Athenians react to Trump presidency

Members of the Athens-Clarke County Republican Party gather at Locos Grill & Pub on the east side of Athens to watch as the electoral and popular vote counts trickle in throughout the night of November 8, 2016 as the next president of the United States is decided. (Photo: Henry Taylor/htaylor@randb.com)

On Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will ascend to the highest office in the land, becoming the 45th President of the United States. While this date creates anxiety for many people, people must keep perspective in mind.

A doom-and-gloom outlook on Trump’s America often permeates the media and other forums that influence voters. During this election cycle, misinformation littered Twitter feeds and other forms of mass communication, spreading rhetoric that damaged the reputation and viability of the Republican presidential nominee.

Now that the election has ended and Trump has been legitimately elected president, negative attitudes continue to dominate social media and certain news outlets. This coverage disappoints me and other Americans who voted for Trump.

On election day, millions of Americans placed their confidence in Trump to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Considering his electoral victory, Trump’s opponents should at least give him an honest chance.

Instead of assuming failure, or even encouraging failure in many cases, Americans should hope for the best possible outcome of a Trump administration. To hope that a president will fail the country not only creates a closed-minded individual, but it is also like wishing a train you are riding crashes because you dislike the conductor personally.

While it is easy to pick out the mistakes and blemishes of an opponent’s character, much more thought and courage are required to acknowledge that opponent’s potential to perform successfully in their professional career. Admittedly, Trump has the ability to generate controversy.

However, even before taking the oath of office, he has encouraged the growth of American industry, vowed to impose a 35 percent protective tariff to preserve American jobs and reached out to political opponents in both major parties to promote national unity.

As a Republican, I struggled to come to grips with a Trump victory in the nomination process. However, in the end, I voted for Trump because I felt that, out of the two viable candidates, he was the one whose policies most closely resembled mine.

Although Trump was not my first choice, I am willing to give him a chance to prove my initial impressions wrong. Non-Trump voters do not need to suddenly support his presidency; I just hope that they will not let their negative perceptions of Trump as an individual affect those of Trump as a president.

The outcome of a national election gives a major boost to one party and deals a serious blow to the other. It paints a somewhat surprising picture of the contemporary political climate.

Republicans have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make some real change after securing both the House and Senate as well as the White House, so I am excited to see what it is that we can or cannot accomplish.

These outcomes, though, must not impede the way we as Americans live our daily lives. We must understand that, before we are Democrats or Republicans, we are all Americans who want the best for our country.

– Submitted by Ethan Pender on behalf of UGA College Republicans

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