America is still great

Donald Trump has officially won the 2016 presidential election. Something that seemed inconceivable has actually occurred. The morning after the presidential election results, I was at a loss for words following the announcement of his victory.

Since the beginning, this election has been one of contention and has only exemplified adversary politics. For months, I held on to a negative impression of Trump and he became part of my daily conversations. We will now be led by a man who is most known for his anger and aggressive speech. How exactly did this happen? How did we allow this man, whose best quality is bringing people together through hate, become the next president of the United States?

Up until today, I believed that the election of Trump into the Oval Office would mean the ultimate demise of the U.S.

Upon reflection and the results of this year’s election, however, my mind has changed. We have elected an official to the most important job in our society and we must accept the outcome. Instead of focusing on what could happen to our country, what could go wrong with his presidency, we need to think about what could go right. What I believe is most important in times like these is to focus on the positives.

It is easy to spout hate and jump to violence. But these are not the values that we should encourage in the U.S. What is not easy is choosing love. It is not easy choosing peace, but it is during times like these when that is what we must rely on. In this time when we feel the most worried and unsure, we must choose hope.

We cannot allow ourselves to become a divided nation. We cannot let ourselves fall into patterns of hatred, bigotry, racism and isolation. We must not allow a man who has repeatedly encouraged violence, hatred and exclusivity to change who we are. By the end of Jan. 2017, we will be represented by a man who believes the success of our nation is through the failure of another. We will be presenting an image of ourselves that will focus on the most dishonorable and shameful parts of our nation, rather than our achievements.

America has chosen a man to represent the values and morals of its citizens. However, I know I am not shouting into the void when I say that Trump’s attitude and offensive language are behaviors widely unacceptable to many Americans.

I continue to be grateful to live in a country that believes in equal rights, free speech, mutual respect and inclusivity. It is the time to remember that the sacrifices of those who have come before us and created a nation that needs to be protected — not physical protection through international borders or immigration vetting, but the protection and progression of democracy and civility. We must respect the duties we have to our forefathers to guard the morals and values of our nation. The U.S. is still honorable, as well as its citizens.

It is not time to mourn for the future state of our great nation. We have always been great and will continue to be. It is time to prove that the beliefs of one does not equate to the beliefs of all. This is the time to remember that the future of America will be tested, but we will prevail in the end.

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