I get it. You're frustrated. The man who you fought so hard against to get elected has made your worst nightmare come true. The problem though, is that more than half of the voting population elected this man to be president. Have you taken a moment to see why this might have happened?

Many people I've spoken to were absolutely shocked that Donald Trump was elected to become our President. Many of those same people have also lived in the same place/state their entire lives (Chapel Hill, NC and/or California). Newsflash: once you step outside of the bubble, things are a lot less bright. How many of you have actually spoken with someone who voted for Trump to see why they made their decision? How many of you have actually peered outside of your privileged spaces and seen the level of decadence plaguing various regions of the nation? To put it in perspective, of the 25 states that have the highest unemployment rates, 15 of them went Republican. On the list of the 100 lowest-income places in the U.S., the VAST majority of them are located in states that went red. Of the 25 states with lowest median-income households, 22 of them went Republican. Many states that went red experienced minuscule or negative GDP growth in the 2nd quarter of 2016, an oh-so familiar trend for many of these states. The Great Recession precipitated job loss, housing loss and insecurity, poverty, and an overall decline in general welfare. Despite economic growth and overall decline in unemployment under the Obama administration, many citizens in our more rural states have not experienced this growth and prosperity. It is very easy to view the numbers and say "Look! The economy is doing much better, how could you criticize Obama?!," when many people have not actually felt the effects or reaped the benefits of such economic growth. It's easy to stand up in California and tell people from Oklahoma that they should listen to you.

This is not to say that electing Donald Trump will fix any of their issues, and in no way am I saying that they made the right decision. I'm not saying that all Trump supporters are from economically impoverished areas, neither am I saying that similar issues don't affect many people that voted for Clinton. All I'm saying is that I can understand where they're coming from.

In our currently polarized political climate, constructive conversation is absolutely necessary. Instead of telling a Trump supporter all of the reasons that they're wrong for the way they voted, ask them what issues matter most to them. Ask them what led them to their decision. Understand how they feel. Recognize that their situation may vastly differ from yours. One of the beauties of living in the United States is that YOU DON'T HAVE TO AGREE. Just be willing to listen to the other side but don't be so quick to shoot them down. The problem isn't the fact that they voted for Trump. The problem is that so many live in situations with such little hope, that they felt their only salvation was to vote for such a candidate. Trump offered them what Clinton did not: hope for change. The more and more we vilify and castigate our neighbors for the way they voted, the less we're able work together to create viable and constructive solutions to the real problems we face.