Reactions from the Election: Students Weigh In

November 10, 2016



The Catalyst asked scholars to weigh in on their reactions to the 2016 election; look for them  throughout the week. If you are interested in writing a letter, send it to

After a year and a half, many people, including myself, are relieved that this divisive, crazy election is finally over. This election has involved much, much more than just the candidate’s policies and stances. With countless scandals shared between both major party nominees, one of the candidates being accused of advocating hate, the other being accused of criminal activity, this is by far the election with the most hated candidates in contemporary American politics. Because of all of this, it is also an extremely divisive election. This claim was evident based on the state-by-state results of the election.

Another big aspect relating to the outcome of the election was polling. It seems like this time around, the pollsters got it wrong. I know of at least 4 states, crucial states for the sake of the race, that pollsters had flat out wrong. The polls are usually how people get an understanding of how the presidential election is going to turn out. I spent a lot of time during this election viewing the polls, as did millions of other Americans. Many big-name news sources label the outcome of this election a huge surprise, most of which I accredit to the inaccurate polling numbers.

One of the most intriguing parts of this election was the strong anti-establishment movement that surprisingly occurred with both the democratic and republican parties. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders was as anti-establishment as you can find in Washington. He was one of the democratic frontrunners, challenging Hillary Clinton for the nomination. Although he was defeated by Secretary Clinton by a generous margin, leaked DNC emails indicate that it is very possible that the DNC was against Senator Sanders. On the other hand, we have Donald Trump as the republican front runner, nominee and eventual President of the United States. Throughout his campaign, he sent a strong signal that the pro-establishment politicians we have now are, as he puts it, “all talk, no action.”

At the end of the day, it’s all about how we can move forward as a country in unity. It was basically a guarantee that at the end of this election, no matter the winners, the country was going to be split in half. Ideology versus ideology, candidate versus candidate. The outcome of the election was nothing short of a total victory for the republican party. And we as a country must move forward in the wake of division caused by the outcome, just as we have countless other times. We need to recognize that, as President Obama so confidently said, “We are not Democrats first; we are not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We are patriots first. We all want what’s best for the country.”

James Sanchez

10th Grade



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