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Presidential election affects diverse groups

Americans and people all over the world have watched the events of the 2016 presidential election unfold and the effect it has had on the nation, its citizens, its allies and its enemies. Citizens of Clarksville and students at APSU have stood up for what they believe in and debated the issues since the election began, and for many students hearing the same thing over again has become tiring.

“[It’s] exhausting. You hear it in person, at school, and then you get on Facebook to look at cats and oh, god, it’s there too. Then you go to your parents house to get fed and oh, god, it’s there too.” junior English major Ashley Kohel said.

The perspectives and viewpoints of minority demographics and people of other nations are sometimes overlooked; though all Americans are affected in many of the same ways by President Trump’s policies, there are moves Trump has made and promises to make that will affect minorities and people who do not live here, and these broader topics are sometimes overlooked.

“Both candidates on either side did not offer any solutions to the problems we already have,” sophomore computer science major Jose Torrez said. “This country was founded on immigration. If we want to make America great, we should be allowing self-sufficient immigration for those who want to better themselves instead of hindering that.”

President Trump signed executive orders to jumpstart construction of a wall to stand on the Mexican border on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and cut off refugees from seven countries on Friday, Jan. 27, according to the New York Times.

These orders were consistent with campaign promises he made to his supporters during the election.

“Let’s find a way to get undocumented immigrants here legally instead of just trying to keep them out,” senior Spanish and political science major Jay Alvarez said.

Education is a major issue that affects people of all races and demographics, but has the potential to affect some more than others. Trump chose Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, and many find this choice problematic.

“When you look at who Donald Trump has appointed to be in charge of education, you have someone who has only gone to private schools, someone who does not understand the public school system. Someone who has never had a student loan and doesn’t really know anyone who has a student loan.” director of the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center Marcelius Braxton said.

Another issue that directly affects many students and marginalized communities on campus is Trump’s healthcare reform.

“I would say health care would affect the African American community. It is already a problem now, but when you strip away Obamacare, it makes things harder, because many African-Americans can’t afford any type of insurance. I think that may be the biggest thing that will affect African-Americans in general,” junior psychology major Roderick Darvin said.

APSU students who do not live in the U.S. are strongly affected by the events they have observed this election, as well.

“The U.S. hasn’t had a direct conversation with Taiwan in over 30 years,” Taiwanese senior Physics major Wayne Fu said.

President Trump has called Taiwan’s president in the first official contact America has had with Taiwan since the country was officially recognized as a part of China in 1979, according to CNN.

The president has also ordered climate change policy be changed and all mention was erased from the White House websites the day of Trump’s inauguration.

“He doesn’t believe that climate change is based on human actions. When someone says that, I think he doesn’t care about the environment. He won’t make policies or laws like he cares about the environment,” said Austrian junior social work major Dominik Illmer.

Climate change will affect everywhere, but Taiwanese students noted that Taiwan would be one of the first places destroyed by the affects if climate change was not addressed.

“The U.S. is kind of like a model of the Earth. What the U.S. does, other countries will follow,” Taiwanese senior English major John Huang said.

Moving forward, there is a push for Americans to recover from the riots and mudslinging and unite for what they want and need.

“All over the world, the guy who stands at the front of the government is just a marionette. The people in the background are the real people who decide what’s going on. It was the same with Obama and it’s the same with Trump now.” Illmer said.

Students all over campus can take steps to educate themselves and be more prepared for the next election, but with voter suppression all demographics may not be represented in the election’s turnout.

To make sure everyone’s perspectives are included, some people are emphasizing how what is good for the entire country may not be in the majority’s direct point of view.

“Respect differences of opinion, but know there are certain things that do not equate to a difference of opinion. Things like racism, sexism, homophobia, et cetera are not something we should have to debate or discuss,” Braxton said.

Braxton said people “should discuss policy, and we should speak out against things that are wrong.”

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