Election Debate

The bitter election may be over, but its tensions are still alive.

Following President-elect Donald Trump’s surprising victory on Election Day, partisan divisions continue to survive amidst heated arguments and even vandalism. In one notable incident, a United Airlines staff had to step in to separate some particularly argumentative passengers.

“If anyone has a problem… and needs to vent or rant or rave, there’s another flight tomorrow. It’s not going to be on this one,” the pilot announced after two passengers engaged in a heated exchange. According to fellow travelers, one passenger praised Trump for his support of firearms, while the other expressed fear given her ethnicity.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Since the election, there have been numerous incidents of pro-Trump vandalism, and anti-Trump protests have sprung up in major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Oakland, and New York City. Amidst these conflicts, many on both sides of the aisle have called for unity and reconciliation.

Humintell’s Dr. David Matsumoto observed, “it’s natural to see eruptions of these feelings here and there over time, but the real question is the degree to which it’s going to be sustained. And there, leaders take a very important role.”

President Obama, President-elect Trump, and former Secretary Clinton seem to agree. On Election night, Trump urged “for us to become together as one united people,” while Obama has called for “a sense of unity; a sense of inclusion…and a respect for each other.”

Even, the United Airlines pilot joined this chorus, telling passengers: “As people, we have the common decency to respect each other’s decisions, and to get along on this three hour and 13 minute flight.”

Division and hate can also be encouraged through social media. For more information on this phenomena read our posts here and here.

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