Editorial: Cries From The Election

Tzu Chao Huang

The 2016 election year has seen one of the most controversial and incendiary campaigns in U.S. history. This has not been helped by the fact that Donald Trump won the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote. While Hillary Clinton has conceded to Trump’s victory, many of her supporters have not, with many taking to the streets in protest, saying Trump is “not [their] President.”

It is not like we weren’t expecting this. Trump had repeatedly declared that the election would be “rigged” if he did not win. Had he lost, his supporters would have undoubtedly denied the outcome.

These protests make very little sense. The protesters profess to hate Trump, but they are doing exactly what Trump encouraged his supporters to do if he did not win. They are denying the outcome of the election, making them not so different from their counterparts.

This isn’t to say everyone should support Trump or let him do whatever he wants. Those who disagree with him can still make their opinions heard, but they should oppose his actions, not his office. Remember that the underlying principle of democracy is compromise, where voting is used to supplant violence.

Another principle of democracy, the social contract, is also in play. Simply put, the social contract is forfeiting some rights to protect others. In this context, people forfeited their personal choice for president for a collective choice for president. The combination of these two ideas means that the majority’s choice should be tolerated by the opposition.

While it is true Trump lost the popular vote and some argue that the Electoral College is flawed, keep in mind that the Electoral College has been in place for more than 200 years. During that time, four candidates have taken office without popular support, so this is not an unprecedented event. The most recent one of these was the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election. Any flaws the Electoral College may have is inconsequential; Trump won by the rules.

However, while you can’t object to his presidency; his policies, on the other hand, are fair game.

Moving forward from this election year, those who disagree with Trump’s opinions should continue to speak up, although the fact that Trump is our President will not change. Those who think the election system is broken should advocate for a change so that the next election can be to their liking. However, this election’s result is final.

Democracy is a form of compromise, so everyone should move forward accepting the result of our democratic election.