On November 8th, 2016, Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th president of the USA. His victory came as a surprise to many because polls leading up to the election projected a Hillary Clinton win.
In his acceptance speech at 3 a.m. on November 9th, Trump called on citizens “to come together as one united people.” He also said, “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans… I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”
In her concession speech later that day, Clinton called for a peaceful transfer of power, saying, “We owe [Donald Trump] an open mind and a chance to lead.” She also acknowledged that “[women] have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think.”
Some students expressed their shock in finding out that Trump had won. When Daniella Faura ’17 woke up the morning of November 9th, she “thought [the results were] a joke” because she “had some faith that Americans could see that we all have to hold people, especially people in our government, to a standard where they respect all citizens and their opinions.”
Mia Silberstein ’20 said that after she saw the results, she “cried for half an hour straight.” She added, “I can’t believe that so many people would place our country in the hands of someone who is so hateful.”
Tom Slack ’17 commented that “never before has a more unqualified candidate taken office. It’s important to remember how persuasive and powerful demagogues have been throughout history and, as Trump has proved, continue to be.”
The Scroll attempted to speak with several students who would go on the record as Trump supporters about their reactions to Trump’s political upset, but those students declined to comment. The head of the Deerfield Young Republicans also declined to comment.
Izzy St. Arnault ’17, head of the Deerfield Young Democrats, commented, “I am very nervous about the effect the outcome will have on the issues that I think are very important like health care, Supreme Court appointments, and environmental issues.” She feels that “this election clearly showed… divisiveness in our country,” and hopes that “the checks and balances in our political system work as designed” during the course of the Trump presidency.
St. Arnault also recognized that “a lot of people feel that there is not a place for them in Trump’s America.” She said, “I hope he proves them wrong.”
Margot Genereaux ’17, an international student from Montreal, QC, stated, “other countries view Trump and his rhetoric to be incredibly dangerous… I am scared for the future of this country and what it means to be a woman or a minority in the U.S.”
During School Meeting on November 9th, Head of School Margarita Curtis echoed Genereaux’s sentiment about the roles of gender and ethnicity in this election: “as an immigrant and a Latina—and as a woman in a ‘man’s job’—this election holds special significance for me because even in an election as dispiriting as this one… participating in the democratic process is still a privilege.”
David Miller, Director of Global Studies, stated, “I want to make sure that all students on our campus feel safe and affirmed… I hope that we can continue to educate ourselves about the process and promise of democracy, and sustain a dialogue that challenges us all to understand different perspectives, build stronger arguments, and commit to being civically engaged… the election is now beyond us, but the work of democracy and dialogue can and must continue.”