This past year has been one for the history books. Antonin Scalia passed away leaving an empty seat on the Supreme Court, the first black president failed to mend race relations, and radical Islamic terrorists have attacked and killed over 77 Americans in the past year alone. Wait, I almost forgot. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States!
This year, after eight years of “hope and change”, the American people spoke up and said, “No more!”. “No more energy policies that drive up the cost of electricity, no more trade deals that ship American jobs overseas, and no more Syrian refugees that shoot up office buildings and threaten the existence of freedom itself”. This is the first article I have uploaded post-election, and I am thrilled to say that I have never been more proud of my country. To the few people who actually read these articles, I’m glad to be bringing you some highlights of election day and the rest of 2016.
Election day started off as a great day at school. My AP World History teacher converted the classroom into a live election lounge where students could come throughout the day to watch live election predictions from major news and media outlets. Teachers didn’t assign a lot of homework that day, knowing that we would be up all night waiting for the results of the election, so I did not have much on my plate that evening. Like every day, students were dismissed at 3:05. As soon as I got out of school, I headed to the GOP headquarters, where I was given palm cards to be hand out at the polling station at Grover Fields Middle School. After the first task was completed, I went to the polling station in Trent Woods where I handed out palm cards until seven o’clock pm. After seeing everyone so hard at work, I was almost certain that Mr. Trump was going to come out victorious.
After four hours at the polling station in Trent Woods, I went straight to Headquarters to begin watching results come in. When the night was still young, Republicans who won local races came in to join the celebration. At about midnight, even though it wasn’t official, we were 99% sure that Donald Trump had won the election. After Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina, were called for Donald Trump (each with a little cheer and a “Trump Trump Trump”), excitement filled the small office space of the CCGOP Headquarters. Everyone had gone home at midnight filled with excitement. It was around three o’clock, as I sat on my bed, eyes glued to the TV, that it was official. Donald Trump was President-elect of the United States.
What they say is true. Hard work does pay off. What started as getting hours for National Honors Society, turned in to a movement in which I became deeply devoted and cared a lot about. After a few weeks of watching people crying and rioting over the results of the election, I was thrilled when I found out that Donald Trump would be coming back to North Carolina on his “Thank You” tour. Of course, I had to go. The events that followed have truly effected my life and gave me memories that I will cherish forever.
Donald Trump’s post-election visit was in Fayetteville. Because it was so far away, it was necessary that I check out of school early in order to get there on time. I ended up leaving New Bern a little after 12 o’clock. When we arrived in Fayetteville at Crown Coliseum, the venue was already filling up. I ended up sitting a few rows back from the stage where Donald Trump would be speaking. Before Trump took the stage, Governor McCrory entered the coliseum. The crowd erupted with cheers after McCrory’s hard-fought campaign against Democrat Roy Cooper.
Donald Trump eventually took the stage where he discussed how he was going to keep his promises he made to North Carolina, including bringing back jobs, building the wall, and keeping Americans safe with his “extreme vetting” policy. It was after his speech that really was life changing. When his speech was over, I rushed up to the rail separating the stage from the crowd for the chance to potentially meet the president-elect of the United States. Before Mr. Trump made it around to my side of the venue, secret service escorted Mr. McCrory past me so he could enter the same area as Mr. Trump to shake the hands of the people who had worked so hard for his campaign.
I was at the right place at the right time. I happened to be on the very far right of the stage, where Mr. McCrory was stopped before entering the secure area to shake hands. I had a Sharpie with me so I asked him if he could sign my “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” hat, and he gladly did. I thanked him for all the great things he had done for our state and asked him about the possibility of becoming Trump’s energy secretary. Even though my encounter with our governor was only about 45 seconds, I was thrilled to have his signature. Eventually, President-elect Trump made his way to my side of the stage. It happened so quickly, but Donald Trump reached out, grabbed my hat, and quickly signed it. I could not believe it. The next President of the United States had signed my hat.
Because I was on the far right of the stage, it was the last place for Mr. Trump to sign supporter’s hats, rally signs, etc. As Mr. Trump stepped back and waved a goodbye, I yelled,” Thank you, Mr. Trump.”, when he then moved back in closer, shook my hand, patted me on the shoulder, and mouthed the words, “Thank you.” I was beyond belief. Not only had the next President signed my hat, but he had shaken my hand and said thanks. It was then that I realized that this is what I want to do in life. To be a voice for those without one. Donald Trump was a voice for millions of Americans who had been left behind and felt unheard.
I would like to thank the people at the Craven County GOP, especially Tamara Leonard, Bob and Cat Stash, and Carl Mischka for opening up all of these amazing opportunities for me. I will be heading to the Inauguration in January, so check back for an article then. I know it’s only been a few months since Trump was elected, but there’s no such thing as campaigning to early. Let’s go ahead and get it trending on Twitter. #Trump2020