The room fell silent as the numbers flashed on the TV screen, projecting that President Barack Obama had won the election. Many would cheer and celebrate, but those watching the screen at the Downtown Club in Fresno had very different feelings.
With Obama’s victory came many feelings of sadness, fear and uncertainty, said Fresno State students who attended a Republican polls watch.
“I worry for my children. I have grandchildren. I’m just deeply sad for their future because I understand what this means,” said Lori Nackaguchi, a Fresno State graduate student in the nursing program. “I don’t think a lot of young people understand what this means for their future and I’m sad, very sad.”
Both Nackaguchi and her friend, Fresno State student Robert Berry, an electrical engineering major in his junior year, feel that with Obama’s reelection, students can expect to see increased unemployment as well as increasing national debt.
“I think we’re going in the wrong direction and I that think students are setting themselves up for a very poor future,” Berry said.
Berry said that his father is a self-made business owner. He feels that his father has been “demonized” as a bad person under Obama’s policies. The atmosphere for those wanting to start a business will be hard and not encouraged, Berry said.
Both Berry and Nackaguchi feel that the reason some people voted for Obama was for the promise of “free money,” or the idea of expecting the government to provide for people. People have not been encouraged to aspire to support themselves or to become independent, Berry said, and Obama is only making things worse.
“No matter what happens, there’s no getting them to think any further. It doesn’t matter what happens in Benghazi or it doesn’t matter how dishonest he is or how poorly his policies have been running,” Berry said. “That’s just the sad lure of free money.”
On Sept. 11 in Benghazi, Libya, an attack on the U.S. consulate resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Nackaguchi said that under Obama, she feels that her hard work has been taken advantage of as she is expected to pay for others. She gives to charities and other organizations she feels are important and is very concerned about people who are less fortunate than she is, Nachaguchi said, but she does not feel responsible to support people who are living irresponsibly.
“Having worked as a nurse, I have seen how the government incentivizes that bad behavior and it just perpetuates itself,” Nackaguchi said.
Fresno State College Republican chairman Daniel Harrison said he was surprised how quickly the election was called in favor for Obama.
“I thought it would be a much closer election,” Harrison said. “I felt like Mitt Romney had a good chance. I felt like he was a very credible candidate with great goals and great plans to those goals.”
It is very difficult to defeat an incumbent president, Harrison said.
He does not feel that there will not be many changes in the text two years, he said. Much of the near future, he suspects, will be very similar to the last two years.
Harrison also said he was surprised that Obama won so quickly with so many Americans saying they were concerned with the economy.
“Even Barack Obama doesn’t say the economy is good,” Harrison said. “Now President Obama is the first president to be reelected with such a high unemployment rate; 7.9 is, I guess, the new 4.0.”
Harrison said he wants to get married some day, he wants to have children and he wants those children to grow up and live in this country. He said he wants to leave his future children something better than he had. However, he does not feel the country is currently on the road to achieve that.
Harrison ran for Area 6 seat on the Fresno Unified School Board. As of late Tuesday night Harrison had not won the seat.
“It’s unfortunate the political elite have taken over American’s ideology,” said Brett Reed, chief of staff for the Fresno State College Republicans. “It’s disheartening to see the two extreme, the upper-class political elites are controlling an ideology of a country.”