CHARLOTTESVILLE: Students at the University of Virginia here in Charlottesville are angry, and with Election Day approaching fast, many are struggling to come up with what to do instead of voting.
The students have not forgotten the tumultuous rallies and violence that rocked the small college town in August, killing one protester and wounding many more.
“I’ll never forget what the political right did to our town!” said sophomore poetry major Jessica Ringwatt. “I just don’t know what to do about it. Maybe on Election Day, I’ll listen to my favorite Yoga CD!”
Many UVA students are still furious; at white nationalists who provoked the violence last August, at President Trump for his equivocal comments in condemning them as well as “many sides,” at Republicans who enable the President, and at what they see as a virus of racism that pervades older, whiter Americans and the Republican Party.
However, the students, all 18 or over, aren’t sure what to do on Election Day, when Virginians and New Jerseyans will be choosing a new governor, as well as voting on seats for the state legislatures.
“Clearly everything that’s going wrong these days is the Republicans’ fault,” said Kalyn Peters, a sophomore architecture major. “So I think on Election Day, I might going to go hiking with some friends. I’m not sure.”
Other students were feeling less outdoorsy.
“There is no doubt in my mind that for years, Republican politics catered to infantile backlash against an intellectual black president, forming a dangerously potent cocktail of racist anti-intellectual sentiment in a majority of Republican voters and directly leading to President Trump’s election,” said freshman physics major Jacob Nakovic. “That’s why on Election Day, I’m planning on going to the polls, and, not voting, like, you know, in protest. That’ll show those Rethuglicans! Hashtag Resist!!!”
Older students in governmental studies were more alarmed about recent geopolitical shifts.
“I am really panicking over the State Department being replaced by the president’s Twitter account,” said Brianne Jones, a graduate student in International Studies. “This trend is extremely unstable, and it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that Republican control of our government is direct threat to the survival of humanity,” she said.
“There really is only one way for the Republicans to lose. Hopefully some people will vote for the Democrat. On Election Day, I’ll chant really loudly at some identity politics-related protest! Love conquers all!!”
Meatloaf contributed to this report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org