OPINION: Trump won; it’s time to encourage hope

[An opinions piece from the Legacy newspaper, published on Nov. 15, 2016]

The recent election has proven a fundamental flaw in our country.

When we riot instead of rally, cry foul instead of promote peace and stomp our feet instead of move toward change, we show this flaw.

We have lost hope in ourselves as Americans, and we have lost hope in our country as a whole.

In the aftermath of this election, we have shown remarkable immaturity and disgrace toward a man who hasn’t even taken office yet. He has not had a chance to prove himself, and we already say he will be the worst president in history.

I will say this: I am not Donald Trump’s biggest fan. I am not one of his supporters, and I wholeheartedly disagree with the many comments he has made during his campaign.

But, the reality is that he is now our president-elect, whether we like it or not.

I find it incredibly ridiculous that the very people on my Facebook feed who promote social justice for all and equality are blatantly denouncing Trump. When did equality for all turn into equality for people that we like?

When I watched the announcement roll in around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday, I felt nervous. But I made a promise to myself to give Trump the benefit of the doubt and see where things went. I said to myself that I would not be worried until he gave me a definite reason to worry during his presidency.

Yes, his comments were a warning, but his actions since becoming the president-elect have not gotten me worried.

I am worried and terrified of where we will go from here. Yet, my worry does not come from the words and actions of our president-elect. My fear comes from the reactions of my fellow Americans.

We riot and yell about the injustices we face, and we burn the American flag in protest. But what is that accomplishing? It’s just proving that we are broken.

We have lost hope in ourselves, and we blame our nation’s leaders. But we can overcome this.

The reality is this: If we hold ourselves high as Americans and stand together, then it doesn’t matter what we face.

Have hope in yourselves and in each other. If things escalate, and we find ourselves in one of the worst presidencies of the nation, then the only way to survive is to stand together.

Don’t ridicule your neighbor. Don’t call people names. Instead, share hope and encouragement. If people don’t respond in turn, then don’t give up.

Be the bigger person. Be the change. Have hope.

I believe in all of you, and I believe that we will survive as a nation because we will stand together. I believe in all of this because I have hope, and I hope you will too.

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