Trust in the Strength of One Another
By Shelby Patrick (Colorado College Undergraduate)
When I sealed the envelope and signed my name on my absentee ballot, I started to cry. I started to cry because at 18 years old, in my first presidential election, I got to vote for a woman. Two weeks later, on November 8th, I started to cry again. This time the tears running down my face were for a lost hope, for the knowledge that little girls growing up in America may now believe that their country doesn’t respect or value them. I cried for the many women who have waited decades for this glass ceiling to shatter into a million pieces only to face disappointment as the map slowly turned a shade of dark red.
In the hours and days following the election, I have found Hillary Clinton’s concession speech to be an unexpected source of comfort. Her message of continuing to fight for what we believe in and for the hope that a female president will sit in the Oval Office one day have sustained me throughout these past days. However, most of all, her reinforcement that this is not a battle lost, but a bump in the road, albeit a large and painful one, has remained an ever present thought in my mind. I hold Secretary Clinton’s words and message close to heart. I want to thank her for being a trailblazer for the many women to come, for my own nieces who can now see that they too can run for president, and I want to thank her for showing me that I can be whoever and whatever I want. Secretary Clinton showed me that although some may see me as powerless, that is far from the truth. Although it may feel today as if the glass ceiling has only been reinforced, I must believe that that isn’t true.
President-elect Trump represents many forms of evil and his rhetoric has made many women, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and religious minorities fear for their safety, their rights, and feel unwanted in this country. However, his hateful speech must not divide us further, but bring us closer together and teach us a powerful message of love, hope, and resilience. As we start to face the certainly difficult, painful, and trying next four years in this country I trust in the strength of one another and the outpouring of support and love I have witnessed.