With the results of the election, Republicans now have dominance in the House, Senate and the Oval Office.
The zeitgeist across the nation and here on campus has been a potpourri of varied reactions and emotions.
In what may come as a surprise to some, Republican students at UNM are also experiencing ambivalent feelings.
Sadé Patterson, a senior journalism major and vocal pro-life leader on campus, said as a Republican she is still processing the results of the election, adding that President-elect Donald Trump was not her initial pick.
“Now that he is the president, I am coming to terms with the results, and choosing to be hopeful,” Patterson said. “In my perspective, if we are in any way upset about an issue, we ought to do something about it in a nonviolent way. It’s our responsibility to change our culture and love people, despite the results.”
Ryan Ansloan, a senior political science major and chairman of UNM College Republicans, is pleased that Republicans are now in control at the federal level.
During the campaign season, many Republicans vowed to never support Trump, but some have since changed their tune.
“I am hopeful that the conservatives in leadership will work closely with President-elect Trump to put this country on the right path,” Ansloan said. “In New Mexico, unfortunately, the results were not as positive and we clearly still have work to do.”
Jessica Roseman, president of Students for Life UNM, said she feels relieved with the results, particularly because this election has been a game-changer, and many Americans were in shock following Hillary Clinton’s defeat.
“Our rights as citizens have slowly been chipped away, and I only saw further destruction of the individual under Clinton,” Roseman said. “I think it is important for everyone to recognize that there will never be a perfect president, but Trump has promised to defend our rights as citizens, especially our most fundamental right — the right to life.”
Protests following the election immediately broke out in cities nationwide, and have stayed consistent since then.
Patterson observed the scheduled walkout that took place on campus last week. She said protesting in general is a logical response when one is not pleased, but seeing the brutality and hostility from both sides is disappointing.
“During the walkout protest, I observed so much hateful language when protesters chanted, ‘f-ck Trump, f-ck that puto,’” she said. “We should all remember the brave and fearless leader of the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr., who spoke against violence but still led the nation to stand up for equality and against injustice.”
Back in October, when the College Republicans officially denounced Trump while endorsing Libertarian Gary Johnson, Ansloan told the Daily Lobo that Trump had gone “beyond the pale” with his inflammatory comments about minorities and women.
In the wake of Election Day, Ansloan said, although he has not always liked Trump’s way with words, he finds anti-Trump protests ridiculous and overblown, especially since Trump has yet to take the oath of office.
Ansloan also feels the worries being expressed by protesters are overreactions to unhappiness with the election results.
“Protesters and much of the political left has looked for every explanation for Secretary Clinton’s loss, from the Electoral College to the FBI to racists, sexists, xenophobia and hate in general,” he said. “The reality is that the American people rejected a Hillary Clinton presidency and voted for someone promising to change the ‘business as usual’ approach to politics.”
Anti-Trump and anti-semitic graffiti was also spread across campus and downtown Albuquerque in the wake of the election, comparing the president-elect’s rhetoric to pro-Nazi ideologies.
Shortly after, UNM President Bob Frank sent out an email condemning the “highly offensive slogans and symbols.”
“Our beautiful campus and respectful community deserve better,” Frank wrote.
“I find any symbols of hate to be completely unacceptable in any setting, but particularly on a college campus,” Ansloan said. “I hope that people on both sides can come together to support this country as time goes on.”
According to Ansloan, this country needs to have a government that comprehends the significance of abiding by a small government that turns to the Constitution for counsel.
For Patterson, her desire is that all human beings are entitled to dignity and equality, from conception to death.
“That means that I will continue to advocate for those being oppressed, including the unborn and minorities,” she said. “I will also speak out against any oppression towards the majority because hate is never justified.”
The most important issue for Roseman is abortion. She said she views life as a foundational right since without it no other right is feasible. Trump says he is pro-life and has stated he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, but has recently said he would leave abortion up to individual states.
“In our country, over 58 million unborn children have died since legalization of abortion and countless women have been harmed, traumatized, and even killed,” Roseman said. “Additionally, we have to ask ourselves, if we let people decide who gets to live or die, who will be deciding the criteria? What is to stop someone from deciding you and I don’t have the right to live?”
Many Americans are either hopeful Trump will follow through with his campaign promises, or fearful of the outcome if those promises are kept.
So far, Trump has contradicted some of his pledged commitments, even stating that some of his main policy ideas should be left up to the states to decide on.
“I hope that the president-elect will surround himself with experienced, principled people and that he will govern from a conservative perspective,” Ansloan said. “I also hope that he spends time talking to the American people about the decisions he makes and listens to the concerns of all Americans.”
A couple days after the election results, Trump condemned “professional protesters incited by the media,” then subsequently praised their efforts in the same 48 hours, and in a more recent interview, commanded the brute-force to stop.
Trump will be sworn into office on January 20 and Patterson said she hopes he will condemn all actions promoting hate and violence.
Patterson also said she hopes he defunds Planned Parenthood, and redirects the $500 billion to Federally Qualified Health Centers that outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to 1 and provide more health services for free and low costs.
“I hope to see him better respect women and minorities in his rhetoric and actions, and lead this nation as a president should,” she said.
According to Roseman, there is an enormous misconception about what it means to be free in this country. She said people need to understand that you can do as you please as long as it does not breach the rights of others.
“Abortion, blocking highways, censoring what people can and cannot say — these are just a few examples of the inconsiderate nature that has developed in our country,” Roseman said. “We have a severe moral problem and it must be fixed.”
Trump also has made campaign promises of “extreme vetting” for immigrants moving from countries impacted by terrorism and Patterson, who was raised Muslim but now identifies as Christian, said she respects all people regardless of who they voted for.
“It did grant me the perspective to see how peaceful the majority of Muslims are, and I have compassion for those like my family that are targeted with hate,” she said. “We should all lower our fists and our voices and remember our humanity. Only love can drive out evil.”
Sarah Trujillo is a news reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sarahtweets_abq.