“Us Above All?”

By Jesse Cook (Political Correspondent).

Why have people protested President-Elect Donald Trump more on the coasts than in the Midwest? That’s a very good question: it’s because people out on the coasts are more vocal. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily smarter, however.

If you’ll notice, rarely have the results of an election been protested. In 1824, John Quincy Adams seemed to have made a corrupt bargain with Henry Clay. Due to a close election between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, the results of the election lay in the hands of Congress. Because of Adams assuring Henry Clay that if Clay convinced Congress to elect Adams 6th President, then Clay would be made Secretary of State. Because of Clay’s speech, Adams was dishonestly chosen and Clay was Secretary of State.

People were mad when, due to the death of 9th President William Henry Harrison, John Tyler became President by default. A President had never died in office, so people were rather dissatisfied with the Vice President assuming the position of Commander-in-Chief. That all happened in 1841.

Back in 1860, people protested Abraham Lincoln, saying that Stephen A. Douglas should’ve been elected, but based on the emancipation of the slaves, I think it’s safe to say that those protesters were wrong.

In 2001, George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in a suspicious manner. The vote came to many, many recounts, one of which came to Bush winning by 8 votes, but after all, Dubya came out on top. What’s odd about it was that the key state in which  all the recounts were was Florida, whose Governor was, at the time, Jeb Bush, George’s brother. There were a great many people protesting that the vote honestly came to a George Jr. Presidency, yet nobody denied whether or not his inauguration would officially make him everyone’s President.

These people that are going crazy over the results of November’s election fail to realize that every election year, millions of people are always unhappy. Ronald Reagan, who is arguably one of the greatest presidents in United States history, won re-election in 1984 over Walter Mondale by winning 49 out of 50 states, yet there were still 38 million unhappy voters who wanted the Mondale ticket. When Barack Obama was elected both times, many people were vehemently against him and his policies, however the people who declared him “Not My President!” were dismissed as crazy.

The conservatives generally haven’t denied the results of a democratic election (if you object with the response of Donald Trump stating that he wouldn’t accept the results if he lost, the media distorted his sarcasm as reality), but many liberals, especially on the coast, have fixed it in their minds that their opinions matter more. The people who wished to change the results of the election were essentially denying democracy. Their parents grew up with the idea that democracy works and everyone’s opinions matter, but their children, and this current generation are defending that only their opinions should be taken into account. People on the coast have generally come to the belief that people in the Midwest are not as well politically educated as people living on the coast. That being said, it is important to know that Trump’s being elected is thanks in large part to the voters in the Midwest.

A poll of over 100 Sharon High School students unsurprisingly reveals that generally affluent teenagers from New England believe they’re smarter than their counterparts in the Midwest. About 75% of subjects said their political opinion was correct, about 45% stated that not everyone’s opinions should be considered and that they generally know more than other people. 60% said that people in the Midwest know far less than people around here and on the coast and just over 50% of people decided that democracy doesn’t work.
The question “Us above all?” must be asked because the question of whether or not democracy works has arisen. No matter how you spin it, America is the greatest country in the world. We have so many liberties, such as freedom of speech, that guarantee our right to hold organized elections, speak out and protest politicians, and write articles in the opinion section of a journal. Democracy guarantees such freedoms, so if you want to change the occupant of the office of the presidency based on one person’s opinions, take away free speech, or strip journalists of the freedom of press, I suggest you take another look at how easy we have it in the USA. People don’t often think about how the quieter voters have their opinions, too. To quote Harper Lee’s character, Atticus Finch, from her 1960 novel To Kill A Mockingbird  “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *