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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Columns

Post-election horror stories need to stop


For individuals who may be living under a rock, President Barack Obama was elected for his second term on Tuesday. Of course people already know this, the election was so widely advertised that it was impossible to watch any show without getting bombarded with ads — only to escape online face the same dilema.

An election that was so widely publicized and important for our nation that as soon as someone logged on to Facebook last Tuesday, they became greeted by a barrage of statuses of absolute gibberish from people banging on their keyboards — either in excitement or horror.

It’s time to move on. The upset from the election has largely come from the contested polls presented through every media outlet. From the conservative side, the polls were consistently showing Mitt Romney in the lead. While on the more liberal leaning sides, the polls reflected Obama in the lead with the race being equally close each time.

Despite the current outcome, neither of these polls were necessarily correct but rather the product of a capitalist business model in an incredibly partisan world. The U.S. stands more divided than any other time since the Civil War, proven true by the close numbers of the popular vote.

The popular vote functions as an influencing power rather than the central power with the Electoral College, and this was hardly an upset. The statistician, Nate Silver, who is now making his news circuit rounds for his own personal victory, had predicted the election with Obama having a 90 percent chance of winning, which was a far cry from the close race other stations were calling.

This is inevitably because his predictions were not based on partisan shift, but on statistics and math. American culture exists in a time of privatized television news. Where rather than the older days where television networks would sink money they knew they would never get back into nightly newscasts, there are corporate news stations that align themselves with partisanship in order to secure a demographic and cover advertising revenue.

They exist in the CNN’s and Fox News of today. These popular news networks circulate and benefit from these close polling results as a way to drive their viewership during one of their most profitable times. It causes their viewers to check up on, bite their nails and glue their eyes to set in fear that there would be a chance their candidate could lose. For if they knew the truth that the election was never quite as close as they expected, these networks and websites would lose viewers and consequently money.

Now in the wake of the election, these networks and websites are using the post-election rage and discomfort as a source for new media with investigating why the voters turned out how they did or what was wrong with previous predictions. All quite obviously filler news stories.

There is a second form of post-election news stories flooding the websites and television stations: the horror stories, where supposedly journalists report on the many ways Obama will destroy the nation’s freedom now that he will have a term without fear of having to be re-elected. It saddens me that I have to explain this.

Our federal government consists of a system of checks and balances, where the president only resides with one-third of the government’s power. The ideal here is that Congress or Supreme Court will shoot down anything that seems actually damaging to the country and the people’s freedom. I’m sorry, Republicans, but Obama is not a communist, antichrist or Kenyan, and he is definitely not going to destroy the country any worse than the last president.

Patrick Larose is a creative writing sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

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