Presidential Election 2016


Meredith Johns, News Editor

The presidential election largely defines 2016. January began with Gary Johnson, the libertarian candidate for president, announcing his candidacy. Several Democratic and Republican forums were held in Iowa and South Carolina. February and March saw several primaries and caucuses, as well as individuals withdraw their candidacy. April, May, and June saw Donald Trump take a lead over Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich. Over the same period, Secretary Hillary Clinton made gains over Senator Bernie Sanders.  July included Hillary Clinton becoming the official Democratic nominee and Donald Trump becoming the Republican nominee for president. August, September, and October had contentious debate, email investigations, and released recordings scandals. The camps that support each candidate will claim the relative importance of each event over the other: Trump supporters’ insist each congressional hearing and FBI investigation finding Hillary innocent was corrupt and Hillary supporters’ assert that joking about sexual assault is a deal-breaker for the presidency. Trump’s rhetoric and appeals to a previously untapped voting bloc led to an electoral victory over Secretary Clinton. This result shocked individuals, media, and the country at large. In addition to having a past of inflammatory statements, Trump is the first man elected president to not have any previous government or military experience. This shift, one away from the establishment and towards radical and reactionary figures, is seen throughout 2016. There is a decreasing importance placed on qualifications, on resumes, on all conventional standards of being a civic leader. This is a trend that exists throughout the political sphere, and beyond. Whether its crowd-sourcing money on Go Fund Me, ride-sharing on Uber, or getting news from social media, the public places less value on professionalism and more on dynamism. It was a cultural moment primed for the success of Donald Trump and downfall of Secretary Clinton. The effects of the election have included protests against President-Elect Trump and violence perpetrated in his name. This continued tension has impacted relationships ranging from the United States’ diplomacy with other countries to friendships within Kennesaw Mountain High School.