Love Always Trumps Hate

By Ashhab Thakur (Harvard College Undergraduate)

Love Trumps Hate, Period.

Like many of us, I’m scared. I’m scared for the future of the United States, but I’m more scared about the effect this election will have on the Earth and its people. The president-elect and vice president-elect of the United States of America do not believe in global warming or social inclusion, among so many other fundamental problems in our world. These two issues alone create a dilemma unlike any other for the very survival of our society.

First, the Earth. The Earth is fragile and the environment is delicate. Humans have been abusing the environment for centuries, and the issues of global warming and environmental issues in general have turned from a scientific problem into a political problem. But why? The answer quite simply, is political culture. Caring about the environment is not macho. But it should be, because defending our planet should be priority number one. With so much empirical evidence for global warming (read here: http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/) it is truly unsettling to think that such a large segment of our country denies its existence, and now that segment includes the soon-to-be leader of our nation. Democrat or Republican or Independent should not matter when it comes to the environment, because all the science points to one answer: we are destroying our Earth. So yes, I fear that Donald Trump and Mike Pence spell a massive step backwards for clean energy and environmental protection, and that’s not good for anybody.

Second, racism and sexism. Racism is real and when intermingled with xenophobia, it becomes the most complex problem that the United States faces today. Racism, defined as, “A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race,” is wrong. It is often subconscious, but that does not, in any way, justify it. Everyday, we see the effects of racism in the workplace, in our segregated cities, and in the education system. Worst of all, we see it on election day, through voter suppression, whether politically or legally. Likewise, we see sexism in the same places — the workplace, the education system, and on the national political stage. When a male presidential candidate is so openly misogynistic and is caught bragging about sexual assault, he still has a chance to win the Oval Office. Imagine if Hillary Clinton had bragged about sexually assaulting a man – she would be reviled by the entire electorate, not just half of it. And so now we have a president-elect who won so many votes on the basis of insulting people of color, women, the LGBT+ community, the disabled, and so many others. Racism and sexism are objectively real, and so many people in this country experience it every single day.

To those who I know who voted for Trump, many of you say that you voted for him because you hated Hillary, and because you liked Trump’s economic or military policies more. If that’s really true, then own it. Own that you voted for some parts of Trump, but not all of him. Own that you are not in support of the blatant misogyny and racism he has awoken around the nation. And to everyone, especially to all of those who are scared for the next four years, remember this – America is great, and love trumps hate. Love always trumps hate. Let’s make these next four years about spreading the love we have in our hearts, about fighting for the causes we believe in, and about holding together the fabric and dignity of our nation.