For as long as I’ve been aware of politics, Obama has been my president. I had a “change” poster on my door before I even really understood what he was changing. His values shaped my values. I learned how to act based upon the moral approach he took to the presidency. Our president was someone I strived to be. On Tuesday, America’s course changed. This was a different kind of change. A horrifying change. Instead of choosing to have a country that is proud of itself while acknowledging its faults, the American electorate fell for Trump and the pessimism and hate that comes along with him.
In a few months, the desk on which President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law will be used by Donald Trump to Tweet insults at people who disagree with him. The podium at which President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed will be used by Donald Trump to spew hate. The White House that President Obama lit up in rainbow colors in honor of Marriage Equality will be inhabited by Donald Trump, a symbol of hate and inequality in this country. But the support that we gave to President Obama these past 8 years? Trump will never have that.
This week, America’s course changed. But we won’t let it veer too far off its course. We won’t let hate define us. Millions of people in the US and around the world won’t let Donald Trump become the new normal, because we are #StillWithHer. I know you all are angry, so am I. If any good can come out of this horrible moment in America’s story, we have to put that anger to use.
I didn’t write or post anything yesterday because I was speechless. I did not see this coming, and I was in denial. I was angry, and disappointed in America. At 6:20 PM yesterday I got a text telling me that 34th Street was scrapping the issue we planned and will be printing personal narratives from Penn students about how they’re reacting to and coping with the news of a Trump presidency. I went straight from the Solidarity Walk to the office, where I was surrounded by amazing, dedicated people who were just as devastated as I was. We posted on Facebook asking for short personal narratives in response to Trump’s election, worried we weren’t going to have enough to put in print. The essays flowed in faster than we could read them, and, as I designed the pages and read the articles, I no longer despaired. I had hope. I had hope because I was surrounded by amazing and dedicated people who weren’t going to give up and let hate take over America. This hate isn’t going to last because we won’t let it.