Following one of the most unprecedented elections in U.S history, Donald Trump’s subsequent win surprised political scientists and the general public alike. Many have taken to social media to express their fear and disgust. Some have already begun to organize protests and swear to refuse to acknowledge a Trump presidency. “I’m still with her” is currently trending on Twitter.
As a proud third-party voter, I washed my hands of both Trump and Clinton a while ago. Hillary Clinton is never someone I considered voting for. Not only do I disagree with her policies, but I find the idea of putting a criminal in office utterly “deplorable”, as Mrs. Clinton would say. And although I agreed with some of Donald Trump’s policies, I grew tired of trying to rationalize his erratic behavior and the unsavory past which haunted him all throughout the election.
But this is not about my opinion any longer. The election is over. Donald Trump has won. It’s time to accept that. If you can’t stand the thought of living in a country where a former reality star is president, then leave. We won’t miss you. America is built on change: it never ceases to change. We had 8 years of Obama, and now for better or worse we have at least 4 years of Donald Trump: change indeed. And that’s something America can handle.
Despite the memes and snide comments that are circling social media, there are no concentration camps being set up. No nuclear missiles have been set off yet. This is America. We are a democracy. No one gets all the power, not even the president. And definitely not Donald Trump. There are checks and balances in place to prevent the wild-eyed media’s “worst case scenarios” from happening.
In the United States we live on the principles of freedom. Freedom of speech. Freedom to assemble. If you think Donald Trump represents hate, then spread love. If you think Donald Trump has divided America, then be open to coming together again. But don’t be ignorant enough to try and defy this presidency. This is not a time for ignorance. This is not a time for fear.
In the spirit of keeping an open mind, I admit that I believe Hillary Clinton said it best in her concession speech: “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” He may not be what any of us expected or even what some of us wanted, but this is what we have. Give Donald Trump a chance, America.