Eight years ago I sat watching the election results as a high schooler (back when I was super conservative) afraid of an Obama presidency. I felt my heart sink in my stomach as I watched the results roll in and the states slowly change from white to blue. Last night I had a similar feeling, but this time it was much worse. I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton, but the fear I feel for a Trump presidency was enough to inspire so much anxiety I couldn’t watch the results live. I basically played video games trying to ignore what was happening until the results were announced, but even then I couldn’t help refreshing my phone, my heart sinking every time those red numbers went up.
I am genuinely afraid of the damage that can be done with all the power he has, but I can’t stay afraid. I cant bury my head in the sand or run off to Canada. I have to fight. We have to fight. During the election the voice of racism and violence was louder. As loud as the voice of the man who shouted “kill Obama” during Trump’s acceptance speech. But now we have to louder. We have to be active. We have to do more because what we did this election wasn’t enough. We have to fight and we have to have hope.
I have to hope that the remaining sane parts of the Republican party can keep him in line.
I have to hope that everything he said was just empty words and he doesn’t actually plan to act on the hatred he spouted.
I have to hope that his supporters won’t be so drunk on their victory that they will enact the violence he encouraged without having to lift a finger.
I have to hope that, once confronted with the reality and gravity of his office, that he will act like a president and take care of our country.
I have to hope that all the people in marginalized groups he targeted remain safe.
I have to hope that next time our nation can do better. That both parties can do better at actually taking care of the people they are supposed to be serving. I have to hope and pray that change can happen.
The night before the election we watched the movie Iron Jawed Angels in class. It is about
the women who fought for our right to vote and be heard in politics.
Everything they suffered and how hard they fought is amazing. There is one scene, after the women have lost their campaign to prevent Wilson’s reelection. The two protagonists are talking about what’s left for them to do now, how can they continue after such a defeat? They even joke about moving somewhere where women already have the right to vote. But those women stayed and fought and that is what we have to do. We have to move forward together.
So please, be respectful, be loving, be everything they aren’t and fight for what you believe in. “When they go low, we go high.”