Reflecting on Trump, as an optimistic college student

Trump's victory has galvanized her to turn despair into a burning determination to work for justice in America

Donald Trump has just been elected President of the United States of America, and I’ve never been more inspired. Wait. Hear me out. (Disclaimer: I don’t like to talk about politics, but there’s something to be said about waking up in a country you feel like you’ve lost overnight.)

I am a 21-year-old senior at the University of Connecticut. I sent in my absentee ballot on November 2nd, and I watched the numbers rise in favor of America’s GOP candidate on November 8th. Today is November 9th, and I’ve been trying to understand how I feel about the results of this election. In such a short span of time, my hope for this country has increased immensely and dwindled to almost nothing.

As an optimist, I didn’t know what to think when I woke up this morning to the news about “President Trump.” As an optimist, I have never felt so downtrodden and helpless. As an optimist, I’ve refrained from social media for my own mental health; there are only so many statuses I can read about racism, sexism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, etc. As an optimist, I’ve looked for answers and ways to move forward with this news.

This morning, I considered leaving the country and moving to Canada or going to graduate school in Israel or maybe London. Different scenarios ran through my mind, and, as a young adult, I figured I have so many options. Just how can I live in a country where Trump is president? …But how can I leave America right now? I can’t selfishly run away from this country’s problems.

Throughout the day, people told me, “It’s over. You voted. There’s nothing you can do now.” Of course there is. There’s so much more to do now. Maybe I can’t change the president-elect, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing I can do. The fact that Donald Trump is the next president means we have so much more work to do to keep this country safe. Donald Trump has just been elected President of the United States of America, and I’ve never been more inspired to work for justice in America.

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?” In times like this, when people feel tired and hopeless, we have to put ourselves first and find the support we need. But we also need to remember that there is an entire country that needs the strength and power of its people. A country that just voted Donald Trump into the presidency needs to learn love and find harmony. The next four years with Donald Trump as president will be difficult and frustrating, but this is a call to arms.

As an optimist, I have felt despair turn into determination. I haven’t lost hope in America. I’m hoping even harder that people who are upset and disappointed step up and do something productive for this country. This is our biggest test. Donald Trump has just been elected president of the United States of America, and we have a country to save.

About the Author
Madison is a senior at the University of Connecticut and lived in Israel for two months. She writes when she finds strong enough inspiration and/or needs to have her voice heard. Her passions include Judaism, social justice, and Israel.
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