A Short Plea

Helen Le, Sports Editor

When I woke up on Wednesday morning last week, I wasn’t surprised to see that Donald Trump is now our president-elect.

Then again, I had stayed up until I was sure who would win. When I realized that Hillary Clinton only had the opportunity to tie when the status of five or so swing states were still in the air, and with Congress majority red, I knew it was over for her.

This year’s election is the first that I had truly paid attention to. To be fair, I was only twelve for the last election, and Obama won by more electoral votes over Romney than Trump did over Clinton. Also, I’ve only recently delved into politics. I was always the uninterested, the apathetic — I only heard what everyone else heard, and in California, that was mostly liberal views. I was raised a Democrat, even though my parents are not as involved in politics as your average American (this election was my mom’s first time voting!). I took the general stance on issues, the stance that everyone else around me, or so I thought, took.

I may not have been surprised that morning, but I’ll admit that I was caught off-guard with his victory. Everywhere I had looked, there were predictions for Hillary’s win, whether it be by miles or inches. I didn’t blink twice at my Republican friends betting on Hillary, because that was what we all thought: she would win.

If there is one interesting thing that Trump’s win has brought to the table, it’s the data. What happened that skewed our perspectives, or, at least, my perspective so much? I’m sure the statistical predictions and the actual outcome will be studied heavily.

But I didn’t want to ramble about the formal election results. No, I wanted to address the concrete results of Trump’s current status as president-elect of the United States of America.

Disclaimer: I’m sixteen years old and I’m definitely not educated in political science. Additionally, there are too many topics to talk about concerning the consequences of this election, so I’ll only take on one for today. Also, it’s very quick and shallow. I’m not able to detail all the nuances of the situation, of course. Take this as you will.

Violence and hatred are not the answer. Riots do not change the election results. Protests are not going to change Trump’s mind and force him to step down. Making up fake stories about experiences that conveniently fit into your viewpoint only divides everyone. Claiming to move to Canada or to secede from the United States — well, it wouldn’t be as fascinating as this election was.

I am not saying that people’s experiences of racism, sexism, or any other form of discrimination are invalid, especially after this election’s results. But it goes both ways. Nobody should be discriminated against because of the color of their skin (ANY color) or for wearing a shirt of a controversial presidential candidate. If we are going to improve this nation, if we are going to have a bright future, then we do not need to grow further apart.

You have the right to cut off all your friends who voted for Trump in this election. You have the right to be fearful of the future and of what will happen to you or your loved ones or to people across the United States of America. You have the right to have feelings.

But don’t let those feelings cloud the truth. Don’t let all the red blur your vision. Don’t move to Canada just because Trump’s here, because it won’t just be Trump. This country needs us.

Regards,
Helen