Two great speeches were given following this election’s outcome by two (subjectively) great leaders. But were you actually paying attention? Did you not notice the purple color she and Bill Clinton were both wearing to represent unity and progress? Or were President Obama’s sports metaphors too much? But he was right in saying that we are all Americans, right?. We truly are — even before we are democrats or republicans. But the Donald won. The polls were wrong. I was wrong.
And in the weeks following this pivotal election in American history (and in world history for that matter), we still see outrage, protests, hate, and hostility. But these are not being directed towards those who seem to have been often victimized in this election year (immigrants or members of the LGBTQ community and so on) — no — the insults and protests are directed towards another group: President-elect Trump and his supporters. It is ironic, and perhaps hypocritical, but I suppose it is in our human nature to be angry at an unsatisfactory outcome.
The truth remains, however. Donald Trump, like it or not, won the election. He is going to be the new POTUS. He and his administration will be making decisions on behalf of the American citizens. He will be defending us in times of war, and building us up in times of peace — that comes with the job. Come January, he will be President Donald J. Trump, and both the Executive and Congress will be republican.
I come from a liberal county in a liberal state, but I am proud to call northern California my home. As soon as the results were made known, I was expecting Oakland to riot (it does not take much for them to take to the streets). I was expecting some protest in San Francisco, sure, but when I heard that students from a private high school in my own city had “walked out” into the streets holding signs (granted few of them are actually of voting age), and I then heard teachers from my own alma mater were wearing black in “mourning” of the election, I was outraged. Then people walked the streets with signs, chanting, and so on, but why? I seriously wish I could have been there to ask why. What are these protests actually going to accomplish? There is no changing the election — no going back in time — no abolishing the electoral college between now and January. It is not feasible. But it is not only that Trump becoming president is inevitable, but that President Obama and Hillary Clinton have accepted this result, so why can’t you?
This is how our democracy — a federal republic — works. Like President Obama said in his speech following Trump’s victory, “We have to remember that we’re actually all on one team…we are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.” Clinton, in her own concession speech tells her supporters that “We must accept this result and then look to the future.” How do these protests and riots advance Obama and Clinton’s political goals? Our society finds a great foundation in the first amendment, and in it is the freedom of the American people.
But what I fail to recognize, is how looting and cars being set on fire and highways being shut down is peaceful…let alone the insults spewed left and right from Clinton supporters. I thought Trump was the bigot? I thought he was the big, bad, evil bully? If you think so lowly of him, do not stoop to that level. The hypocrisy needs to end. Could you imagine what would happen if the angered republicans protested in 2008 to the degree of what we see today?
They indeed would be labelled racists, bigots, and any other demeaning word the liberal media could conjure up. It has all become too inflated by the media. They were on Clinton’s side all along, but do not buy into it now. So fellow college students: get on with your lives, study, and prepare yourself for the next roller coaster ride of the coming four years. Your president does not define you as a person; you can only control your reaction.
Clinton also goes on in her concession speech saying that “Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power, and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it.” So if you seriously feel the need to protest, do it peacefully like she says, and do not just think about yourself and your own needs in the process. Do you know what shutting down a highway does? It does not just anger a lot of working Americans with jobs to go to, children to pick up, etc., but it kills people. Ambulances and emergency personnel cannot get to victims of heart attracts, injuries, and other accidents.
Does Trump winning the election really mean you can shutdown a highway and contribute to the deaths of innocent people? No. So move on. Worry about things you can do that might actually have a chance at contributing to change. Because all of this hatred and protest and disagreement is not who we are as Americans. It is not who we are as human persons with an inherent dignity. We are better than this. This is a country — a government — and its job is not to comfort you and give you everything you desire, but to help you in your own life. That is, it is in place to balance collective equality and individual freedom while trying to please the majority and preserve minority rights.
So some of you may feel lost or betrayed, or maybe not — maybe you are just angry to be angry, but Trump is right, because “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; [to] have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.”
If you do not believe Trump (and I suspect many do not), then trust Obama and Clinton. They are both putting their faith in him and want to see America succeed.