Tuesday’s presidential election results triggered a slew of emotions for Durangoans, from shock, disappointment and grief to pride and pleasant surprise.
Despite some of President-elect Donald Trump’s divisive statements, some believe he will bring positive change for the economy and immigration, and will help unite the country. Others worry that he is unpredictable, and some of his campaign promises could be disastrous.
“Start with his acceptance speech, it was thoughtful. It was considerate. He didn’t take unnecessary jabs at people. I think he is a lot more self-controlled than people think he is,” resident Tom Hartnett said.
A win for Hillary Clinton would have been a continuation of President Barack Obama’s policies, such as the Affordable Care Act, and would not have eased some of the recent racial divisiveness, some residents said.
“Things are going to change. Things are going to get better,” resident Julie Hall said.
Even though Trump is not always politically correct, she was proud of the election results and believes he will be able to change policy.
Some Clinton supporters were shocked, especially because national polls did not predict a Trump victory.
La Plata County resident Colleen Dunseth worries Trump is unpredictable and could roll back policies around gay marriage and immigration.
Because Republicans won control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and a conservative Supreme Court Justice will likely be appointed, Democrats will have limited power.
“I just believe we have no checks and balances,” she said.
While she is grieving the election, she found some consolation in Clinton’s Colorado victory.
Social justice concerns were one of the reasons Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris decided to hold a healing service for the community Wednesday night, but the service also turned into an opportunity for young people to grieve for Thomas “T.C.” Rockwell, a Miller Middle School student who died by suicide earlier in the week.
“We come together to be in community,” Kandarian-Morris said. “To support each other, to find strength and hope to go on.”
About 130 people attended the service, with more than 20 standing to speak.
“I woke up this morning and realized my family still loves me, my friends still love me,” Tim Miller said, “and we know how to elect strong women in La Plata County. Unitarians are taught to believe in the inherent dignity of every person, and I’m holding out hope that our president-elect will lead with a finer moral compass than that which he campaigned.”
Dr. Sarah Goodpastor said she is concerned for the people who are scared.
“I shared a quote from Martin Luther King that gives me comfort,” Goodpastor said. “‘Accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.’”
La Plata County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jean Walter is also proud of the strong local support for Clinton, Sen. Michael Bennet, state Rep. Barbara McLachlan and other Democrats.
She was shocked by Trump’s victory, and she is worried that some of his campaign promises will come true. For example, a wall along the Mexican border would be an environmental and political disaster, she said.
“I am just hoping that President-elect Trump meant what he said last night, that we go forward as one nation,” Walter said.