I Still Believe in the Promise of this Country

By Jessie Rodriguez (Harvard College Undergraduate)

I am the daughter of Cuban immigrants. I am a first-generation student at Harvard University. I am a woman planning to concentrate in Government who hoped one of us would finally become President of the United States. While I am disappointed, I still believe in the promise of this country.

On Wednesday morning, I woke up in disbelief that Hillary Clinton would not be our President. Even worse, we would end up with Donald Trump. I took a moment to reflect on what had occurred and let the reality sink in. I then thought of all the hateful things Trump had said throughout his campaign and felt overwhelming sadness. I cried for my undocumented friends who were filled with uncertainty about what their lives could look like some time from now. I cried for my Muslim friends who are viewed as terrorists because of Trump’s rhetoric. I cried for my LGBTQ+ friends who have a President and Vice-President that do not believe in their rights. I cried for women who thought we would finally break the glass ceiling and show men everywhere that we are just as capable as them. I cried for everyone who feels less safe because of the results of this election. 

Many of us are still trying to understand how this happened. But if there’s one thing I know for certain, it is that we cannot let this devastate us enough to stop us from fighting for the values we believe in. If we give up, hate will win and love will lose. We have a right to feel angry and frustrated, but we have an even greater responsibility to continue to fight for what is right. We must use our pain as motivation and work a hundred times harder to make sure that progress always wins. If none of us do it, then no one else will. 

I will not let my love for my country be stripped away because of the results of this election. I will fight as hard as I can to make certain that this is a country that works for all of us, not just a handful. I remain optimistic because I still believe that this country holds the power to change lives for the better.

Thank you, Hillary Clinton, for continuously inspiring me. We may not have broken the glass ceiling, but you have already changed the course of history. Because of you, I firmly believe that we are Stronger Together.