Why the 2016 Presidential Election Surprised Us All

The Huffington Post predicted the 2016 Presidential election to go to Hillary Clinton by a 98 percent landslide. CNN’s final political prediction resulted with Clinton’s odds stacked up at 91 percent. The New York Times posted Hillary to win with an 85 percent lead over Donald Trump. And yet, here we are approximately four days away from President Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration day. The question stands: how did three of America’s top news networks and reporting sites get what was supposed to be the reflection of the American people completely backwards? The answer is simple.

Believe it or not, there is a surprising anomaly called the ‘silent Trump supporter’. I know, this almost appears to be a blatant oxymoron. Silent is the last adjective to be used in anything associated with Donald Trump, but his supporters who desire to see a hopeful future for America have stood firm in their belief and support while, for some reason, remaining quiet and hidden. It is clear that many American refused to voice their private endorsement for Donald Trump. Were they embarrassed? Ashamed? Many liberals claim they should be if they would support the man who, according to the Huffington Post, is a ‘danger to the world’.

It is neither that Trump’s supporters are embarrassed or ashamed of their presidential pick, but that they are politically shy, self-conscious, or even afraid. This is not because they have chosen Donald Trump to represent them, but because they see many have outwardly chosen for him not to represent them. In this Millennial Generation the loudest political party supporters around tend to be liberal Clinton or socialist Sanders followers. They make it very clear that it is not ‘cool’ to be a proponent for Donald Trump. It’s not cool to have a hat that reads ‘Make America Great Again’. It’s not cool to believe in the rights of the unborn baby. And it’s definitely not cool to not support gay marriage. As a college student, I’ve been on the receiving end of dislike and anger simply due to my political beliefs. This isn’t only from passionate students but also professors, who show their disapproval and disfavor- just ask the students of former University of Missouri Professor, Melissa Click.

Silent Trump supporters don’t want to be antagonized for their political beliefs. They don’t want to be labeled as outcasts. They don’t want to be beaten up and have their car stolen as a 50-year-old man in Chicago was after being accused of voting for Donald Trump. High school students, college students, and those working their way up in their career mainly just want to be accepted. Whether the men and women who voted for the Republican Presidential nominee had lied or distanced themselves from political associations, many had omitted their true beliefs, and it’s clear that pollsters and news reporters had missed it by a long shot.

Hillary Clinton has given Trump advocates much reason to hide their opinions after her speech in New York City this past September- “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”

After this slamming insult to those with differing beliefs, this ‘silent Trump supporter’ anomaly doesn’t seem too far-fetched.

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