So Trump won. Yeah, it sucks, and I know you guys are scared. You deserve to be. You’ve spent the last year hearing all of this guy’s racist, misogynistic, homophobic messages and thinking “there’s no way this guy will win. Surely the people who can vote won’t let him win.” But he still did, and every time you read or hear that you probably want to cry or punch your computer screen or whatever until everything is better. You’re afraid and confused, and that’s totally understandable. This is a dark and confusing time, and so on behalf of my whole generation, let me say that I and all of my fellow millennials are truly and wholeheartedly sorry. We tried our best to stop Trump, but it wasn’t enough.
I’m writing this the day after the election. I found out that Trump was elected this morning, and at first I was numb. I didn’t react. I didn’t know how to feel. I went about my day as if everything was normal. But then one of my best friends texted me. She’s a post-millennial like you guys, and she's like a little sister to me. She was scared and had so many questions and I didn’t have any answers. That was the moment I broke. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I cried. It wasn’t because I was afraid, but because I felt powerless. I didn’t know what to do to help her. She comes to me about everything and usually I can help, but this time I couldn’t. I had no answers. All I could tell her was that everything will be alright and that we’ll get through it. And at that moment, I realized why I was fighting, why I voted for Hillary and why Trump winning didn’t hit me until then.
The truth is that I wasn’t fighting for me; I was fighting for her. I was fighting for everyone in her generation-- for you guys. I wanted her and my little brother and my cousin and so many other kids in your generation to experience the same peace that I’ve been so fortunate to live through. Growing up as a millennial wasn’t always easy, but we rarely had to experience fear or confusion on the level you guys are probably experiencing it now. You’ve spent most of your lives living under Obama and seeing our nation go through so much progress, and now you have a man who is going to set us back. And so I apologize. I and my fellow millennials fought so hard to stop him from coming to power, but it wasn’t enough. Our love and hope wasn’t enough to squash the hate and dissatisfaction of our fellow Americans, and for that I am so sorry. I see now that we weren’t fighting just for us, but for you guys as well, for a better tomorrow where the ideals that we clung to would become a reality and the progress we’d made would continue. We gave it everything we had, but we just couldn’t get there. But don’t worry, we’re not done. Trump may have won the battle, but we’ll win the war. Actually, no. This isn’t going to be a war, but rather a revolution. I promise that we will fight for you guys and try to protect you from the same hatred and fear that the generation before us tried to protect us from. We will not give up on you guys or our country and I ask of you that you do the same.
The coming days will be dark and difficult, but I don’t want you to be afraid. Remember that love and hope and light are not a weapon. Hate, fear, and pain are all weapons, weapons that Trump used to win. No, what we have is so much more. Our hope and our love is a shield, one that will protect us against those weapons that would harm us. A shield that will repel the forces of evil that threaten us. There’s a reason they gave Captain America a shield and not a sword. There’s a reason they gave the Doctor a screwdriver and not a gun. Fighting hatred with hatred only breeds more hate. So I ask you to not respond to hate with hate. Take the hate and use it. Use it to fuel your light, to give you a reason to keep going, and if the hate ever becomes too much, lay it on us. Give us your hate because you all are too young and not nearly at the place where you’re ready to bear such a burden. That’s why we’re here. We’ll take that burden from you guys and use it to protect you.
Before I finish, let me say this one more time; love is not a weapon. Weapons are used to cause pain and force change. Love is a shield-- one that defends against hate and drives away pain. We can’t run from the next four years. We have to muster all the love we can, put up the strongest shield possible, and keep pushing forward. I promise that we millennials will do everything in our power to make things right for you post-millennials, to protect you moving forward and to give as much love as we can to safeguard your futures. If you ever feel like you can’t keep going, tell us. I promise that we won’t let you guys down again. We’re about to go through a dark age, but following every dark age there is a renaissance, one filled with hope and change that will make things right again. Until then, stay strong and remember that we are here for you.