Wow. I have lived through Bush and Obama administrations. As a high school student, I can tell you relatively little of what I remember from their elections, though. The Presidential Election of 2016 truly marks the first election that I followed from start to finish; it will be the first presidential campaign that I remember in my life.
I spent my Tuesday night neglecting my homework. At some points in the night, I worried about slipping while jumping in excitement on my kitchen tile in socks. At other points in the night, I worried about addition in terms of the electoral college. During commercial breaks of news coverage, I would check my texts and social media. While I respect everyone’s beliefs on this recent election, I realized that my research from this year has given me a stronger understanding of politics within America. After each state was called, there was a tweet questioning why it went blue or red. I understand that I have only completed half a semester of research. However, during Election Night commercials, I felt as if I was able to answer why pundits were shocked by the exit polls and results.
Throughout my research, I have come across anecdotes regarding how prominent people in government realized it was their calling. Pursuing public policy as a career is a dream of mine, and I can honestly say that I became more confident in this goal on Tuesday. No matter what you wanted out of the election, I do believe that every American witnessed a historic election. As I realized this week that I could not remember previous election nights in my life, I took a moment to appreciate what a year and a half it has been and how blessed we all are to live through history.