Students should move forward from 2016 election with positive attitudes

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Tribune News Service

President-elect Donald Trump, joined on stage by running mate Mike Pence, speaks to supporters at the Election Night Party at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday/TNS)

By Hayley Nagelberg, Columnist

nagelberghayleyLast night, our nation elected the next President of the United States.  President-elect Donald Trump went through the entire legal, democratic process, and he won.

And Facebook, at least my millennial-college-student-filled Facebook, erupted.

Waking up Wednesday morning, you’d think there was no way Trump could have actually won if you were looking at my news feed.

But reflecting on the way my news feed looked this morning, I feel there’s something missing in the majority of people’s responses.

What I saw on my Facebook was an overwhelming urge to point fingers, to question the system and to express anger.

It is understandable that people had confidence in their candidates. That just means that they truly believed in them and supported them. So today, they were upset when it didn’t end up the way they wanted.

But what I see on my Facebook this morning, and what I’ve heard in conversations all day, is not productive to our required next steps as a community. Don’t post about how much you hate those who felt differently than you. After spending months of not letting people with other perspectives speak, the responses today are doing exactly what you’ve accused Trump of doing this whole time — adding to the divisiveness of the country you’ve claimed he will bring.

The opening scene of the HBO show “The Newsroom” has been a viral video for a while now.  It recirculated on my newsfeed again last night, and one line stands out to me about what America has been and what it should be.

The line says: “We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it, it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easy.”

When Trump accepted the results last night, he started by sharing that Clinton had just called him to congratulate “us.”

“It’s about us,” he said.  And he is correct.  He thanked her for her service to the country, and then said, “To all Republicans and Democrats and Independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”

You can have issues with his policies, you can find fault by how the results of this election season unfolded, but now you have another choice to make.  This choice, unlike the choice the entire nation made last night, is an easy choice.  The choice is to be positive or negative.  I am choosing to be positive.

I made this choice while watching the results come in, and was, jokingly, reprimanded for not being sad with everyone else.  But the election being over is not the end, it’s only the beginning.

There is so much potential for our country now.

Make the choice to be positive. Whatever candidate you supported, you supported more than just the person.  You supported at least some of their ideas and visions for the country. So make the choice, the same one you made in the last few months, to stay involved in the politics of this country.  Make the choice to have your voice heard on the issues that are important to you, but know that you don’t need to agree with any one person on every single issue.

Make the choice to make this country as amazing as it can be, because America’s strength is in its people, and if we could only move forward unified, our country would achieve so much.

Hayley is a sophomore in ACES.

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