We are Stronger Together
By Morgan Nelson (Worcester State Undergraduate)
Like many people, I stayed up late on November 8, 2016 to watch the results of this election. Days leading up to this seemed to me and many others like it could not go any other way than a win for Hillary Clinton. I sat in a common room with friends, all waiting in anticipation for the same result to be called: President-Elect Hillary Clinton. Yet as the night went on our disappointment rose the longer we watched. Hillary Clinton just never seemed to catch up to Donald Trump. Our excitement left us and was replaced by an overwhelming sorrow for what this meant for the nation. My roommate and I finally gave in around 1 o’clock in the morning and went to bed, knowing that the results tomorrow morning would not be in our favor.
I was living in a fool’s paradise to think that America was ready to elect its first female president. How stupid was I to think that enough change had happened that for my first election that I was old enough to vote in, I would be able to see the United States’ first female president, a brilliant woman who has worked her entire life fighting for the good of others. As my friends and I realized Trump was our next president, a fellow student walked into the common room. As expected, we were all upset. This young man told us that we would all be fine because we are white. He on the other hand, was extremely nervous and worried for the safety of his family since he is Hispanic. It is heart-breaking to hear this from a fellow student in 2016, a time that is supposedly so progressive. While I am upset at the outcome of this election, I am not one of the people who has the most to lose in what is to come.
The past eight years have been leaps and bounds forward. How far I felt that our nation had come during that time to elect the first black president. A man who has handled the difficulties of this position with grace and dignity. But as we hear that our new president will be Donald Trump, it seems these successes will cease and time will be turned back. How could this happen in 2016? A year that is supposed to be so progressive for women, minorities, immigrants, and all people. We have now elected a man as our president whose policies are not for the good of all people. Personally, I am a white middle-class 18-year-old young woman. I have never feared for my family’s safety nor felt fearful, prejudiced glares walking into the room as a minority. For any person who has ever experienced this, I am here for you.
Whenever I am on Facebook, I see a mix of different opinions on the election. Some did vote for Trump and I cannot comprehend how they could have chosen him. But it is their right to vote for whoever they want and this needs to be remembered. I will never put someone down for the choices they make in who they vote for. But, I will not sit back and let others put down or demean those who are different. It seems like people keep forgetting that we are all humans. No matter our opinions or thoughts, we are all united by the fact that we inhabit this planet together. While I am devastated by the results of this election, I will not let them overtake me. We are stronger than this. No matter where you turn, there will be a person you can look to for help. If you are LGBTQ, a woman, a Muslim, a person of color, or any other minority group that now cannot feel comfortable walking down the street, although there are people against you, there are many more people who will stand with you in solidarity and who will always be there for you.
While the results of this election seem to be the end of America and the freedom that has been a staple of it ever since it was founded, this is not. This is an unnecessary opportunity for America to come back stronger and prove that its citizens are stronger than any oppression that may be forced upon them. Never feel as though you are unwanted in this nation because to me, there is not a person or group here that is inferior. I love and respect all people the same and see these same feelings in my friends, family, and fellow classmates. America is a nation built by immigrants and those looking for refuge. It seems from this election that we are against these people looking for sanctuary and like the people before us, we will find this safety again. We are stronger than oppression, discrimination, and any thought meant to intimidate, put down, or attack a fellow member of these fifty states. So America, hold your head up high in the fact that we are stronger than any hate that President Trump can bring into this nation.
As it is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” America is a nation of immigrants and will forever be that. It is best for us all to never forget these words, because it is when we forget this, that a man like Donald Trump can be elected president and go against everything that this inscription stands for. Mr. Trump’s campaign was anything but something that would unite this nation. He is a man that has diminished the role of women in five vile and disgusting words. A man whose running mate has the medieval thought that LGBTQ American’s sexuality can be changed through horrendous acts of shock-conversion therapy. A man who believes that immigrants should be marked and sent back but seems to forget that his own wife is an immigrant. He has shown that a man with no political experience can bully his way into the highest position in our nation’s government. Despite this, America will come back stronger with more wisdom in our next presidential election. So, while my candidate was not successful in her bid for the highest position in our nation, what she stood for and the principles that she fought so long and hard for goes on in all who support equality and justice for all men and women. We truly are stronger together.