For many, the situation that America finds itself in right now was once an unfathomable thought.
After the unorthodox campaign Donald Trump had run, full of race-baiting and xenophobia while feeding off people’s fears and anger, the idea that he would be elected president was simply unthinkable.
Even when he became one of two candidates remaining. Still, there was no way.
And yet, here were are on, on Nov. 9, and Donald Trump is the president elect.
I said this would be a memorable election for the remainder of our lives. But I didn’t believe it would be for this reason.
What we saw on Tuesday night was a revolution. This was a fervent repudiation of the establishment by working class white Americans. It was a rejection of the political elites, globalism, and a major blow to the legacy of Barack Obama.
And it continues a trend of a populist surge across western Democracies worldwide. First Brexit, now Trumpism, and countries like Germany and France may be next in their own upcoming elections.
But it has happened. And now we must deal with it.
I was anxious going into last night. As the results filtered in, my anxiety grew by the hour. Once Florida turned red and other swing states were not looking promising, I knew in my heart that it was over, and drifted into an uneasy sleep. The next morning, I reluctantly checked the results on my phone, my worst fears confirmed.
I then read through status after status of my Facebook friends who were basically standing on the ledge, as they voiced with disgust about how their lives will never be the same.
I then took a half-hour walk before leaving for work to do some soul searching. And that’s when it hit me: this country cannot be ruled by one man. It is still about us. If you’re unhappy with the result, then express it by being the best human that you can be. Respect and love for one another is, and always will be, the antidote to fear-mongering and hate.
As a straight, white male, I can’t really look at my friends who are gay, or female, or in the minority, and tell them that everything is going to be OK. And I saw that people were sharing this emotional reaction by CNN commentator Van Jones that basically expressed that very sentiment.
I know so many of us are shell-shocked. But what I can tell you with confidence is that we can make it through whatever comes next if we stick together.
Throughout this election, I preached all along that we must come together at the end, in anticipation of a Hillary Clinton win. So what kind of person would I be if I didn’t live up to my own words when the result didn’t go the way that I wanted it to?
As Hillary Clinton beautifully said during her concession speech, we owe it to the sanctity and posterity of our country to give Donald Trump an open mind. Let him prove to us that he can do the job.
And if he can’t — well, this is the age of activism. We’ll let him know. Our president and congress may belong to one party, but we, the people, will be the watchdog.
It was a day of reckoning, indeed, for America. We have sent shock waves throughout the entire world.
But this is still our country.
And I still believe in us.