Moving Forward: Why We Need Acceptance

By: Abby Bender

I awoke this morning to the news that Donald J. Trump is going to be the next President of the United States of America. My first thoughts were thoughts of disappointment, sadness, and maybe a little bit of fear. I think my sentiments reflect those of many today.

Upon browsing social media this morning, I was really torn with how I felt. Twitter and Facebook were filled with posts expressing hate towards Trump, the election, our country and even our own peers.

I saw tweets and posts saying things like “If you voted for Trump, I hate you,” or “I have lost all faith in this country,” or “I am ashamed to be an American today.”

I was torn because, like many of these people, I was disappointed with the results of this election. I felt all of these things too. But the more I thought about it, I realized that what the people behind these posts are failing to realize is that whether we like the results or not, this is the way it is.

There is no changing it now. Having hate for Trump, the system, and each other is not going to change that or accomplish anything.

To those with hate for the system:

Hating the system and saying that you are ashamed to be an American is not the way to fix things. Saying you are ashamed to be an American is a disgrace to this great country in which we live. We are given the opportunity to vote for our leaders and have a voice, something that others in this world are not given. Be thankful for that. Your country was given the opportunity to choose and it did. Respect that.

To those who are hateful towards those who voted for and support Trump:

First, whether we like the results or not, this is the way that it is. One side has to lose. The beautiful thing about this country is that even though our beliefs may not line up with those of our president, we are still allowed to have them. Differences in opinions, and the ability to have them is what makes this country of ours so incredible.

You don’t have to agree with the  opinions of your peers. But respect them. Appreciate them. It’s how we learn.

Second, not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist or bigot. Saying that just makes you look bad. Sure, some might be; but generalizing people who voted for Trump as being racist, is lazy thinking. You are mad at them for supposedly being racist, which by definition, is generalizing people based on their race, yet you are generalizing those people yourself. Don’t do that. It makes us all look bad.

Finally, now is not the time to become divided. It is more important than ever to stay united right now. We are all on the same side: the side of the United States of America.

President Obama reminded us of this today in his remarks, Now, everybody is sad when their side loses an election, but the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage. We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first.” Now is the time to come together and work together as Americans, not hate each other.

While I will be the first to admit that I am not happy at all about the results of this election, we must still respect the office of the president. Acceptance of the results is key.

Hillary Clinton said it best in her speech today. “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” she said as she delivered her concession speech with class. 

She reminded us that while this is disappointing, we need to keep our faith in the country that we love. We must look towards the future, rather than dwelling on something that we cannot change. So instead of sending out messages of hate behind the screen of a computer or phone, let’s move forward and look for change.

The people of the United States need to give  Donald Trump a chance. If he does the things that many are worried that he will do, then let’s be upset. But right now, posting about how much you hate anyone who voted for him is not going to change anything.

I’m not dismissing the fears that many have, however, it’s imperative that we at least give Trump a chance. This election is over and it’s done with. Let’s move forward and look to the future. Maybe Trump will prove us wrong. I don’t know about you, but I’m really hoping and praying that he does.

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