I have tests to write and papers to grade, and I can’t think about anything except what happened yesterday. I had always believed that if you can’t convince other people you’re right, you may as well be wrong–which makes it less pleasant to explain how two-thirds of voters thought Trump was unfit to be president, yet the majority of voters selected him anyway.

Van Jones may be correct about Trump winning because of “white-lash.” When I look at people in my demographic in Mississippi, it’s hard to find many that vote blue for anything. If Jones is on point, then the Democratic Party has to make a difficult choice: move closer to the middle to court white moderates at the risk of alienating its minority base, or wait for the minority to become the majority.

Elections have been won and lost on racial lines in Mississippi since I moved here in 1992. There are very, very few white Democrats; as a result, state leaders within the party push agendas favorable to the sensibilities of African-American legislators. This is legitimate, on the one hand, because those legislators serve minority districts that have particular needs. But in the bigger picture, Democrats suffer statewide because of the perception that the party has ignored the concerns of working class whites, who do not believe that what’s good for African-American voters is also good for them. The last Democratic challenger for governor was an African-American truck driver who didn’t even vote in the primary because he thought he couldn’t win. (He beat a white, female lawyer who actively campaigned in the primary, but wasn’t embraced by African-Americans.)  Ballots cast in the state during that general election fell almost exclusively down racial lines; even though Mississippi has a large percentage of African Americans, it wasn’t enough to overcome the white vote.

If Mississippi is an example, then it seems to me that Democrats have to do a better job of appealing to white moderates–or play a long, risky waiting game.

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25 Responses to Surprise

  1. Landry Filce says:

    I personally am heavily affected by Clinton’s loss. At first, it didn’t hit me that Trump could actually win. Last night, as I watched state after state turn red, I felt as though the entire country was against me. I feel unsafe after Trump’s win, and I doubt I will be publically open about my sexuality for a long time. Holding hands with a girl in public is out of the question unless I want to risk being shot by self-righteous Trump supporters who see themselves as vigilante police. Following Brexit, violent hate crimes spiked, and I am terrified that the same will happen to America.
    Third party voters especially irk me at the moment, because they knew their candidate would not win, but voted for them anyway for “moral reasons”. What I don’t think most of these voters understand is that, since the majority of them lean towards the liberal end of the spectrum, they are splitting the democratic vote and contributing to a Trump victory.
    I also blame the media for giving Trump so much free airtime and refusing to consider him as an actual threat. Clinton may not be perfect, but at least the idea of a Clinton presidency doesn’t leave me fearing for my & many of my friends’ lives.

  2. Alana Andrus says:

    Today, it feels as though opinions cannot be shared without being belittled. I know, for myself at least, it has been extremely hard to share the victory of the Republican party with others I know. I generally say I am excited, and there is a feeling of anger resonating from the other person.
    One big issue I know is being considered is racism. I cannot personally remember any true acts of racism being performed by Mr. Trump during the race. I heard some say it is a rural issue…but growing up in a rural area…I can confidently say it isn’t so. Looking at the Mississippi county map also shows racism in rural areas is hardly the case as the Mississippi Delta is coated in blue. Also looking in Texas, some rural areas are doused in blue. The same goes for some of the Midwest states who had blue shining in the more rural areas of the state. I understand it can be easily taken as he is a racist because he wants to stop illegal immigration, but…I see it as something he is trying to fix in the nation. Granted, immigration is vital to our economy, but it should be legalized and enforced.
    I also see the fear of gay rights, but I can say, not many people are going to shoot a gay person. If they do, they are hateful, and it has nothing to do with our current president. It would happen either way. People are hateful, and that is something that shouldn’t be tolerated by anybody but is felt globally. I, personally, do not agree with some beliefs, but I surely would not hate or try to kill anyone who is part of the LGBTQ community. I know some very kind people in that community, and I would only want the best for them. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Pence supports the shock therapy and concentration camps mentioned. In many of the news reports I have heard…there has been no mention of such issues. If I am wrong, I apologize.
    To me, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and sharing opinions is dandy as long as others are respectful of such beliefs. Instead of ragging on a Trump supporter, we should try to have more civil discussions about politics without making others feel as though they can’t share their opinions. It may have been an election no one was expecting, but we should respect the results. As a nation, we are the ones who can make the biggest difference. The difference cannot necessarily be made through hateful comments or violence or even fear. We, as a UNITED nation, should stand in confidence in what we believe but also respect the beliefs of others.

    • Brianna Ladnier says:

      Hey Alana!

      Before I respond, I want to say something. Yes, I cannot and will not agree with your opinions. I cannot respect some of your opinions, but that does not mean that I cannot respect you as a person. Now that that is out of the way, let me respond.

      1. There are statistical anomalies, as with any statistics. However, if we analyze the facts given to us in the past few decades, It is quite obvious that racism in much more prevalent in rural areas.

      This is an example of the percentage of rural people believing that blacks are oppressed in certain categories is much lower than that of urban people:

      In the words of an anynomous yahoo answers blogger:
      “It’s generally worse in rural areas because there’s less minorities. Its easy to hate and assume the worst of people from a distance. If you are unfamiliar with a certain race of people, all you have to go on is the negative things you’ve heard, or television/media portrays. When you ACTUALLY get to know people of that race, you soon realize that they aren’t much different than you, and that they have good and bad people in every race. That’s why there is generally less racism in large cities and more diverse areas. Prime example is my state of Louisiana. When northerners think of Louisiana, they think of a bunch of backwards, ignorant racists red-necks, and in the rural areas, THATS ACCURATE. But I’m from New Orleans, and its not like that there at all, neither is Baton Rouge. That’s because different racists of people are forced to interact with each other, so even of you’re from a smaller, less diverse rural area, this exposure challenges your negative views of different people. ”

      2. Alright, I personally cannot accept the statement of Donald Trump not having an honest racial bias. Although his voter demographic should’ve previously indicated this to you, I’ll be happy to add more to the list.

      -Donald Trump has his company sued not once, but twice for refusing to rent to people of color, especially black Americans.
      -Donald Trump using small offenses in order to kick African American dealers out of casinos (remind you of anything? Jim Crow Laws perhaps?)
      -Donald Trump reneging on commitments to hire African Americans once he found out their race.
      -Donald Trump refused to denounce being sponsored by the KKK
      -Donald Trump saying that our first black president isn’t American
      -Donald Trump’s over-classification and turning of racial groups into monoliths.
      -Donald Trump’s statement after watching a Black Lives Matter Protester chanting “Black Lives Matter”
      “Maybe [the protester] should have been roughed up,” he mused. “It was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”

      I believe that this is plenty of evidence here to conclude that Donald Trump is in fact a racist.

      3. Mike Pence is against gay rights.

      “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” (Fancy way of saying he is pro-conversion therapy)

      Also on the website, Pence wrote: “Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.” And “Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexual’s [sic] as a ‘discreet [sic] and insular minority’ entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities.”

      In case you were wondering what conversion therapy is like. here is a first hand account…

      “He was initially told he had AIDS and that he was the only gay person left in the country – because the government had killed all the rest of them and would come after him too if they found out he was alive.
      Freezing ice cubes were placed in his hands while he was shown pictures of men hugging – so that he would associate pain with intimacy between men.
      He was then repeatedly burned when shown similar images but untouched when images of men and women together were shown.
      Eventually, he was subjected to what was called the ‘Month of Hell’. Tiny needles were stuck into his small fingers and he was electrocuted repeatedly while shown explicit pictures of men.
      After being excommunicated by his family almost a decade later, Samuel has spoken about the ordeal he suffered as a child at the hands of his Southern Baptist community.”

  3. Jackson Sparkman says:

    How can Democrats gain traction in Mississippi. People get educated, and see a better life for themselves in other states, and leave. Their is absolutely no reason for educated black, gay, and young people (who usually vote democrat) to stay in a state controlled by Republicans who look towards the Confederate flag with pride.
    Mississippians have to take a stand and stay in our state. We have to stop getting educated, and leaving. We’re not helping change anything by leaving a state that desperately needs us to change it.

  4. Kamal Bhalla says:

    Honestly, the debate last night was a shock to many and a hurtful for that matter. While people are saying that they did not see that that Donald Trump was “racist”, then I cannot believe that they ever watched one of his campaign rallies. I personally thought that Hilary Clinton would have been a better choice for the future of America, since she at least ACTED like she knew what she was doing, compared to Donald Trump. I sincerely hope that the US will be safe from any kind of bad interactions with anyone. People outside of our nation, and within. Will our country ever be in peace? Surely not now with the new president.

  5. P. Patel says:

    The elections outcome was extremely surprising. The reason for that is many people bashed Donald J. Trump during this election, but Trump won the majority of votes.Also, people need to stop talking bad about him because he is elected our future president of the United States, and we as citizens should give him some respect.
    People are democratic and republican based on what they think is wrong and right. Many people in Mississippi have not seen the world beyond their county or their state which makes those people believe others opinions as theirs. People need to introspect and need to consider what they truly belief without the influence of others.

  6. Jasmine Topps says:

    First off, no comment on Mississippi and its once again Republican vote. Secondly, I have nothing nice to say about the results of this election, so I will not say anything at all. In short, Mississippi is conservative, close-minded, and stuck in its ways and I don’t have a single solution to the problem of Democrats always getting outvoted and failing to win over votes of the white moderates. Therefore, I will stick to my solution of getting out of a state where not only my voice isn’t heard, but also from being around people that either openly, or behind closed doors, hate me and don’t respect my race like I chose to be who I am. Of course, Jack just said running from the problem only makes Mississippi worse, but me as one single future voter will not better nor hinder the side that Mississippi is on. This state is too one-sided and hateful for me and I believe it is a waste of time for any Democrat to stick around and plead with the people on the fence of politics when half of the time those very people don’t respect you. Politics are impossible to discuss in a civil manner and I believe maybe we should just settle and play the waiting game on whatever this state that is stuck in the dark ages decides to do. Of course, I will let the Democrats wait by themselves I’m not sticking around to see what happens, so I’m sorry Mississippi can’t be fixed.
    P.S. I agree the result of this election was nothing, but white lash and it is what it is. I’m not wrong when it’s the simple truth.

  7. Campbell Rolph says:

    I completely agree that the racial lines in Mississippi are (almost to a ridiculous extent) through our votes. You can look at any county-by-county map of whether Hillary or Donald won, and you would see that, in Mississippi, the western, delta region of the state was almost entirely blue, but, as you move more eastern into the lower-minority and higher-income (maybe those two things are related, just maybe) counties, you see lots of red. The action that the MS Dem. Party can take is highly limited though, as the majority of these problems is simply that white people are very likely to vote Republican. Over time, this segregation of parties may become even more evident, to the point that even “swing states” will become predictable simply based on demographics. It’s a shame that our political system is set up to nonverbally encourage this, but we can’t easily change it.

  8. Shuchi Patel says:

    I never would have thought that Trump would win the election, either. I believe that one of the reasons why Trump won is because most Americans do not want a female representing the country. Another reason why is that not many millennials voted. I also presume that Trump will ruin relationships with our current allies simply because of his interactions with people. So for the next four years (and possibly another four), we are going to have a man who bullies others as a president. I am worried about the children who look up to him will do in the future; I do not believe putting someone down because they are different is right.

    • P. Patel says:

      I agree with you on the belief that most of the people that voted for Trump voted for him because they did not want a female running our country. On top of that a lot of people did not vote because they did not like any of the candidates. Those people that did not vote are going to do the most criticizing of the president. However, I do not think they have the right to do that because they did not want to vote for anyone then they should not have the right to criticize.

  9. Devon M says:

    I was surprised about how the election turned out. Obviously, this election was unlike any other we have seen in history. To me, it was very amusing to watch and I was glad that I could witness this time in history. I personally believe that the reason Trump won was because people were debating pretty much on not who was the better candidate, but who was the least awful. Clearly, everyone has their ups and their downs, but some people have taken Trump winning way out of proportion. Some people in schools were refusing to do their work because of the election, and some schools were even cancelled because of the event, which is plain ignorant. Also, (I heard this happened at my home school) people were flipping off others in the hallway and cursing them out and calling them bad names just because they supported Trump. I believe that people can have feelings about something, and they can be as strong as the person makes them, but they do not have the right to condescend the other party for thinking a different way. I think that many people should take other’s people’s thoughts with a grain of salt. Have a mindset like : If they like who I like, good we can talk about them… If they don’t like who I like, I will respect that and not argue with them until a fight erupts.

  10. Vera L. Taire says:

    The amount of hatred our small community has for their country and state has always surprised me. The resistance to the Merica Monday movement earlier this year, the distaste for our flag, the comments about moving away from the USA and Mississippi- it baffles me how someone can be so unhappy with the place in which they live. I was raised to support the leadership, and to present a united front to the rest of the world. It disgusts me how hateful my liberal leaning friends have been during this election cycle. Whether they like it or not, we have a president. We need to support him. He may not be who you were hoping for, and he may not support the issues you hold stakes in, but that is no excuse for the embarrassing conduct of our people following his victory. The world is watching us, and we are acting like spoiled children having a meltdown in a WalMart aisle.

    It’s a luxury to care about gay rights, abortion laws, and the environment. A luxury. There are college educated, masters-holding, job-holding people struggling to survive in the current economy. There are students at MSMS on fee waivers when their parents have ‘decent’ jobs. They worry about having enough food at the end of the month, heat for their homes in the winter, and their parents having a working vehicle to get to their jobs. Those are the people feeling threatened. Not the perfect little white girls, who use their sexuality to play at suffering.

    Trump is something different. Politicians have done nothing for the impoverished. Let’s see what he can do.

    • P. Patel says:

      I agree with you that we need to give Trump a chance and see what changes he will bring. Also, more than half the nation has voted for him, so people need to stop complaining about what he is going to do. Hopefully, the nation will stick together and not fall apart during his presidency.

  11. Liam McDougal says:

    I have always aligned myself with rather liberal views- I wholeheartedly supported Bernie Sanders in his endeavors to reach the office until he dropped out, and firmly believe that if he was put through as the DNC’s Presidential nominee he would have steamrolled Trump as Hillary was predicted to.

    Many anti-Trump people/pro-Hillary people make Trump’s supporters out to be bigots, but I believe that they are the actual bigots. The definition of a bigot is someone who is intolerant towards those who hold different beliefs than them. Throughout the entire campaign, Trump and his supporters have been called various slanderous names; they have been called a basket of deplorables, racists, sexists, misogynists, and much more. I have been removed and blocked by some of my friends on various social media outlets just because I voiced my support for Trump, or rather my entire lack thereof for Hillary. I never said anything about their choice to align themselves with the candidate, even if I may have not agreed, yet they cut off their communication from me simply because of my belief, and -I’m- the bigot. That seems fair.

    I entirely understand the fears that people have regarding President-elect Trump. He’s got a loud mouth and says what he wants to say. However, I believe that people, and the media, are selective about what they decide to look at for a candidate. Everyone is so eager to claim that Trump is going to abolish rights for LGBT people, yet refuse to listen as he has repeatedly voiced that he will be “a friend, an ally, and an advocate” for the LGBT community. (The entire bit about Pence endorsing conversion camps is undeniably true and frightening, however.)

    To the people rioting and claiming that Trump isn’t their president, you’ve all got two options: accept the fact that he /is/ your president, or find somewhere else where he isn’t your president. Trump won the election, like it or not, and will be in office for at least the next four years. It’s certainly unprecedented, for better or for worse, to have someone with little political experience in the most politically powerful position on the face of the Earth. After assuming the position of President-elect, we have already started to see Trump change/tone his ideas down a bit. He’s agreed that some parts of the Mexican border can be fenced off, rather than walled off. He’s (hopefully) listening to his advisers telling him, “hey, the environment is important and so is EPA. Climate change is totally real, dude.”

    The world didn’t end on last Wednesday night, and I think we all should just hold on and wait for him to actually become president before we start freaking out.

  12. Kendall Wells says:

    The results of this election have upset many citizens. It’s ironic that the election predictions were so wrong compared to the results. It’s up to the citizens of Mississippi to change the leaders of our state. If we want more democrat political leaders, all the educated democrats need to quit leaving the state and stay back and help. If enough democratic leaders stayed, one day they could beat out the conservative majority.

  13. Briana Johnston says:

    Even though I, as well as many, expected Hillary Clinton to become our next President, Donald Trump pulled out a surprising, and kinda scary, win. I don’t know how this will effect the country in the upcoming years, but some of Donald Trump and his VP’s views have me concerned for all the progress this country has made. The thought that the laws enabling gay marriage and women’s rights could be in jeopardy (unlikely, but possible) is quite terrifying. But even more terrifying than that is that our country will be run by a “bigoted, racist, and sexist” man. How does that reflect us as a country? Will we look like a joke to the other countries? Both candidates had major downfalls which were very publicly expressed, and this election became about who did America hate the least.

  14. Steven says:

    In my opinion, the white moderate vote wasn’t exactly a priority of the Democratic party (Sorry Dr. E). The progressive base has disenfranchised in multiple ways as can be seen by all the events that took place this election. The DNC primary rig scandal coupled with their ridiculous attempt to project the blame on the Russian government made many liberals lose trust in the party. After Clinton’s “win”, many Bernie or Bust voters dropped the party completely. People do not realize that many independents who would have stayed home on voting day showed up in record numbers to support Sanders. Many Democrats were already tired of the corrupt DNC headed by the Queen of Hell herself, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. As a radical socialist, I believe that the party should have pandered to the left instead of trying to appease moderates. That sort of politics was categorized by early times such as Bill Clinton’s , and that method obviously did not work with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Thanks to the dishonest, war hawkish, neoliberals in the Democratic Party shoving a scandal-ridden, widely disliked, establishment puppet of Hillary Clinton down the liberals’ throats, angry voters sided with Trump at the last moment. Democrats have to quit whining that third-party voters cost Clinton the election and look to their own candidates’ flaws. Much like Al Gore losing to Bush in 2000, Clinton ran an uninteresting, unmotivational, and stereotypical political campaign that branded her a vulnerable and weak candidate, costing her the election.

  15. Kayla Patel says:

    It is very shocking on what happened with this election. Many citizens were very upset with this outcome, yet many didn’t vote or truly vote for who they thought would make the better president. Rather, they voted for the person they disliked the least.

  16. Aurelia Caine says:

    I don’t really have an opinion when it comes to politics. I did notice that the Delta (where I’m from) voted all blue mostly. If I’m not mistaken, Lowndes County voted red. This observation made me think about my surroundings and how my environments differ. When it comes to this, I think Democrats sort of give up because of the thought that what they think won’t matter. Similar to how, many African-Americans did not vote because they didn’t want neither of the candidates. Most figured their vote didn’t count so why even bother. Considering that most of them are Democrats, they need to do a better job!

  17. Amber Jackson says:

    Even though there is a large percentage of African-Americans in Mississippi, most of them reside in the same area. (The intercity, the delta, etc.)It is not evenly spread out across the state. The places where there is a higher concentration of Blacks voted Blue. You can see the majority play out in those counties. The reason the black vote never wins isn’t just because blacks aren’t voting (which some still aren’t). It’s because there are more country towns and counties in Mississippi with low populations that get a decent percentage of the vote by making their county red. Also, I feel if there was a state where there would be a higher concentration of Black Republicans, it would be Mississippi. Not to say that this is bad, but there is definitely way more than it seems when you look at why Mississippi is a Republican state. It’s not just the black vote, race, or minority.

  18. Mariana Strawn says:

    This election came as a surprise for everyone. Perhaps it was the media distorting the truth, perhaps it was the late decisions of voters, or perhaps it was that voters chose the candidate that they distrusted the least. Either way, the result was the same. Our next president will be Donald J. Trump. In terms of Mississippi, it came as a surprise to none that the state was bright red on the polls. We are a state that tends to support the republican candidate, however, a large percentage of us are not republican. Perhaps it is that those of us who are democrat do not vote or maybe we are persuaded to vote republican by those around us (more unlikely). To counteract the first statement we must first campaign for voter registration and then press for all voters to go to the polls. But didn’t we do that this election? Did it not work? It might be true that in order to accomplish this we will need longer than one campaign season, and with more time it can be done. In terms of Democrats in Mississippi catering to whites, this may not work because the majority of whites who vote republican presumably do this simply because the candidate is republican or because they agree with the republican values. It is not likely to counteract the first, and near impossible to counteract the second. If the Democratic ideals resonate more with the African American community rather than the white community, Democrats should not simply change their message to suite a victory and secure a government position. Either way, we must now return to the present to await the transition of presidents. Whether or not the new president will be successful in reuniting our nation is yet to be determined, but we must look forward with hopeful eyes and help one another in the years to come.

  19. Lydia Holley says:

    It is upsetting how we were stuck with these candidates; however, it is also upsetting that many citizens did not vote. They believed their votes would not count, but in the end they may have helped. Many people are associating the hate crimes to Donald Trump being selected, but I believe it has more to do with the fact that people did not get their way. Many people need to just grow up and learn that they cannot have everything they want in life.

  20. Samuel Patterson says:

    Interestingly, Mississippi is beginning to tip towards the left with every election. I personally believe that Mississippi and Louisiana can become more of a toss up state if democrats actually made an attempt to appeal to suburban whites and farmers. Democrats should advocate more subsidies for small farmers and economic reform for suburban whites. Furthermore, democrats HAVE to find a way to motivate minorities to get out and vote. That would shake up the Republican wall in the south.

  21. Jagger Riggle says:

    Many people just vote democrat just because they are democrats. The same goes for republicans. If people would stop voting their party, and vote who they think is best instead, then elections would be a lot better suited to the likes of the people. Still, the democrats must do a better job at trying to appeal to white moderates, and even some slight republicans too, to win. They also must try to get more people to vote and to believe that their vote matters. The best thing that the country can do is to nominate candidates as candidates, not party members, and to get rid of the electoral system. These two things will better represent the people.

  22. Sarah Swiderski says:

    This election definitely came as a shock, and I agree that the best hope for Democrats is to compromise with their Republican counterparts. Of course, I can’t generalize but Trump’s leadership until his term actually begins, but perhaps the Democratic minority in the Senate could push the envelope more later on.

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