Despite what Councilman Eric Ulrich tweeted, many people aren’t ready to “get over” Donald Trump being elected as the nation’s next president.
Ulrich, a Republican who represents much of southwest Queens and is flirting with a run for mayor next year, took to Twitter on Wednesday night to speak out about a protest against the impending Trump presidency in Manhattan’s Union Square. It was one of a number of anti-Trump demonstrations that broke out in cities across the nation the day after the presidential election.
“The protesters in NYC tonight are the leftovers from the Occupy Wall Street and the anti-police demonstrations. Trump won. Get over it!” Ulrich tweeted at 10:15 p.m. on Nov. 9.
Ulrich’s post received 33 likes and 12 retweets, along with a host of angry comments from those anxious about what Trump — who campaigned to deport illegal immigrants and ban Muslims (the latter of which has since disappeared from his campaign website, but was later restored), and received the support of white nationalist groups — would do when he assumes the Oval Office in January.
“Get over it? Millions of marginalized people are now at risk, but sure, we should just get over it,” Kim Moscaritolo, a Democratic district leader from upstate New York tweeted back at Ulrich, who then responded: “channel your frustration & beat him at the ballot box. Take a page out of President Obama’s speech today and be gracious in defeat.”
Moscaritolo responded that she took issue with Ulrich’s “get over it” comment, noting that “People are terrified of losing healthcare, or being deported. Have some empathy.”
Others such as John Maier of Ridgewood emphasized that the protesters did have the right to speak out en masse: “it’s still a free country, get over it.
#ListenToTheMajority they were the popular vote.” The hashtag referenced that while Trump won the electoral vote, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton seems to have won the popular vote nationwide. It’s the second time since 2000 that the electoral vote winner lost the popular vote.
Ulrich, the lone Republican City Council member from Queens, opposed Trump’s candidacy early on in the race; he supported Ohio Governor John Kasich during the Republican primary process.
The council member also previously denounced Trump’s rhetoric; he criticized Trump’s claim last year that Arizona Senator John McCain — who was imprisoned for five years while serving in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War — wasn’t a war hero because he was captured. After that remark, Ulrich publicly called on Jamaica Hospital to remove the Trump name from one of its buildings.
As recently as July, after Trump secured the Republican nomination for president, Ulrich indicated he wasn’t sure who he was voting for in November. In a statement on Wednesday, he congratulated the new president, adding, “I am very proud to be an American, even when I disagree with my President or sometimes even my own party. But now that the campaign is over hopefully we can move forward with open minds and hearts, realizing that we’re stronger when we are united.”
Ulrich’s district includes some of the handful of neighborhoods where the majority of voters went for Trump, including Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the western Rockaways.
Following the “get over it” tweet, Ulrich took the high road when some Twitter users used foul language in condemning him; to one user, he said, “I still believe people can disagree without being disagreeable.” He also praised President Obama “for his eloquent and unifying remarks about the election results.”
QNS reached out to Ulrich’s office for a comment and is awaiting a response.
Here are some other reactions to Ulrich’s tweet, including one from former City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe:
— (((Adrian Benepe))) (@Adrian_Benepe) November 10, 2016
@eric_ulrich get over it?! Wow! And must you be told America voted for her! The electoral college voted for him! Smh you’re a disgrace
— Melissa Flores (@meli788O) November 10, 2016
@eric_ulrich I honestly expected a more rational answer from you. Please look to unite by respect people’s grievance.
— Dr. Kizzy (@kizzyhugz) November 10, 2016
Though there were plenty of critics, one did support Ulrich’s sentiment — and his potential challenge to Mayor Bill de Blasio:
@eric_ulrich exactly. and will you pls run for mayor????
— Irma Zandl (@irmazandl) November 10, 2016