Fear is the new black

How an election played on the hopes and fears of all

By Alex Woodliff, Staff Writer

It’s no secret that this election campaign has been probably, and hopefully, the vilest of any to come. Between accusations of one candidate showing that misogyny is alive and well, and the other possibly being as trustworthy as a used car salesman, it’s been like a bad sitcom. I admit I’ve watched the last few debates as if they were the latest horror movie, with the lights off and a fresh bowl of popcorn. Remember about this time last year when we could all kind of laugh and collectively groan about the early days of the election?  When a Trump presidency did not seem like some gag from the Simpsons?  I do, and if you are not disturbed by the current events of things on all sides, political and societal, then I have to ask you what rock you are living under and are they still accepting renter’s applications?

It is no secret that a mass majority of people liked two candidates: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Both appealed to two distinct demographics. With Sanders and his “Bernie or Bust” crowd there was a majority of college educated young adults and a group of racially diverse followers. In regard to Trump, one finds similar things, but in the older and less diverse population. Most of Trumps supports are Caucasians without any sort of college education, according to The Atlantic journalist Ron Brownstein. Brownstein is noted for calling college educated young adults in today’s society a “Republican fault-line.” Despite the saying that young adults do not vote, they are still a coveted demographic in which Sanders held much appeal. A group which Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is still shaky with.

Anyone who has paid attention to the media knows that things look grim. Social unrest, police violence, racism, sexism, terror and immigration issues are seemingly on every news channel. It is true that people on all sides have felt forgotten by both parties and it is those doubts that can lead to unrest, unrest that has been used by both sides. Both seemingly promised to deal with a “out with the old, in with the new in” approach. Both would have gone about it in ways completely different, though. Despite both wanting to change the system, their personal, moral and ethical beliefs greatly set them apart.

Bernie used the ideals of hope and inclusiveness. Appealing to the disenfranchised and angry, Sanders seemed almost like a comforting grandfather figure. The things he spoke on appealed to a group of people who felt that the world and the system was failing them. Then, there is the other half of the forgotten, fearful and frustrated that aligned with Trump. Trump’s use of issues of civil unrest, supposedly crumbling inner cities, terrorism and immigrants stealing jobs appealed to this other half. Both want change, but are going through very different ways of achieving that goal.

When did politics become more about the arguments then the issues?  I understand that we all have issues and concerns not only for ourselves but also for future generations that can be affected by policies set in place by our next Commander in Chief. We should not let our fears, doubts and hopes be used blindly against us. Fear does not offer a measured response, but a protracted one. Fear thinly veiled as hope can be used to misguide people to believe in almost anything unfortunately.

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