Two students weigh in on presidential inauguration

Two students weigh in on presidential inauguration

photo by Ruthie Martin

On Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will take the office of the President of the United States. Students on Lee University's campus have mixed views on the future.  

For many, the announcement that Trump would become president came as a shock, given that polling data was showing that support leaned much further in Hillary Clinton's direction.  

Miguel La Vacca, senior public relation major at Lee, wants to be a pollster.  

"Polling tends to be tricky. You technically can't breathe down someone's neck and tell them they have to tell 100 percent of the truth. People weren't being 100% transparent when doing these poll," said La Vacca, explaining why many pre-election polls were inaccurate. 

La Vacca said that there are errors that naturally go into survey research. With the negativity associated with a candidate like Trump, La Vacca said the inconsistencies were exacerbated.  

Trump's behavior after being sworn in is of interest to La Vacca. 

"He can continue being the way he has been, or he can change. He's in the honeymoon phase right now. He's won. Everything he's said up until now is 'validated,' right? Because he won. 'I may have said all these contentious things, but I won, which means the country agrees with me,'" said La Vacca. 

He said he does not think Trump will pivot.  

"We see that in the things he's still tweeting, the people he's appointing to his Cabinet, like Steve Bannon for example. You see him backtracking on being an anti-establishment politician when he's bringing on board all these people that are very much establishment," said La Vacca.  

While La Vacca thinks protesting is reasonable, he thinks trying to find loopholes to make Trump's claim to the presidency illegitimate is not.  

"I'm a progressive. We have a system that is not going to change. I think that the Electoral College does work, and I would love to say that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and therefore she should have been President. That's not the way the world works," said La Vacca. 

According to La Vacca, there has to be a certain level of pragmatism.  

"Democrats are at a major disadvantage. We don't have the luxury of messing up anymore. From this point forward, we have to be very strategic about how we act," he said. 

Matthew Bell, a former rugby player at Lee, knew Trump would be the Republican nominee early on. 

"From the beginning it was kind of everyone knew it would be Hillary vs Trump. I never thought that he was a mean racist bigot. I knew that's what he had to do to get publicity," said Bell. 

Bell expressed hope that Hillary supporters would still respect the results of the election.

"You have to respect the president, whoever it is. And [if Clinton won], sure I wouldn't like it, but I was ready to face the next four to eight years, and I had no idea she wasn't going to win. I was overjoyed by the fact that Trump did win, for our veterans," said Bell. 

Bell said he feels Trump unified both of the parties, as far as voters go. 

"I think it's because he's not necessarily a Republican. He had to choose one side, so that was the platform he had to run on," Bell said.  

Bell said that he believes Trump's business background will be good from an economic standpoint for the country.   

"I voted for Donald Trump. Just because I did that doesn't mean I'm going to stick my tongue out and be a jerk about it. Coming from a sports background, I've always been taught that good sportsmanship and being a team player is that you need to do," said Bell. "I can't say that if Hillary had won that Trump supporters wouldn’t be just as upset. I get it. But if we don't work together, it will not solve anything. Fight through the next four to eight years." 

La Vacca agrees with the idea that for progress, support must come from both sides of the aisle.   

"I don't think being a progressive and a moderate are mutually exclusive. I look at progressivism through the lens of John F. Kennedy, who said, 'Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.' It's about us together not us apart. That is progressivism, at least from my perspective," La Vacca said.  

Bell said that Trump needs the people's help now. 

"If it weren't for the people he wouldn’t be there. I love Mike Pence, he's a good Christian guy. I think that's [Trump's] balance. I think we're going to take a turn for the better. That's my hope," Bell said. 

"It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES - THE WORK BEGINS!" Trump wrote on his Twitter this morning. 

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