Democrats react to Clinton’s loss while remaining optimistic
Nov. 9 was a celebration for the Republican Party and a somber day for the Democratic Party and its supporters. The Democrats won Maryland but came up short in the national election leaving many emotionally distraught and shocked.
On Nov. 8, citizens exercised their right to vote in the general election. The polls closed at
8 p.m. and the outcome landed Southern Maryland residents with Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-Md 5th) and new Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md), a longtime congressman from Montgomery County. Democrat Hilary Clinton conceded to Republican Donald Trump the following morning after a close race.
“I’m a little disappointed that it turned out the way it did but the people spoke and we have a lot of fence mending to do and bring- ing folks together in order to move forward,” said Gil- bert Bowling, chair of the Charles County Democratic Central Committee.
“My heart sank,” said the committee’s vice chair, Thomasina Coates. “I kept thinking about what kind of country we are going to be living in. It’s just unfor- tunate that it didn’t work out nationwide. I have nev- er seen so much depres- sion, somberness, crying and heartache in an elec- tion. But I have to give it to our folks in Charles Coun- ty because we brought it home. Although it wasn’t enough to get her [Clin- ton] elected nationally, we’re proud of our success and getting our Democrat- ic officials elected.”
During election night Charles County Democrats held a watch party at Sartik’s in La Plata to follow along as the results came in.
“[The election results] says that the American people want change,” Bowling said. “Whether or not you agree with the change that they want it warns us to re-evaluate what we as a party have been doing and maybe we need to improve our rela- tions with a large segment of the community because they didn’t feel our candidate was worthy of being president.”
Committee member Jason Henry Sr. of Chi- camuxen said he is now worried after hearing the election results.
“Someone in that position should have a little diplomacy and that needs to be what kind of leader people seek, but individuals in this country want- ed change, they want- ed someone outside of that,” Henry said. “What [Trump] can do is yet to be seen because he has no experience in public office. I think middle class white America voted. The people who support- ed him and his rhetoric spoke about taking this country back and making it great again.”
The committee agreed that they would like to see Trump denounce the division that has occurred in the country during the election and hopes that the new president-elect will bring back civility.
engaged in this coun- try because apparently people wrote [Trump] off and by writing him off he pulled out this upset. People don’t know what’s going on in their own backyard and this country needs to become engaged. We also need to hold him to task just like the Republican Party held President Obama to task.”
Bowling said Ameri- cans now have to come together and work for the betterment of the country, not just the betterment of a select group. He hopes that Trump fulfills the “He created chaos, so promises he made in to humble that is going regards to bringing the to take a lot,” Coates said. people together as one, “I hope the showmanship and that Trump is willing that went on during the to reach across the aisle campaign was just show- and include both parties’ manship and I hope that views in order to do the he would now realize that right thing for the Ameri- the hard work is just be- can people. ginning.” Charles County Dem-
The committee has seen ocrats were more than its party accomplish some pleased with their party’s major firsts in history win in Maryland, as most — electing the first Afri- of the state voted in favor can-American president, of Van Hollen for Senate two-termer President and returning Hoyer to Barack Obama. Clinton the House of Representa- would have been the first tives. female president, a histor“We knew that we had ical page still left blank. two strong candidates and
“This is a backlash of we were very confident the Democratic Party be- that we were going to win cause women are consid- those and we look for ward ered minorities,” Henry to both of them serving said. “They still do not re- — one in Congress, one ceive equal pay so it is key in the Senate,” Bowling for everyone to become said. “I hope they focus on job creation in Southern Maryland, helping with transportation woes and some of our roads that need improvement. We would love to have a big employer down here in Charles County that is an opportunity for everyone to make a living.”
In a recent press release Hoyer said, “I will continue to advocate for my Make It In America plan to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship so that we can create good jobs here at home. I will keep working to ensure our federal employees receive fair pay and benefits. I will continue my work to protect the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and our environment. I will continue to stand up for our military installations across the district, which perform critical national security work and make all of us proud. I will keep fighting to make a quality education at all levels affordable and accessible to everyone. And I will keep pushing for equal pay for equal work and a higher minimum wage.”
Coates said the Democratic Party knows what the country will now face but encourages residents to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, get through the grieving process and keep living.
On Nov.8, the Charles County Democratic Central Committee held an election night watch party at Sartik’s in La Plata.