Now that we have all witnessed the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, I am inspired to reflect on the experience of watching the event live, as well as on the political climate of the past few months. I am as through with discussing politics as the next person, but I think it is especially important to acknowledge a recent Deerfield perspective that shed light, and rationally so, on the issues behind this election and transition. The reality is that my vote did not matter much in this election — I knew the votes from my native California would be overwhelmingly in favor of Clinton, and that its electoral votes would be blue no matter what.
At school meeting on Wednesday, January 18, Jack Brown ’18 addressed the community with his explanation of why the citizens of his hometown, and those who live similar lives, voted to “Make America Great Again.” He called his native Piqua, Ohio “a small blue collar town built on hard work and honor.” I was struck by how effectively he was able to convey his message by means of personal anecdotes. What moved me more, however, was his ability to illustrate voters’ motivations both vividly and logically.
I am not from the Midwest, nor do I come from a blue collar family, nor did I vote for Trump. I cannot say I can relate to the people to whom Jack was referring, but after hearing his thoughts, I do now understand and appreciate their opinions. And I think that was a perspective I needed to hear — one that would enable me to look at the bigger picture of our nation’s political actions and to view the next four years in more hopeful terms.
I believe that the collective we will always outweigh the individual I, and that if Trump fails, we fail. I wish only the best for his administration and for our nation moving forward. Democracy won, and I think we should endeavor to find peace with that reality regardless of where your vote might have gone. That peace, however, does not have to mean passivity. If you are motivated, I urge you to become politically involved to ensure we remain a democracy moving forward. Jack Brown began this conversation last week, and I think it is worthwhile to sustain this dialogue in the months and years to come.
All the best,