November 14, 2018 | ° F

FINNERTY: United States moving forward after election results


Opinions Column: Waxing Philosophical


From this point on, there is no longer a need to pander toward parties and candidates. Our new President-elect Donald Trump will take the reins in January. Surely, for some this is not the best possible outcome, but it must be asserted that this is the only possible outcome. So, moving forward, where does the liberal reside in this newly acquired Trump real estate? The answer is simple actually, right where we always were. Perhaps after eight years of a Democrat in office, we’ve been spoiled and generally just focused on the Senate and Congress for weeding out old Reagan-era relics, but no more.

Also, it should be said that maybe this presidency will not be entirely bad. Sure, Trump has the temperament of a small child and the brash casuistry of the most profound charlatan, but he did also break a long political dynasty. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to be fair, was no saving grace for any liberal or social activist. Simply being a woman and gaining a spot as POTUS would, in the macro, be revolutionary, but nonetheless she is despicable. Why the Democratic Party would choose a candidate that is under constant FBI investigation, only goes to show how flawed the system is. Perhaps Trump was needed, as some sort of switch to alter the all-to-familiar tracks of American politics.

Of course, hindsight is much more accurate and I wouldn’t want err by proposing what-if scenarios, although Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) seems quite enticing right now. However, Trump is our new president, and it is Trump we must deal with, along with a Republican House and Senate. Is there any glimmer of hope from the new rank and file? It seems unlikely, but then again eight years of President George W. Bush was enough to mobilize the left into electing President Barack Obama, twice. Where that has placed us now is obvious, but what is American politics without reactionary candidates and voting demographics?

Another benefit from this election is the new class of millennial voters. This group was finally recognized as a force to reckon with, a force that can wildly shift from left to right and a force that refuses to be marginalized. Hindsight aside, forcing Clinton to give those painful displays of millennial affection was never going to work. It was Bernie or bust for many, and bust, it did.

Surprisingly, this idea of the silent majority siding with Trump was, well, sort of true. The polls did not accurately take into account the voter turnout, especially those in favor of Trump. In some respects, this is a strange occurrence, but when both sides use the rhetoric of eschatology — either vote "x" or "y" will happen, people get scared and come out to vote. Any major election from here on out must now always take into consideration this new demographic of the unseen and the unfocalized.

My biggest concerns are, undoubtedly, the building of a wall between Mexico and the United States, along with all supporting actions against immigrants, and the removal of any social progress for ability for all citizens to have marriage rights. The economy and trade relations will be interesting to observe, and hopefully some new systems can be implemented that do actually assist in creating money and jobs — something Trump has prided himself on. If, however, his plans fail and Washington, D.C. ends up looking and feeling like Atlantic City, it’ll be easy to spot the problem.

My guess is that Trump is not as conservative as he claims in his platform. And as Congress and the Senate string him along, he will get a taste of who the boss truly is and seek to not conform. Trump did this throughout his run for the GOP nomination and it surprisingly worked. There may after all be some hope in his presidency.

Overall, there is still a sizable body of citizens who are not for Trump nor the GOP, and will hopefully realize that this is the outcome from complacency. When party lines and corrupt nomination practices don’t represent the will of the people, the people will find a new candidate that they decided upon, and Clinton was not that candidate. The world is not ending, nor is it over. Sure, there is plenty potential for presidential disaster, but maybe not. If there is one thing that can be said of Trump, it is that his unpredictability is a force best used for breaking the system.

Jonathan Finnerty is a School of Arts Sciences senior majoring in classics and philosophy. His column, "Waxing Philosophical," runs on alternate Thursdays.


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Jonathan Finnerty

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