After Hillary Clinton’s heartbreaking loss to Donald Trump on Election Day, the University of Miami Young and College Democrats organization is looking to accept the outcome of the presidential election and move forward by re-energizing students on campus to support the Democratic party.
In an impromptu meeting held in a small room on the second floor of the UC, UM College Democrats President Michaela Stoudemire moderated a discussion among members of the organization. Members were emailed about an hour before the meeting was set to begin and they were encouraged to “share their thoughts and feelings” on the results of the election.
While discussing ways to improve the organization’s presence on campus, Stoudemire stressed the importance of outreach to community members from different backgrounds who feel fear.
“We really just have have to work with those people who are terrified right now,” she said. “Those are the people we want to motivate in our communities to make sure the change we want happens and that President Trump does not take us back 40, 50 years.”
A recurring thread of conversation was how initial confidence turned into denial when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the state of Florida by a 1.3 percent margin. One of the organization’s members, Rebecca Garcia, who spent every weekend interning with Clinton’s campaign, said she began experience a sense of numbness that would carry over to the day after the election.
“Disbelief, shock; not really even that, it’s just lack of emotion,” Garcia said.
Garcia, a daughter of immigrants, said she spent the majority of her day looking for answers by surfing the internet for polls that would explain what went wrong in the election. Despite record turnout and voter registration rates among Hispanics and Latinos, Garcia credits Trump’s victory in Florida to high voter turnout among whites, the majority demographic in the United States.
“The fact that they turned out to vote in such large quantities trumped – literally trumped – the minority vote,” she said. “The power of the working class was the factor that elected Trump and even so, you have some minority groups that did vote for Trump such as women… I think that internally reflects suppression – women supporting a presidential candidate that has explicitly bragged about sexual assault.”
Clinton lost the race for the White House despite narrowly winning the popular vote nationwide leaving an estimated 59 million voters without their preferred candidate as president. Stoudemire said Clinton’s supporters should not get discouraged, but should instead work toward winning back control of Congress and the White House in 2020.
“Don’t give up, we survived Nixon. Don’t give up, we survived Reagan,” she said. “We survived some pretty tough years and I think we’ll be OK. We just have to come back strong in 2020 and ready to take back the White House.”