America’s Decision: UNL students react to the national election
Video and Story by Anthony Ainslie, NewsNetNebraska
After a historic election to decide the next President of the United States, some University of Nebraska-Lincoln students are looking back on how it all played out.
On Tuesday, November 8, The people of the United States took part in the national election to determine the country’s 45th president. Now, after almost a month since the votes had been tallied, the citizens are still feeling the aftermath of the results.
Americans voted from as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 9 p.m., according to Ballot Pedia, and they voted at polling places in their towns and cities, sent votes in by mail, or they voted online.
Republican Candidate Donald Trump was victorious after getting 290 of the 538 Electoral College votes and despite losing the popular vote to Democrat Candidate Hillary Clinton by about 2 million votes.
After the results came in, some were shocked at the final tally, while others had a sense the election was going to play out as it did.
One of the students surprised by the final results was Joel Spiehs. The fifth year student from Lincoln, Nebraska said he went to bed before the votes were tallied up but was then in shock when he checked the results Wednesday morning.
Fifth year student Talon O’Connor said he was as well. However, he also said he has hopes America will take forward steps under Trump’s leadership.
In this year’s election, about 41.9 percent of the eligible voters in the United States chose not to vote, according to the Washington Post. One of those non voters was junior advertising/public relations major Courtney Kitzman.
“I just wasn’t confident in who I wanted to be President,” the Omaha native said. “So I felt like I shouldn’t put my opinion out there.”
After the voting results were finalized and Trump was named the winner, multiple riots and protests in many urban areas across America broke out. According to The Sun, some of the worst riots broke out on the west coast including Portland and Eugene, Oregon as well as Oakland and San Francisco. There were even protests in Omaha where roadways were blocked. People were causing damage to cars and buildings as well as blocking off streets making it hard for other people to go about their business.
Most of the students said they were not shocked about whether or not riots were going to happen. Both Spiehs and junior Megan Carr said they felt there were going to be riots no matter who won the election.
“I wasn’t surprised by the riots happening so much, but more on how intense they got,” O’Connor said.
Kitzman said she was not impressed with how citizens reacted to the results. “It shows just how divided our country is right now.”
What can Trump bring to the Presidency?
The students also told about what they thought President-elect Trump could bring to the White House.
“Trump may have the drive to create and enforce certain policies other politicians would not,” O’Connor said. He said he thinks some policies could help local businesses stay afloat and help working and unemployed citizens with being able to contribute to their communities.
“I think he is a headstrong president,” Kitzman said. “Trump is someone who will not bend so easily to the desires of other countries.” She said it is those qualities that have her looking forward to Trump’s first term.
How will the first term go?
When asked about Trump’s first term, some of the students said the first few months were going to be sketchy and would take some time to get used to.
O’Connor said it’s going to be a rough start for Trump. He also added that Trump should work to getting assistance and support from other politicians as well as current U.S. President Barack Obama if he wants to be seen as a reasonable and reliable president.
Spiehs said one of the things he’d like to see happen during Trump’s presidency is having Obamacare discontinued. He said although it was good citizens were able to have good healthcare coverage, it was hurting small business and was more expensive to have for many citizens.
“If he can align himself with good people, he’ll be okay,” Carr said as she talked about her curiosity regarding who Trump will pick to serve in his cabinet.