Written by Gabe Burns, Editor-in-Chief
The final curtain fell.
“I’m devastated,” a women’s rights advocate and fellow editor-in-chief texted me late last night.
“I fear so much for us all. I’m so scared,” texted Tayler Lawhorn, my friend who’s a member of the LGBT community.
“All my hope and belief in this country is gone,” said a minority friend who works for a well-known financial services company in Manhattan.
Of course, I received a number of jubilant texts.
“He did it!”
“The bastard pulled it off!”
Either way, the election drama is over.
Donald Trump will be the president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2017.
Many of you fall into the first group of messages: disappointment, disbelief, fearfulness. Others of you fit the latter: celebratory, excited, rejuvenated, optimistic. After a long, and at times painful process, America reached its conclusion. The country hired Trump, a man who has more experience with the WWE than the military. The country hired Trump, a man whose name was nowhere to be found in Washington D.C., but landmarked on Hollywood Boulevard.
In 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency on overtures of change. Sec. Hillary Clinton wished to follow in his footsteps. She possessed similar philosophies and represented a monumental milestone for the progressive movement: a female presidency. The most qualified candidate in American history, according to some, was largely considered a lock.
In the end, change won again.
There are roughly 241 million people of voting age, and most media outlets project around half that number visited the polls. Over 15,000 citizens voted for “Harambe,” the deceased gorilla. Both candidates were so disliked, Libertarian candidate Gov. Gary Johnson managed to snatch a handful of votes, including in the crucial state of Florida. If you believed your vote wasn’t important, or you wrote in Selena Gomez or Taylor Swift on the ballot, perhaps this election serves as an indelible lesson that every voice matters.
Clinton and Trump are neck-and-neck in the popular vote. That means most of you are in a sphere of despair. That emotion is magnified – both in the positive and negative lights – by the erroneous polls thrown around for months.
Folks, your voice mattered. The majority of America chose a candidate, and even if you don’t like it, you should support his administration. As President Obama said Wednesday, we all must hope for Trump’s success.
It’s no secret Trump’s discourse concerned minorities, women and others. I’m a white male. I cannot begin to understand how some of you may feel. I don’t know Trump personally, and neither do most of you. What I know is the United States appointed him as our leader. That’s not changing. That’s the final performance of the show. It’s time to accept it and move forward as an amalgamated nation.
You matter. All people, regardless of race, gender, sexual preference or anything else matter. One person doesn’t make a nation. Americans should pull together to love and support everyone. The president won’t affect that. The slogan “love always wins” has recently gained prevalence. It should stand strong.
Without unity, the final curtain falls on a country that prides itself on freedom. Let’s band together. Let’s gather not as Republicans or Democrats, but as a nation. We’re all on one team, but that requires supporting one another. It requires us to love one another.
Then, and only then, will America be great again.