Enthusiasm and Doubt

Fundy High Students react to President Elect Trump

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The (surprising) news that Donald Trump became the president-elect in the United States rang out on November 9th, at about 3 a.m. Eastern. Trump and Clinton’s numbers were close throughout the night, but, along with the shocking promises he’d made along the past year, it was broadcast across multiple forums that Trump had won.

From people cheering and rejoicing, to angry mobs of protesters storming America’s streets,   there are a lot of mixed feelings about this win, But what do New Brunswick’s students think about our neighbor to the south’s winner? With the question in hand, I talked about the win and perceived future for Canada and the U.S. from a dozen random Fundy High School students.

The responses were filled with skepticism, but also hope. A few students claimed that America overreacted about Trump running. On good terms, they feel Trump will keep money going into the country, judging by his massive businesses and billions of dollars to his name. They also felt that he won’t be able to go through with his more radical plans for the States, and are hoping he might mature as he goes through his term. That may be a little bit of a stretch, but here’s to hoping.

A mix of enthusiasm and doubt was prominent in most students as they told me how they felt. One was very hopeful for the future of America, stating that, though Trump isn’t the best choice, anybody has capabilities, so maybe things will turn round. Another thought the opposite. They said the 2016 US election was more of “amusement” than anything, as did others, as they told me they kicked back and laughed as the results came in. They said he’s just another bad president and won’t last long, and that in no time there will be another election.

The general consensus seemed that the vast majority of the students I spoke with felt rather sympathetic for the U.S. They said America was “stuck between a rock and a hard place”, so to speak. Trump was hitting on very touchy subjects, and that he shouldn’t try to upset people, referring to topics such as racism.  There is also some fear that he may impact Canadian/American trade relations and alliances, especially if he does build a wall, and if that wall comes to Canada.

A couple students claimed that Trump is feeding off of America’s situation and is fostering fear, and using it for hate. Another said to me, “Just ask yourself this: will he kill anyone?” I couldn’t help but chuckle at such an exaggeration. They said Trump’s win might shine a negative light on the States, such as what happened to Germany after the second World War. The entire country was labeled ‘evil’, when most citizens weren‘t.

Students agreed he will have a very hard time winning over Clinton supporters, as they are particularly disappointed with the election results. But some say this unexpected win may be good, though one thought that regardless of the winner, that Trump or Clinton would start a war at some point, with either Mexico or Russia. Select students said that though they were nervous for the future, were happy to see a Trump win. They said “Maybe he won’t really be all that bad,” and that the media is portraying the win too poorly.

Whatever happens is in the hands of the United States, its government, and its people. Will it be a great term or a poor one? Who knows. But one thing is for certain; it sure got a high school talking and thinking about current topics/issues. And that’s the real win.

Tanner Riche