Americans around the country sighed a breath of mixed relief and grief on Nov. 9, in the wake of a disturbingly dirty, disgusting, disenchanting presidential election cycle.
From start to finish, the 2016 presidential election cycle was a roller coaster ride filled with highs and lows–though admittedly there were far more lows than highs–and regardless of which side Americans stood on, it is doubtful that anyone isn’t relieved the election is over.
As soon as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were locked in as the presumptive nominees at their respective parties’ conventions in July, the voters’ hopes for the nation’s prospects seemed to dwindle every day.
New information came out every week about one of the candidates in the election from a practically infinite mound of dirt accumulated over the years. Controversies piled up so fast that it became common for one or two scandals to overshadow one or more other scandals because–sadly–there is only so much scandal that can be covered in one newsday.
The media outlets, big and small, took advantage of the election’s shock-factor to get better ratings. According to marketwatch.com, Trump received almost $3 billion in free advertising, and Clinton received nearly $1.1 billion in free advertising–all from the constant media coverage of their campaigns. Admittedly, not all of the coverage was positive, but anybody who wanted to could have watched a full newsday of Clinton and Trump.
We did watch. We watched like passengers on a train that was headed in slow motion for a wreck. Nobody wanted to watch the nation head in the direction that it has been for the last year and a half, but we couldn’t pull ourselves away from watching.
On Nov. 8, people around the country went out, voted and waited anxiously to see who would end up victorious. By 2 a.m. that night, Clinton had conceded the presidential race to Trump after stunning losses in key states that pundits had assumed would vote for Clinton handed the race to Trump.
There have been many different reactions to how the election panned out: fear, hopelessness, shock and anger from supporters of Clinton; pride, new hope, celebration and some uncertainty about the future from supporters of Trump; apathy or general lack of interest or hopes from many Americans who couldn’t bring themselves to support either candidate.
Personally, I am glad to see this election cycle end. Watching it every day, I often wished that the country could just fast-forward to the end result of the election–whatever it would be. The election desensitized Americans on both sides of the aisle to lying, hate-speech and scandals.
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