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Election results prompt passionate response

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Trump delivering a speech in August 2016 / commons.wikimedia.org

Donald Trump named 45th U.S. President in decisive Electoral College win

Dan Malloy  .  Chief Investigative Reporter

Republican Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election on November 8 in shocking fashion, with his victory in Pennsylvania a pivotal factor.

Trump finished with 306 of 538 Electoral Votes, with Pennsylvania providing 20 of those. Before this election, Democratic presidential candidates had won Pennsylvania six straight times, so this battleground state was a damaging loss for Hillary Clinton.  

National results indicate that Clinton won the popular vote, but Trump secured enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

Democratic support in PA mainly comes from the Philadelphia area and the surrounding suburbs, and that was no different this year. Clinton won in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Bucks Counties by a combined 634,588 vote difference over Trump, according to philly.com, but Trump dominated the rest of the state. He won 56 out of the 62 other counties, carrying him to victory.  

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For now, President-elect Trump will focus on transitioning to the White House with his transition team featuring Republican politicians, five millionaires, a retired general, and three of Trump’s children. Trump has appointed RNC chairman Reince Priebus as his Chief of Staff, and former head of Breitbart News Stephen K. Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor.

During his first 100 days as president, Trump stated in his campaign that he plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, build a wall at the southern border, push for an amendment imposing term limits on Congress, and re-assess trade deals with foreign nations, among many other plans. After the 2016 election, Republicans now have control over the executive and legislative branches of government.

However, Trump has recently softened his stance on some of those issues. Trump said he is willing to keep parts of Obamacare after meeting with President Obama on November 10. He said in an interview on 60 Minutes that he would include fencing with the border wall “for certain areas.”  

After Trump’s election, protests have broken out in many cities across the nation. Although some like those in Portland have been violent, the majority have been peaceful so far. In Philadelphia, thousands of protesters have organized daily in Center City since the November 8 election.

Malvern Head of School Mr. Christian Talbot sent an email to students in response to the election and to acts of vandalism and hate speech at Council Rock North High School. He praised students for their respectful discussion of the election thus far and urged them to be Augustinian, globally literate, and entrepreneurial in their behaviors.

Talbot's email to students, Nov. 11

Talbot's email to students, Nov. 11

Dear Students–

As we head into the weekend, I want you to know that all Malvern Prep teachers and staff have been thinking about how you have responded to the Presidential Election, especially in light of recent news.

You may have heard about acts of vandalism and hate speech that occurred at Council Rock North High School in nearby Bucks County.

By contrast, I have been impressed by the respectful tone with which you have discussed the Election. You don’t always agree, and sometimes the conversations have gotten heated, but I have not heard once of a Malvern Prep student using slurs or other hateful speech.

I also want to draw your attention to another, invisible reality: Some members of our community feel less safe in the wake of the Election and in the wake of a spate of events like the Council Rock North High School vandalism. Some members of our community identify with the groups targeted by those bigoted and hateful actions. This is a good time to remember that the Malvern Prep Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve our Diversity & Inclusion statement. I am proud and grateful that Malvern Prep is a place where “all are welcome, all are valued.”

For Malvern Prep to continue to grow into a diverse, inclusive, loving community, we count on everyone–including you guys–to engage in the behaviors that express our values. Our Vision, captured in our Venn diagram, points the way:

  • We strive to be Augustinian. Not all of us are Catholic, but all of us are “Augustinian” because we embrace Truth, Unity, and Love. In particular, we take seriously St. Augustine’s convictions, borrowed from St. Paul, about the Body of Christ as necessarily consisting of diverse members working together to build the Kingdom of God. This means that we reach out to those who are unlike us so that we can grow stronger by harmonizing our differences.

  • We strive to be Globally Literate. Rather than assume we know everything there is to know about Presidential candidates or the enormously complex political challenges facing our country and the world, we try to ask as many good questions as possible. We become literate about global issues by exercising our curiosity.

  • We strive to be Entrepreneurial. Not in the narrow sense of creating a business, but rather in the broader sense of collaboratively and creatively solving problems. We may not all be Republican or Democrat (or, in my case, Independent), but we are all Americans committed to working together to fostering our common, civic good.

Let us pray for a peaceful and collaborative transition of power from President Obama to President-elect Trump. And let us work within our various communities to model Augustinian, Globally Literate, and Entrepreneurial behaviors and show people what Malvern Prep really stands for.

Have a great weekend–

Mr. T

Christian M. Talbot
Head of School

In other elections in Pennsylvania, incumbents ruled the day. For the two races for the US House of Representatives, District 15 elected Charles Dent (R), while District 17 elected Matt Cartwright (D). For the Senate, Senator Pat Toomey (R) beat Katie McGinty (D). It was the most expensive Senate race in history, with the candidates spending over a combined $162 million.

Focusing on elections for state government, four Republicans won out of the six races for the PA House of Representatives. Democrat Josh Shapiro won Attorney General, Eugene DePasquale (D) won Auditor General, and Joseph Torsella (D) won the election for state treasurer.

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Students, staff share perspectives

Staff

This election season had its share of discussion, debates, and opinions. We asked members of the Malvern community for their thoughts.

Some remarks abbreviated for space. Please click on each name to read full statements.

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