BYU students express mixed feelings of America’s future

Evan Vucci
President-elect Donald Trump pumps his fist during an election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. BYU students have mixed feelings about the future of America under a Trump presidency. (Associated Press)

BYU students have differing opinions and hopes about America’s future in wake of this month’s presidential election results. Some are more hopeful and optimistic while others are afraid for an America governed by President-elect Donald Trump.

BYU family studies senior Christine Bartholio, who voted for Donald Trump, is hopeful for the future.

“I hope that he will keep his promise, cleaning out a lot of the corrupt people in the House and I kind of don’t hope he actually builds a wall,”  Bartholio said. “But I hope that he really pulls on the politicians that he has surrounding him to make good political decisions since he’s not very experienced in that matter.”

Bartholio also said she hopes Trump will change healthcare policies and implement pro-life legislation.

“That’s a really important issue to me personally,” Bartholio said. “My daughter was a preterm baby, so I really have a strong belief in the rights of unborn children.”

BYU political science junior Vanessa Oler voted for libertarian Gary Johnson in the election. Though Johnson did not win, Oler is optimistic about an America governed by Trump.

“I was pretty nervous about it until his acceptance speech,” Oler said. “I thought that was the first time we’ve ever seen Donald Trump actually be presidential. And it was nice. If we can hold him to that for the next four years I think we’ll be just fine.”

BYU sound design senior Alex Winder considers himself an independent and voted for Evan McMullin. Winder said while neither Trump nor Clinton was his preferred choice, he isn’t as upset or excited as some people. He also said he hopes Trump will keep some elements of Obamacare, improve education and implement some of his financial ideas into policy.

“My hope is that President Trump does a good job,” Winder said. “I hope that in four years we’re in a state where we can find someone who can continue to lead this country. If Trump is doing a good job, whether it’s him or someone new to do even better job, then we’re at a point where we can do that in four more years.”

BYU English senior Jenny Rollins is less optimistic about America’s future. Rollins, who voted for Hillary Clinton, said she felt terrified and disappointed after hearing Trump won the election.

“I’m scared that our country is heading in a direction where we’re showing minorities and immigrants that they’re not welcome,” Rollins said. “We’re showing the rest of the world that we don’t respect women — that we don’t really respect anybody who isn’t a white male conservative.”

Rollins also expressed fear for the future of her LGBTQ friends and concerns about what moral messages a Trump presidency could send about sexual assault. Although the election results were not what she would have liked, Rollins hopes for a brighter future.

“I’m hoping he’ll prove me wrong,” Rollins said. “I’m hoping that the country will shape up and he’ll live up to the standards that we expect him to live up to, but if not I’m not sure what I’m going to do.”

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