Students Weigh In: “We Know Better Than to Believe Everything On the Internet”

November 12, 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

The 2016 presidential election: Arguably the most talked about event of the year. Personally, I didn’t put much thought into it. Being 16, I didn’t want to focus on something that I didn’t have a say in. When the day of the election came around, however, I became interested. I had heard so many people speak passionately about it in months prior, that it was almost surreal to see it actually unfolding.

I stayed up a majority of the night, but I didn’t actually see the result until the morning. “DONALD TRUMP IS THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,” is all I saw on my Twitter feed. I didn’t really have any preference between Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, so my first thought was something along the lines of, “Oh, nice.” What shocked me the most after the election, was the immense amount of hate that was everywhere. Of course I had seen all the memes about the candidates throughout the year, but I didn’t realize just how bad the aftermath would be. “Anyone who voted for Trump, or anything to do with his win, is dead to me,” is just one of the examples I saw from my family members’ posts on social media. Even though the President of the United States is a pretty big deal, I didn’t think the situation was. He won, and Hillary lost. That’s how elections work, and that’s life.

Because I was not an ardent Hillary supporter, according to the voices of  the Internet, that automatically makes me a Trump supporter, but I don’t really see it that way. I know little to nothing about politics, but I do believe it is nice to have a fresh pair of eyes sometimes, and I figured, “Hey, maybe Trump has some good ideas, since the Clinton family has been involved for years.” Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am one of the most accepting and open-minded people.  I believe everyone is equal, and that everyone deserves respect and love.  I’m not going to lie, it hurt when I got on social media and saw everyone posting about how anyone who voted for Trump must be homophobic, racist, sexist, etc. I had long term friends and family, vowing to never speak to anyone who wasn’t in favor of  Clinton. It honestly got to me. I was 100 percent sure of the fact that I would lose friends over the President of the United States.

After the sadness, came anger. It was infuriating that people who had known me forever, suddenly judged me on topics that have never mattered to me. It was so frustrating and sad to see how negative everyone became. How scared everyone became of living in their own country. There are always going to be people that are violent and hateful, but that’s life. Donald Trump becoming president isn’t going to make those people any more or any less violent. Promoting violence and judgement of others is a personal choice, and it shouldn’t be assumed that half the country is like that small portion of people.
If I’m being honest, I think the reason everyone is so afraid, is because they believed what the media tells us day in and day out. Haven’t we all been taught not to do that? Just because the media is talking about a topic as important as the presidential election, doesn’t mean it’s all true. Do I think that Donald Trump is one of the nicest people ever? No, not at all. What I do think, is that it has been blown out of proportion. Gay marriage isn’t going to be repealed, he isn’t going to convince men that it’s okay to sexually assault women and he isn’t going to incite violence against anyone of any race or religion.

It was and still is very obvious that the media is Pro-Hillary, thus making it easier for there to be hatred for Trump. I am in no way, shape, or form saying that Trump is perfect, since there was a time when even I was believing it. But if people want things in America to change, then we need to stop dividing ourselves. By becoming two groups of people, one that is for Trump, and one that is against, we are never going to get anywhere. We need to learn to move on from this and accept that everyone has different opinions, yet we can all work together to make a change, if we choose to look past the small things.

Gabriela Orr-Dick

11th Grade



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