great weaknesses. Simply put, the majority of us at Latin supported Hillary, and in the months leading up to the election and in its aftermath, we have ostracized Trump supporters from our community. Multiple Latin students and alums took to social media to post things along the lines of, “If you voted for anyone besides Hillary, never speak to me again;” at school on November 9th, I witnessed many of my classmates blatantly ignore those who they suspected voted for Trump or Gary Johnson; and some students even went as far as claiming that anyone who voted for Trump was a homophobic, misogynistic white supremacist. Now, as a young, Jewish woman, I would have been proud to call Hillary my next president and am deeply troubled that Trump will represent my country during my college years. And I would be lying if I said that I did not go through the angry stage of grief. But as I was editing all the election related articles we have for this Forum issue, I noticed how underrepresented the conservatives are in our community, how tiring it must feel to always have to defend your views in fear of being labeled a racist, and how silencing these conservative voices closes our predominately liberal minds to other views. In an attempt to publish a spectrum of viewpoints in this issue, I reached out to three of my classmates, who in confidence told me that they voted for Trump. All three of them said they did not feel comfortable with an interview because they thought their views were unwelcome at Latin.   I then asked two politically active Gary Johnson supporters, Eric Andresen and Sarah Margulis, for an interview. Both Eric and Sarah felt their decision to vote for a third party candidate was not respected in the Latin community. “I heard a combination of ‘he can’t win,’ ‘what’s Aleppo,’ and ‘voting third party is white privilege,’” recalled Sarah. “I generally say, ‘he can win if people vote for who they believe in.’ In terms of Aleppo, I’d like a show of hands of how many people actually knew what it was before that incident. I’d take someone who forgot what Aleppo was over someone who’s authorized civilian-killing airstrikes in it. The white privilege argument is ridiculous.” Eric shared a similar story. “Two days before the election, I was told my vote was a waste and wouldn’t matter. Then, the day after the election, the same people were telling me I cost the election.” When asked if he felt attacked by these comments, Eric said he did. “I don’t want support,” he explained. “I realized I wasn’t going to get support a couple years ago, but I can get respect. If I can get people to respect my views, as I have learned to respect and acknowledge the more left views in our school, we can have real civil discourse and do some really great things.” And that is all we can ask of our community. We are not all going to agree— and if we did, we would not be learning. Take Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who could not have had more different interpretations of the constitution and the role of the Supreme Court, but still maintained an admirable, close friendship. In United States v. Virginia, Scalia sent Ginsburg a copy of his dissent, and Ginsburg actually welcomed their disagreement. “He absolutely ruined my weekend, but my opinion is ever so much better because of his stinging dissent,” said Ginsburg. Those are the types of friendships and conversations that I wish to have at Latin, and those are the types of friendships and conversations we can have at Latin. We cannot antagonize each other for differing political views— they are the beauty of democracy. I can understand, however, the desire to antagonize those who voted for Trump to prevent a woman from gaining power and to deport our loved ones. For the vast majority (and I hope every) Trump supporter at Latin, though, that was not the case. It was shocking that a man who boasts of sexual assault and lacks political experience beat an undeniably qualified woman who has dedicated her entire life to bettering our country. Many, myself included, initially thought that this meant that Trump had not only defeated Hillary, but also all women across America. But was Hillary the perfect candidate? No. Although I have supported Hillary since she first announced her candidacy, I will admit she was a flawed candidate: the Clinton Foundation, her behavior during husband Bill’s alleged assaults, and close relationship with Wall Street surely dissuaded many voters, and understandably so. I am not saying that these flaws overshadow Trump’s— they do not, in my opinion— but she was in no way the perfect candidate. Yes, the fact that she was a woman may have played a role in her loss, but that does not necessarily mean that a woman without these flaws would have lost. So what if Hillary was not the one to shatter that glass ceiling? Easier for me to say than some, but I refuse to interpret that as an attack against all women. I will take Hillary as the first woman nominated for president by a major party as a victory, a stepping-stone to whatever I wish to accomplish. I will use this raw emotion as motivation to write this article or to go to a Trump protest or simply to study that extra hour for a math test to disprove that men dominate STEM.  We can’t build any more walls in our community or add additional layers to that glass ceiling because of this election. I’m not just with her anymore. I’m with us. All of us. So who else wants a Scalia-Ginsberg friendship?]]>