Talia Rosenberg ‘17
America is still in shock. Only a little after 1 am on Wednesday, November 9th, Pennsylvania went red. It was at that point that, although networks could not call it yet, we all knew who would be the 45th President of The United States. At about 3 am, Donald J Trump took the stage at his campaign headquarters in New York to declare that Clinton had conceded the election after an obvious majority win of electoral college votes by Trump. Sorry, President-Elect Trump… What could have been the election to put the first female president in office running on one of the most progressive platforms thus far in American history, became the election that handed the most powerful position on earth to the host of The Apprentice.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion when it comes to policy and Conservatism vs Liberalism; however, no one can deny that this election was the most vulgar in US history. This could be proved simply by the fact that racist rhetoric, sexist actions, and all around xenophobia, were the memorable points in Trump’s campaign platform, and they did not deter half of America from voting for him. Some people felt as though their voices were not being heard until Trump came along and put a microphone to their anger. It did not matter if his policies were not concrete or if he tanked the debates against Clinton. To these Americans, what mattered the most was that policies like Hillary’s have been ineffective for the past eight years and Trump’s new ideas were fresh and full of possibility in their eyes. It is okay to believe in Hillary’s policies and exclaim that even this justification for voting for Trump is wrong; however, it is naive to think that all of America believes in what you or Hillary believes in.
Not even all of the Democratic Party believes in Hillary and her policies. While many Republicans who disagreed with Trump begrudgingly voted against him, many did not, as it is hard to change your entire take on the economy and domestic and foreign affairs in one election cycle. Policies did not align and some people could not risk giving up all of their beliefs simply because they disliked the person leading their party to the white house. However, the more worrisome reality is that some people voted for Trump because of his racist/xenophobic rhetoric and sexist personality. Since the election, there have been multiple instances around the country of hateful actions against minorities, including swastikas being drawn in public spaces in the name of our future commander in chief. This does not come from a place of policy disagreement but from a place of white supremacy and utter racism.
This election has unearthed what we at Friends’ Central strive to fight against every day. With these thoughts fueling the actions of our President, how can we have hope that equal opportunity will be rewarded to all American citizens regardless of religion, gender, sexual orientation and nationality? How can we have hope that the number of shootings of young African Americans will decrease? How can we have hope that our Muslim friends will feel safe in their own country? How can we have hope that a woman will ever make it to the White House, or ever receive equal pay for equal work? As the answers to these questions are so unclear, we need to continue to try and make these things happen speak up for what we believe in, and fight for equality to make sure everyone has the same opportunity to pursue happiness. There is hope in aligning ourselves with our friends of different backgrounds and cultures in the face of discrimination and degradation. We have hope by unifying the people across party lines and trying to see the humanity in others despite all of the walls put up by our differences. We have hope by coming to school every day and continuing to educate ourselves so that we can take hold of our own futures and do our best as United States citizens to “peacefully transform the world.”
Things may look bleak now, but they will not be bleak forever. President-elect Donald Trump represent ideals of the past. We as accepting, and caring students of a Friends’ School, where our Quaker values guide us through dark and confusing times, represent the future. This is not the time to point fingers at other Americans and think of more ways we can all hate each other. Love Trumps Hate and we must try to understand others as well as try to help others understand us. With understanding comes peace.