Podcast: From the newsroom, female staffers react to election

Designed by Jackie Yang // Managing Editor

After Republican nominee Donald Trump won the presidential election after a historic upset on Nov. 8, five of The Miami Hurricane’s editors and staff members sat down to talk about election results and personal first reactions the following day.

Play the full discussion here:



First reactions

Annie Cappetta, Opinion Editor: 1:55 “I had been a big Hillary Clinton supporter, I’ve written about her, and I didn’t really have qualms. I never felt it was choosing the lesser of two emails – or the lesser of two evils.  (Staff laughs). That was a great Freudian slip there. But I was always very passionate about my candidate. I was feeling a lot of loss, and I was feeling a lot of fear of what an actual Trump presidency would look like…I started thinking about his policies and that just led me to be really fearful.”

Isabella Cueto, News Editor: 3:00 “We suddenly realized that this was an actual thing; we had to consider the possibility of a Trump presidency when we had never considered that before…Definitely waking up this morning, it hit me because I was really just numb last night…It felt like a dream when I was walking to my car.”

3:55 “It takes all this, and America still won’t elect a woman president. They would rather have a man like Donald Trump as president. And how do I tell my 13- year-old sister about this, what does this mean? What does this mean for people of color and immigrants?”

Shock of a Trump presidency, media and broader impact

Annie: 5:45 “It wasn’t close. Trump shut her out…he handily won the Electoral College. It’s not like the marginal more campaigning I should have done in my free time.”

6:13 “The people actually wanted this. There were institutional factors that  led to the rise of Trump and kind of catapulted him into place. But the people – democracy – has to give its stamp of approval, and they did that in a definitive way. So I was comforted by the fact that it’s not like, ‘What more could we have done?’ and also shocked that this is what we actually wanted as a country.”

Julie Harans, Editor-in-Chief: 7:09 “We are really a divided country, even more so than in other elections. Of course, after every election, it’s going to be polarizing, and there’s a winner and a loser. But there is a whole, huge section of voters who were not satisfied with Hillary’s type of politics. They were looking for that champion for what they saw as someone who was in line with that beliefs. It feels very divided – I think we kind off shrugged off a whole group of Americans and we had a false sense of what America was.”

8:17 “That’s also a failure on the media’s part…that they didn’t fairly consider, that we didn’t fairly consider a Trump presidency. Then we would’ve maybe been more prepared for what’s going to happen now…We haven’t been considering that and we missed out on that conversation because we were so tunnel-visioned toward a Hillary presidency. It’s a shock for the American people and it is in part a failure of the media, which is really important and it will shape journalism in the next few years, for sure.”

Jackie Yang, Managing Editor: 9:00 “What this really reminded me of was, kind of, the reaction to Brexit. Nobody knew Brexit was going to happen, the polls didn’t show Brexit was going to happen…After Brexit, all Americans were like take note in November, make sure this doesn’t happen. And yet, here we are again, a second time.”

11:42 “Somehow, through the course of this election, this idea against, like, anti-establishment, anti-pay-to-play politics has really given Trump that boost, and it has elevated him above what he may actually be qualified for, in his experience as an actual politician.”

Annie: 13:14 “Media has failed voters in this election…Because everything Donald Trump was doing seemed so newsworthy, we failed to cover what a Donald Trump presidency would look like, like Julie said. We failed to consider that just because his campaign was so riotous, but we also failed to cover what a Hillary Clinton presidency would look like. People did not know Hillary Clinton’s policies and the positive change she would have made on this country. Pre-K education would be limited to 10 percent of a family’s income…community colleges would be free. Public universities would be debt-free. 6.5 million jobs would be created in her infrastructure plans. The minimum wage would go up to $12-15. ”

4:26 “People weren’t thinking about that when they went to the polls. They were thinking about her character versus Donald Trump’s character, which is not what politics is about. I’ve said this in my columns, and to my friends, but politics are a means to an end, and the end is policy. Politics are not an end in itself, and in this election, it was treated as a way to elevate personalities, and that’s not its purpose.”

The gender issue

Isa: 18:00 “She’s not maternal, she’s not nurturing, she’s not feminine enough. If she was a man, she would be a strong politician. She would be a stoic politician.”

Amanda Herrera, Assistant News Editor: 20:18 “I was listening to the radio earlier this morning, and one of the commentators said, ‘I think Obama and Clinton are where we want to be, but Donald Trump is where we are.’ And I think that’s absolutely right. I think that misogyny, racism – all these things that he tapped into are things that obviously America thinks.”

Annie: 21:30 “I was walking to school and I was watching the Hillary Clinton concession speech, and I started tearing up because it was talking about how she hopes another woman can run for office and win, sooner than we think it’s going to happen. She was saying, basically, that she hopes that she didn’t ruin women’s chances and motivations to run. So I started tearing up, and then as I was crying, I got catcalled by a driver driving down Red Road. So this is the country that we live in.”

A divided nation

Jackie: 26:45 “In last night’s, in Donald Trump’s victory speech and in this morning’s concession speech by Hillary Clinton, both of them discussed – they acknowledged the divided nation, and both of them referred to each other in respectful terms, and they talked about moving on, once again uniting communities across America and moving forward together.”

Annie: 27:38 “Obviously it’s a bad thing when people can’t come together, they can’t relate, they can’t talk to each other. But the way I see Donald Trump and just the hate that he embodies and perpetuates, I don’t see how I can relate to somebody who wants to give that person a platform. I have friends who support Trump and I want to continue those relationships, but that’s hurtful to me, that they are giving voice to this person.”

Amanda: “I think, if you’re voting for someone who has said all these things, these degrading things to all these different populations in America, it’s hard to honestly say that you’re not associated with that word, to not believe in that. You’re still giving him the power to do that on a grander scale.”

Isa: 31:07 “For me, words are sticky – they get on you, they get inside of you. And I think they matter and you have to use the properly and you have to use them with intention.”

Jackie: 30:48 “I think, moreso, the fact that Trump won so strongly in the Electoral College is not so much, like, support of him, as much a reaction against, you know, the establishment and some changes that they’ve been seeing this past eight years. ”

Julie31:55 “It is important to note that, at least, for the Trump supporters I’ve spoken to, they believe that Hillary is committing equal or worse evils, just under a curtain of political savviness. Honestly, it’s not looking like a really bright future right now, but that is what’s giving me hope, thinking about the few individuals in my life who I respect and I love and I care about, who will look me in the eyes and explain to me honestly why they think that’s best for my country. That’s what gives me hope, that we can find those people and we can bring those values back and we can pick ourselves up and piece it together through individuals. That’s the level that it’s going to start at.”

Looking forward

Julie: 32:33 “We need to think about what’s important to us, what’s important to our country and how can I, personally, as an individual, further that.”

Jackie: 33:00 “As was shown by the results of who won the nominations for both parties, there really need to be more options for capable people who can lead our country in the future. So that means more people need to take risks. I know that several of us in the newsroom are interested in going into policy, so I think that kick of encouragement from Clinton [during her concession speech] really meant a lot and I hope it sticks with young people.”

Amanda: 33:34 “I think it’s important to also remember that, even though Hillary Clinton lost, she broke huge barriers that were there, and it’s so important to remember that. Despite the fact that she didn’t win the presidency, we have made progress.”

Featured photo by Pixabay user Jordy.