President-elect Donald Trump looks on in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 during a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in their first public step toward a transition of power in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
There is little point in engaging in petty arguments about what could have been or what should have been. Adding to the hostility Donald Trump brought to the forefront of the national conversation, which will likely be elevated now that he’s been elected president, will gain us nothing.
“This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it,” a defeated Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech Wednesday. “It is. It is worth it.”
Many people are hurting. It feels like Trump stamped his name in giant gold letters on a glass ceiling left very much intact. It feels that way for now, but time will vindicate us. Clinton believes, and we should too.
What do we do now?
We spend the next four years standing up for ourselves; we spend the next four years standing up for our brothers and sisters.
Our friends who are at risk of deportation or forced registration, we stand up for them and stand with them side-by-side against this flagrant discrimination.
We’ve had the luxury of eight years under President Barack Obama. We were lucky to have found someone to lead us who was calm and collected, as well as thoughtful and inclusive.
Have we become complacent with the benefits granted to us in the last eight years?
Marriage equality: check. Deferred action: check. Health care reform: check. A president not labeling people terrorists because of their religion: check.
Obama pulled our nation up after the markets crashed, and he brought us back from the edge of total disaster. Now we have a 4.9 percent unemployment rate after it peaked at 10 percent as a result of the crash.
We were losing 800,000 jobs per month, and now we’ve had 73 straight months of job growth.
Now: we will have President Donald Trump. He’s the second consecutive Republican to take the presidency without the popular vote – and only the fifth in American history.
There is no point in demanding his resignation; he won’t. With a Republican House of Representatives and Senate, there is no point in demanding for his impeachment; they won’t.
Many of us fought to keep this runaway freight train from achieving the highest office in the world, and we failed.
There isn’t time to feel sadness or outrage; we must wake from our haze of complacency and be more vigilant than ever.
Being hostile and argumentative will not move us forward; it will only make us feel better while we’re standing still.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
We must be the bigger people; we must have grace, and we’re not alone.
“To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said after Trump’s victory. “To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”
Sanders came into our hearts during the election, and even though the vote didn’t go his way, and the nomination fell to Hillary Clinton, he is still here fighting for us. He is still here fighting with us.
Don’t embattle yourself with those who will not see reason. It serves no purpose. Instead, we’re going to give the new president the benefit of the doubt and take it from there.
Believe it or not, the man will likely do what he feels is best for the country. Whether we agree with it should be dealt with on a issue-by-issue basis. There is nothing to gain by being totally defensive and trying to fight his every move as Congress has done to Obama the last eight years. That fight only hurts more Americans, and we cannot be the cause of that suffering.
“We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country,” Obama said Wednesday. “The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy. And over the next few months, we are going to show that to the world.”
After all, Trump’s failure would hurt us in the long run. We need him to succeed in this role.
Does this mean we stay quiet for four years? Absolutely not.
When injustice arises, we should fight it with justice. When we find oppression, we should fight it with diversity. When we see exclusion, we should fight it with inclusion.
Democracy is always a work in progress – as is society. There will always be a battle to fight.
Make sure to check up on friends at risk because of the incoming administration. They’re hurting the most, and they need our support. Remember that love always trumps hate.
We will stand up for our friends, our family and total strangers. We will fight for justice, and we will do it together.