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USF on Politics: Dying Tensions and Undying Passions


   The 2016 presidential election has been one for the books.  This election tore people apart, divided party lines and touched on various heated issues making for an interesting outcome. Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States by wining 290 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232.

   In this election, the millennials have had a major impact on votes.  University of South Florida students in particular were constantly bombarded with voter registration deadlines and visits from both candidates to the Tampa campus.  In the state of Florida, Clinton won the majority of the votes in college towns, including Tampa.

   In the mock election held on campus a few weeks prior to Election Day, half of USF students and faculty voted for Clinton while roughly 20 percent of votes went to Trump and Gary Johnson, third party Candidate.

   Social media has played an important role in the 2016 election unlike prior election cycles. On social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, the election could be found in trending hashtags and heated Facebook comments.  Bulls Politics depicts this relationship between social media, politics, and students. This private Facebook group was created with the intentions of giving Bulls a free space to speak about their political views freely.

   After the election, various topics were trending and were being discussed in the Bulls Politics group.  While Trump supporters were satisfied in the results that shocked the world, Clinton supporters were frustrated with the results.  Jasmine Mattear is an active member in the Bulls Politics group and expressed concerns about Trump becoming the next president.

  “I feel deeply saddened about the Trump win,” Mattear said. “It’s really telling about the people of this country that voted for him and what kind of a nation we really are if people can overlook the targeted hatred and bigotry of the person that is supposed to represent our country.”

  Protests have been sparked nationwide in result to the election results.  In major cities such as Los Angeles and New York City, protestors are making their voices heard with the hopes of making an impact on society.

  “I love the fact that people are protesting and letting it be known that they are not happy and that Donald Trump will recognize the American people and not just a certain group of people,” Mattear said about the protests.

   While some support the protests, conservative voters feel they are creating an even great wedge between political parties. The Electoral College has also been discussed by liberals, many saying it is non-democratic that Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election because of electoral votes.  Steven Gioiosa shared his opinion on the group page regarding the trending topics involving the election.

  “People say the democratic system failed because Clinton won the popular vote, but were fine with the democratic system being rigged in the primaries,” Gioiosa said. “Trump’s 100 day plan doesn’t look too bad, I think he’s going to be a lot more democratic of a president than most people think.”

The Bulls Politics group has been discussing politics in a civil manner and using various resources to back their opinions. Lucas Cook, a member of Bulls Politics, discussed how he never supported Trump initially but the media’s bias coverage of him was apparent.

   “I read up on a lot of his policies, and although some were pretty dumb, a lot of others I agreed with,” Cook said.  “The stuff I disagreed with, Trump’s gone back on.”

  With the political tensions dying and protests still occurring on a large scale, the Bulls Politics’s members seem to unanimously think the nation needs to unite. After enduring a heated election season, Mattear said she is hopeful for coming years and the well-being of the country.

  “In the long run though we have to accept Donald Trump as the president and stay on him consistently to make sure that the needs of the people are met,” Mattear said.













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