After the election of Trump Tuesday night, young democrats took to the streets and to Twitter to denounce the man as their president. He hashtag “#NotMyPresident” surfaced online. And as of the morning I write this (November 13th, 2016) the protests are still ongoing. These protests call for the members of the Electoral College to overturn the election and vote for Hillary. If this were to happen, it would be the first time in American history every member of the electoral college became “faithless” and overturned the original election.
Now I won’t turn this into a lecture about the electoral college and whether or not it’s an effective elective tool. Greater minds than mine have been debating it for years. I will say, however, that no system is perfect and even straight popular vote has its flaws.
Regardless of the outcome, I have come to the conclusion that I will uphold the decision made by the electoral college, regardless of whether they hold to the original election or overturn it. In all honesty, neither of the main party candidates sat well with me, so I can’t pretend that I would be truly happy with either. But in any case, whoever ends up in the White House will be my president.
I don’t say this to mean that I will follow blindly in whatever the president does. Should Trump attempt to overturn the 6/26 ruling on marriage equality, place all Muslims onto an online registry, or otherwise attempt to step on the civil rights of American citizens, I WILL be protesting. But I will wait for an affront to civil rights to happen before I take to the streets. And when I take to the streets, I will NOT be vandalizing property.
In the meantime, I am going to hope to be pleasantly surprised. Trump’s statements and speeches following his election have showed a surprising amount of grace not before seen during his candidacy. Maybe his election tempered him or maybe all the petty schoolyard insults of before were merely him playing up to a demographic. I can’t say for certain. But had there been a candidate I truly believed in and had that candidate won, I would hope that the opposition would have accepted them as their president as well. We gain nothing from being a house divided.
My plan moving ahead will be as follows:
- I will continue to work, go to class, and otherwise wade through the mounting pile of goals I’ve made for myself. I did not put 4 years of my life into a Bachelors degree to suddenly stop putting in the work because someone I didn’t like (or even someone whose election made me nauseous with stress) was elected.
- I will be watching the news. And I will decry any stomping of human rights I see, whether they come from Trump or elsewhere (Dakota Pipeline, I’m looking at you). I will protest as is my right and continue to do so.
- I will not hope for the failure of American’s president. If the Commander and Chief fails, we all fail as well. And I’m not willing for the country to take a downturn so I can post an “I told you so” on the internet.
If you agree or disagree, it’s in your right to do so. But I will not be a part of the political polarization. I want a country I can be proud of. So if you believed that love trumps hate before the election, believe it now. We definitely need it.