On Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump shocked the nation and remarkably won the presidency over Hillary Clinton in decisive fashion. Over the next few days, protesters, angry with the result of the election, took to the streets of major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York (outside the Trump Tower), Portland and San Francisco. While the protesters have the right to protest, their protest of #NotMyPresident is whiny and obnoxious.
To clarify and deflect any attacks from my friends on both the right and the left, I wanted Hillary Clinton to win over Trump. I lean left on most issues and felt that Clinton would do a better job as president due to her past experience in government and general knowledge of the issue.
However, as a democracy, the world’s greatest and most powerful democracy, not accepting the results of the election on the grounds that one does not agree with the winning side as many of these protesters have done does nothing more than undermine the very principles of our democracy.
At the same time, some Clinton supporters took to the streets not to protest the election but to have their voices heard. For the many racial and sexual minorities in this country, Muslims, Mexicans, gays, lesbians, transgenders and even feminists, the prospect of a Trump presidency might lead to the taking away of their rights by the completely Republican government. These people have a reason to tell President-elect Trump that their voices and rights matter.
Furthermore, the hashtag #CaliExit, suggesting that California should secede from the United States, trended on Twitter in the days following the election. The chance of a California secession is practically impossible unless, as many southern states did during the outbreak of the Civil War, were to rebel against the United States.
Anti-Trump protesters who hope to avoid a Trump presidency cannot prevent a Trump presidency. They also love to call Trump supports as being “racist bigots.” While people who happened to be racist and bigoted voted for Trump, not all Trump supporters are racist bigots. Liberals who perpetuate this lie are complete hypocrites. As aptly put by comedian Jon Stewart, liberals portray Trump supporters as monoliths while criticizing Trump’s labeling the different minority groups as monoliths himself.
However, the same conservatives, such as “patriot” former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who vowed to not accept the results of the election if Trump lost immediately, took to Twitter to call the protesters out for their unwillingness to accept the results of the election.
The hypocrisy in our country after the election is at an all-time high on both sides of the political spectrum. If anything, as a country, we must put away political divisiveness and accept that Trump will be our president for the next four years. For liberals, they can recognize the similarities to the George W. Bush era and rally around a new, younger progressive candidate. For conservatives, they can hope that Trump effectively succeeds in enacting his political agenda. Furthermore, in our schools, cities, states and country, we must move forward and put the divisive election behind us and prepare for the next four years.