Column: Lessons from the 2016 presidential election
Not enough people thought ahead about the outcomes of this election, but now we have to prepare for the consequences and warn the future.
To be fair, many thought Donald Trump wouldn’t actually get the Republican presidential nomination, because everything that came out of his mouth was too outrageous to be taken seriously.
We were also hopeful that Bernie Sanders could pull through as the Democratic presidential nominee, even though this slowly became a more and more impossible dream.
In July, Hillary accepted the Democratic nomination and Trump accepted the Republican nomination. Now that September is here, it’s again become what many would consider an election to pick the lesser evil.
Some people are considering leaving the country, others just won’t vote and some are still holding out for Bernie Sanders or a third party.
All of these reactions are bad options, and by simply looking into the past of America, we can learn a lot of lessons on what will happen.
Absolutely nothing will happen if you leave the country—someone will still become president when all is said and done.
Not voting also does nothing. It just ensures that you really have no grounds to complain about the winner because you did nothing to work against the outcome, and again, at the end of the day, someone will be elected.
By voting Bernie, you’ll stand by your candidate, but take a look at Ralph Nader and the Presidential Election of 2000.
Nader’s Green Party altered the election, so that George W. Bush won Florida instead of Al Gore as the pollsters predicted, and a whole heap of controversy later, Bush ended up as president.
The present we currently live in is still in the shadow of the Bush administration, and it’s because of the actions of voters.
That shadow highlights the importance of each election.
The 2016 election could make or break the future of the country, and at the end of the day, someone will be left holding the bag. Nothing will change that.
This is where we should take a moment to look at the past, and think about the ramifications of the election.
What things have happened in the past that teach us about the outcome of this election?
The most obvious one would be the previously mentioned scenario with Ralph Nader. The outcome here would be that voting for Bernie instead of Hillary could give Trump the election.
From what we’ve seen from Trump, it could be disastrous.
As a first time voter, the small disaster of an election that we’re currently experiencing has somewhat inspired me to not want to vote, which would only hand the election to one of the two candidates.
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This has happened countless times, and the majority of young people don’t vote because we’re constantly moving around during the first years of our lives. That needs to change.
Few will actually leave the country because of the election.
This is where we have a chance to use this election to the advantage of future generations—to give them an idea of what not to do.
The parties are supposed to remain outwardly unbiased, particularly when it comes to the presidential campaign. The scandal that revealed Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Democratic National Convention chairwoman, favoring Hillary over Bernie is a good place to start. To future convention chairpeople—keep it to yourself if you have a preference of your candidates, regardless of the party.
Currently, many Republican officials openly support the Trump campaign, but some important officials do not.
To future convention chairpeople-nominate someone who has the ability to run a successful government and isn’t a shoe-in to be the cause of World War III.
There are some out there who voted for either candidate as a joke, thinking that they wouldn’t really end up as the candidate. To future voters-please take all votes as seriously as possible, each one really is essential to the eventual outcome.
To anyone thinking about running for president-please, think very carefully and very clearly on what you’re about to attempt. It’s a four year job in which everyone is always criticising your every move, and it’s not a job to take lightly or pass off to your vice president.
Take a moment to think about the election as a whole and understand the role we all play as individuals in this country.
Follow Alicia Galpin on Twitter.