Instead of attacking one another, how can we imagine an alternative to managing the feeling of despair? Can we think of an effective way to let our voices be heard without hurting one another even more? How do we separate our political opinions and views about others? How can we take this situation and turn it around? How do we move away from the hatred that has hung a dark cloud over us?

The close-minded reader of this will read this as a liberal-like attack on anyone who voted for Trump, or perhaps from a different perspective, a Republican rejoice for Trump gaining the presidency. If you believe either of these things, read again and understand the situation that has been created within our country. I am asking the question, how do we deal now?

Families turning against each other. Friends unfriending each other. Political views stopping love and equality from progressing into the future. How do we deal with the despair?

What happens now, America?

As someone who has lived through her first time voting, experiencing the fear of voting for someone who my friends/family did not agree with, is this what democracy is? How did we become a country that has based our decisions, or silence, on fear?

Why are voices not being heard? Why are we being silenced?

I've been trying to understand the rhetorical situation behind the election; trying to understand why Donald Trump used commonplaces such as "I know it, you know it, we all know it" to fight for his side; trying to understand why Hillary used silence to cope with Donald's interruptions during the debates and how her silence spoke louder to her audience than his interruptions; trying to understand why over 11,000 people voted for a dead gorilla instead of voicing a real political opinion; trying to understand how all of this collectively speaks volumes about our nation.

A young scholar can't possibly understand all of these things.

A qualified and experienced academic who has been studying rhetoric for years can't possibly understand all of these things, either.

So, I ask you again. How can we imagine an effective alternative to the feeling of despair?