2016 : DIVIDED WE FALL
For the past 16 years I have journeyed back and forth across the U.S. covering every manner of protest, beginning with the disenfranchised election of George Bush. I have witnessed the full embrace of Americans exercising their right to assemble and their right to free speech. We have been tested by unending historic events and instead of finding common ground we have become polarized. This division reached its apex in 2016 with the candicacy of Bernie Sanders, the historic nomination of Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. There are two opposing Americas today. The ‘hope' that was ushered in with the election of Barack Obama, was sadly choked by obstructionism, and the swell of alt right politics. Trump supporters have been enticed by their candidate's hate speech and egged on to demonize Hilary Clinton. The game changing campaign of Bernie Sanders brought out unprecidented crowds. Millenials now had a hero and hopes for a political revolution. Rallies brought out foot soldiers, like Rosario Dawson and her Voto Latino. From May 2015 to the present I was on Bernie's press pool. The movement brought back the passion to be engaged and stand up as individuals. As Hilarry Clinton campaigned in California, I covered several working families rallies. The crowds were thin in comparison. Popular figures, like California's Gavin Newsome, and the head of Planned Parenthood, Cecil Richards, stepped up early on to support the candicay of the first woman running for president.2016 finally widdleded down to two candidates, who were the two least popular candidates to ever run for president. Americans are frustrated and angry, and retaliated when 43% of the voting public chose not to vote. To the amazement of the world, Donald Trump won the election. The nation was in disbeleif on November 9th. Protests popped up across the country : " Not my president".
2016 has rattled our political process revealing how vulnerable our democracy is, in the era of 24- hour information. Our trust in the system has been compromised. This series refelcts some of the key players who influenced this narrative in 2016 and the highlights of a landmark presidential campaign.