Like millions of people around the country, I am still in shock of how our presidential election played out in the very end. Being the Hillary Clinton surrogate I was, this defeat was taken by me as a crushing blow to the hard work I put into her campaign. It was a crushing blow because lots of the work Barack Obama has done over eight years now hangs by a thread and a message of fear and pessimism defeated a message of optimism and hope. Despite my sorrow, I’ll always be grateful that she led a campaign that was mature, educated, courageous, and inclusive of everyone. I am proud to have supported her this year and I hope that she doesn't give up fighting for trending progressive ideals. If Trump understands the weight of his new office, completely eliminates his worst impulses, and surrounds himself with really good people, he has the capacity and potential to be a strong leader who will get things done. He’s been an ambitious go-getter throughout his career. Regardless of my own worst fears, part of our democracy is embracing a peaceful transition of power, and I’m ready to accept that. As Americans, we must respect the democratic system that our country established. Trump has won, and now we see what's next. We must also give our new president-elect the benefit of the doubt, and be open to see what he and his new administration can do for the good of our country. He may not be the president that represents my ideals, but he's my president and I'll respect that. He will give Alec Baldwin a job on Saturday Night Live for the next four years.
Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator
The most successful leaders provide solutions that work for everyone. They understand the concept of strength through unity. Now more than ever is a time to listen to each-other. We need to listen to those crying for criminal justice reform and to our police officers working tirelessly to keep our communities safe. We need to listen to the children of undocumented immigrants who fear that one day their parents will be deported. We need to acknowledge the fear inside our LGBT and other minority communities and reiterate our compassion. We must tap into the knowledge of our military and find solutions towards strengthening our alliances. We need to listen to scientists and take a serious commitment to protect our environment, because clean air and water is a right for everyone. We need to evaluate our education system so that our children can maximize their potential to reach their dreams and to find solutions to make college education debt-free. Lastly, we have to stay true to the values that made America great; our democratic values, freedom of speech, religion, and the press. We have issues that are so much bigger than ourselves, and it'll take everybody on both sides to recognize that fact before anything positive can get done.
If this presidential election cycle has taught me anything, its that silence isn't an option. Its our responsibility to understand our place in society and understand where we can be the most effective. I am still young and I have plenty of work ahead of me. Everybody in this country has a vision of what we need to represent; our country is far from perfect and we'll never be close to that ideal utopian society. America has been great because we've recognized our problems in the past and we've always banded together to fight for the better good of our society. America has been great because we're home to innovators and some of the most ambitious people in the world. While I didn't get the result I wanted from Tuesday night, I did re-kindle a spirit to make an ever bigger difference. Being a true American isn't about being liberal or conservative, it's about being ambitious and strong; its about unconditionally caring for other people and celebrating our differences.
While we do have to listen, it's vital to stand your ground and form solutions. A major cornerstone of our democracy is exercising the right to express opinions and fighting for the vision you want to see in the country. Simply only caring is not enough anymore; in order to drive progress, you change minds and laws. Understand all scopes of an issue at hand and take action. I implore you all to get educated on our laws and systems of government. Follow current events and find all sides of the story. Volunteer with organizations that do good in your community. Register people to vote. Keep an ideologically diverse friend group, because although its amazing to have people around you that are like-minded, you'll never broaden your own horizons without listening to the opposite arguments. I'm more than ready to continue fighting for what I believe is right, and change doesn't happen if others aren't willing to join you in solidarity.
I'm not moving to Canada and I'm certainly not going to give up on this political process. If we don't take action and let our voices be heard, we defeat the purpose of being an engaged citizen. Don't just hear echoes of your own ideas but learn from someone who isn't like you. We've been tested before, and this is only the beginning of a new era in American history.