Life After the Election: What’s Next?

Written by Assane Drame; Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

2016 is a lot of things right?

It has been littered with strange, fascinating, interesting and disheartening news all at the same time; the average American might need some time to process and reflect upon the year once it’s (finally) over, whether it’s from a personal or collaborative perspective.

When we’re not discussing, David Bowie, Prince, Ryan Lochte, police brutality, Brock Turner, Muhammed Ali, Russians making Hydra impressions, Mars or even Harambe, we’re likely debating people (sometimes total strangers) over Hillary Rodham Clinton or Donald J. Trump.

These two candidates are some of the most polarizing figures in the 21st century and will likely stay on top of that list until further notice. And really it’s easy for us as people to get those two out of the paint.

For Trump, you’ll witness him poking fun at and shaming veterans who apparently aren’t “strong enough” to endure the struggles they go through on a mental or emotional level.

As for HRC, I’ll put it best this way: I would be considered a “super predator” to her back in the mid-90s, but come 2010 and beyond, I’d be her right hand dab master.

Those are a few of the many examples explaining why people don’t seem to have a positive opinion on either candidate. And like I said, it’s really easy to tell everyone else why we won’t support XYZ. However, that’s the issue people have in this situation.

We like to do things the easy way and tell everyone our opinions on what these two did or didn’t do without going into much depth on it. We argue for maybe days at a time and then it’s like, “Well damn, that got me nowhere.”

Consider this example: we all want to discuss Trump’s Access Hollywood tape fiasco. The discussion encourages everyone to weigh in, ranging from Bill Clinton to rappers. However, once we get to the hard part and try to discuss the overall scope of rape culture, which falls under a branch of sexism and patriarchy, some people out here either don’t want to hear it or lack the depth and understanding needed to have that conversation.

A lot of the issues that opposing sides bicker back and forth about are those that we, as people, probably should take the opportunity to look deeper into rather than be shallow by calling Trump dumb or HRC a liar. Once this election cycle is over, we need to initiate these conversations and keep them going. Otherwise, it will begin to seem like we only ever cared at all because two people we didn’t like put the spotlight on those issues for a limited time.

Some people are beginning to reflect upon that realization themselves, trying to reevaluate what they do and understand issues surrounding race, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, etc. It’s definitely not everyone just yet, and I feel like there are more of those who aren’t taking that time to think and reflect as I would like to think, simply because of the small sample size consisting of the people who are around me.  It leads me to assume that sample size is a reflection of what the majority of society thinks, and while it’s disappointing, it’s something that I might have to reevaluate myself.

This election can only end with the inauguration of one of these candidates come January. With any luck, we as a whole will begin to discuss and address the societal issues they each brought to the surface. These conversations have to stick in order for us to progress as a nation, regardless of who becomes Commander-in-Chief.  You most likely have your candidate in mind, and at this point, no one can convince you to change your mind. Walk out of that voting booth and ask yourself, “I voted, now what?”

Take that into consideration as you vote this Tuesday and reflect on what issues you don’t want the public to ignore any longer.


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