The Daily Illini

Editorial | Americans vote thanks to Trump

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Editorial | Americans vote thanks to Trump

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

The midterm election on Nov. 6 saw record voter turnout. People were flocking to the polls nationwide, some standing for hours in the pouring rain, to have the opportunity to cast their vote.

Whether your political beliefs align left, right or somewhere in the middle, there is no denying the catalyst for this shift in civic duty was President Donald Trump.

Trump changed the way the ordinary citizen views their duty to vote. Whether he inspires you or ignites you, it is his divisive and controversial words and actions that lights a fire in voters.

The Daily Illini Editorial Board wants to thank Trump for being the reason why more citizens in this country are finally taking advantage of their right to vote.

Although the votes are still being counted, an estimated 113 million Americans went to the polls Nov. 6, according to the Associated Press. Nov. 6 marked the largest voter turnout for a non-presidential midterm election in U.S. history.

The voter turnout for the 2018 midterms didn’t just happen out of coincidence. It happened because Americans are finally realizing they have the power to choose how our government is run.

Trump is an unusual president in many ways, but one of the most distinct reasons remains how he never censors himself. He openly attacks opponents, whether it be journalists or former members of his administration, who disagree or question him. He speaks his mind at rallies, and he never deviates from his stream of consciousness to be more “politically correct.”

Some love this trait of his. Some hate it. But no matter where you fall, there is no doubt Trump’s candidness woke people up. This began with his campaign trail, but America fully realized the effects of his presidency only after his victory in November 2016. The past two years have been filled with protests, rallies and activism on both sides; that is thanks to President Trump.

What Trump has really done, however, is reinstate the core American belief that, no matter what you believe in, voting is essential to democracy. It is a foundation of our country and something oppressed groups of people have fought for for centuries.

To not vote is an insult to those who sacrificed everything for this privilege. It’s an insult to the thousands of minorities who endured literacy tests and poll taxes and to the women who only gained the right to vote just shy of 100 years ago.

When the Constitution was formed, only land-owning white males could vote. Now, 231 years later, every citizen in this country has that right, and it’s shameful to think some people ignore that, especially since some people still are not given proper access to voting.

So thank you, Donald Trump. Thank you for waking Americans up. Thank you for motivating us to vote.

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