Election Reflection

SHS Students Express their Views about Election Results

Cecily Fasanella, Managing Editor

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For many Scituate residents, 2017 marks a town-wide move-in day: librarians, book-lovers, and students can’t wait for their newly renovated space. Scituate’s Class of 2024  (current fifth-grade) dreams of roaming the halls of the new middle school. The fire department and police station eagerly await the opening of their new Safety Complex. But Scituate isn’t the only town with new things on the horizon. Our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., is preparing for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, and many people have something to say about it.

To hear the variety of perspectives on our new president, The Scituation spoke with SHS students to see how their feelings have developed since the election. As they heard the news, feelings ranged from fear to elation. “I cried myself to sleep and around three in the morning. I passed out from exhaustion,” said senior Carly Longman. In contrast, senior Andrew Ross enthusiastically stated, “I’ve been rooting for him all along.” Other students took a more neutral stance; senior William Montgomery said,  “I wasn’t really optimistic about either one of them coming to power because of their severe character flaws, but being an optimist, I’m hoping for the best.”

Some students have gone beyond sharing their thoughts by putting their feelings into action. In reaction to statements made by President-elect Trump and Vice-President-elect Pence, senior Phoebe Strobino knew she had to do something. “I sent money to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name so he gets a certificate thanking him for his donation,” she said. Strobino added,“I’m very much pro-choice, and a big supporter of Planned Parenthood and everything they do for women.”

With students harboring such diverse opinions, school clubs have provided an important outlet of expression. Senior Joseph Faria, a member of Scituate High School’s Young Republicans Club stated, “I guess I would like to, as a member of the Young Republicans Club, do something to just spread our message.” Scituate High School’s Young Democrats Club has also taken action post-election. Noticing distress among his peers, junior and President of the club Peyton Brown wanted to combat this. “I started young democrats because I saw an opportunity to make positive, substantial change,” he stated.  “I still believe that, despite the election. The results might not be favorable in my opinion, but I still have a voice to make sure my opinion is heard.” The Young Democrats are currently “starting a positivity campaign to boost student happiness and get them to feel accepted and welcome at SHS,” said Brown.

Other students, like senior Will Granatino, have joined their families as they take a stance. Will shared his family’s plans to go to Washington D.C. He stated, “On January 21st my mom, my mom’s sisters, my sisters and my cousin, and I are going on a March on Washington the day after [Trump’s] inauguration speech. I think it’s a cool experience where you get to see people coming together for something they believe in.”

If you are happy about the election results, then remember what made you fond of our 45th president. It is important to both hold our elected officials accountable for their promises, and recognize their wrongdoings — if they should occur. If you aren’t happy, don’t start filing your immigration forms just yet; instead, take action. Donate to causes you believe in, participate in political marches, sign petitions, volunteer for organizations that represent your interests, and contact your local representatives. Make sure your voice is heard.

Regardless of your feelings toward our next president, what’s most important is being respectful of others’ diverse opinions and staying informed. If you are unsure of where to find reliable news, try Allsides.com, a news site that gathers articles from conservative, centrist, and liberal points of view, to examine all sides of the issue and help make informed decisions. Reach out to your neighbors and beyond. Listen to what they value, what they want to see protected, what they hope for. Having informed discussions with members of your community, and members of other communities, can be an enriching experience.

Even 400 miles away from the action in our nation’s capital, Scituate residents are still very much a part of the legislative process. New legislation and policies can have a bigger impact on our community than we think: public schools may face changes, including potential underfunding, due to Trump’s proposed school choice policy. Governor Baker’s push for clean energy may be de-incentivized as Obama administration tax-credits are rolled back. 107,000 Massachusetts residents covered by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) may experience changes to their healthcare. Whether you are upset or celebratory about the election results, it is essential not to let this election discourage further ventures into the political sphere. Regardless of whether we specifically chose them, the people in office are obligated to listen to the diverse voices of all who makes themselves heard. Without participation, we cannot truly call our democracy ours. Change will not happen unless we demand it.    

 

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Election Reflection