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Time to move forward past election–together

Kelly McCarthy

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In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States, and with his inauguration quickly approaching, our country feels just as divided as ever. The tensions and overall negativity surrounding the outcome (especially in the rather liberal city of Chicago and state of Illinois) are widespread. It’s not to say that the protesting, disbelief, or worry is completely unexpected, but it’s really time for us to move forward, together, as a nation, regardless of who supports who.

The fact of the matter is that, whether we like it or not, Trump is going to be our nation’s 45th president. And that’s that. Period. Nothing is going to change that, so we do need to give him the chance that he, as President-elect, deserves. Even if we don’t do this out of respect for the man himself, we at least owe it to our fellow Americans–our friends, family, neighbors. We owe it to them because America truly is a nation “of the people, for the people, and by the people.”

We can’t expect other countries to respect our nation and our leaders if we can’t respect our nation and our leaders. We can’t keep disassociating ourselves with Trump because doing that is disassociating ourselves from this nation that most of us are incredibly proud to be a part of. And doing that is disrespectful of the democratic system which has brought us incredible leaders, success, and power in the past.

And the beauty of this democratic system is that we in no way have to agree with or stand behind any of our leaders’ political views or policies. But we fail the democratic system when we refuse to stand behind its results just because we didn’t “win.” We have to respect the methods through which our leaders have arrived at their positions–the votes of Americans of different ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, economic backgrounds, etc.

We need to stop looking at it from the “win-lose” perspective. Cliche as it might sound, we all won. We won because we are able to choose our leaders. Because when given the choice between two presidential candidates, America chose Trump. And America isn’t some distant governing body. America is all of us: we are America.

While it might take some people more time to come to terms with the outcome of the election, we should ultimately choose to put our faith in America, which is to put our faith in each other. Throughout our history, America has had our fair share of both incredible successes and failures, but through it all, we have believed in each other, if nothing else. So through this presidency too (whether it turns out to be a success or not), we need to stick together as a nation because that’s what we know best and that’s how our democracy has survived.

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The student news site of John Hersey High School
Time to move forward past election–together