This is OUR Future

By Jennifer Li (Age 17, FL)

I woke up to the sound of notifications on my phone. It was the morning of November 8th. I have relatives in Asia and South America. Despite the different time zones with the United States, they were all updated on the long-awaited and highly-televised presidential election. From the afternoons where my grandfather would blast Chinese news channels like CCTV in our living room, I would hear about the latest comment Donald Trump made—translated in both English and Chinese. It was and still is a shock to hear a person running for office spew such hateful statements, generalizing an entire race in just a few words. The morning of the election, my uncle messaged news articles, predicting the presumed win of Hillary Clinton as president of the United States. Almost all the major news sources forecasted a landslide victory for Hillary that night and they all turned out to be wrong.

I live in Florida, a notorious swing-state. South Florida votes significantly for the Democratic Party while the rest of the state typically votes Republican. Around 8 p.m. on Election Day, the polls had closed and counting had begun. The state of Florida shifted constantly between red and blue, the percentages of votes between the two candidates had less than a 1% difference. I watched as similar swing-state like North Carolina and Virginia resembled Florida, shifting between the two candidates. It was almost 3 a.m. and it was official—there would be a President Trump.

I recall shaking my head in disbelief. This election was widely-debated with contrasting views from advocates for both contenders. Hillary Clinton made history regardless, showing young women how to shatter the restrictions of society. With hard work and determination, women can fight back and become the leaders of the future. Clinton has empowered women all over the world through her campaign, her speeches, and her determination. On the other side of the spectrum, I do not hate Trump supporters. If you voted for Trump, that’s fine. Everyone has their own respective political views and candidate preferences. I am not a hateful person; however, but I can say that I cannot respect the ones that voted for racism, for homophobia, for Islamophobia, and for sexism. If you voted for him to create a world of white supremacy and a society plagued with racism, I am afraid. As a woman, an Asian-American, and the child of immigrants, I am afraid. But that will not stop me. The people have a say in this democratic nation. For those who are angered, distraught, and frightened over a Trump presidency, stay strong. The future is uncertain but that has always been a reality. To all the people who will make a difference in the world like the future politicians, world leaders, and business executives, don’t lose hope. Our country is strong, tough enough to get through a hardship. Let this be a message to the American people to fight for what they want. Get out and vote, campaign for the things that matter, and never give up. This election has taught us more than just the rollercoaster of Trump vs. Clinton. It is a lesson of determination, tenacity, and unity. For my generation and those to come, work hard, study hard, and push for change. This is it. This is our future and it’s time we take it into our own hands. 

Donald Trump stated, “Make America Great Again.” 

Oh, we will. Just wait for it.