Senior comes to grips with election results, offers advice

Oh boy.

I really don’t know where to begin with this. I legitimately had to wait a week before I could even begin to write something regarding the election, as my mind was still in a state of sheer disbelief. The morning after was quite brutal, to say the least. Half of the school population, including teachers, wandered aimlessly around the halls with some of the most depressing mugs I’ve ever seen, period. I heard people cursing violently in the hallways. I think I might have heard a couple of kids crying. The overwhelming amount of gaunt, drained faces will stay with me for the rest of my life. I was one of those students. It was undeniably haunting. I can’t even come up with a funny analogy to somehow lighten the mood concerning this phenomenon. I’m trying, but for the first time in my life, I just can’t. I’m usually pretty good at this. People are terrified and furious, and for a multitude of good reasons.

There’s really nothing I can say or do to make you feel better about the election.

This sucks. If I were a better writer, I’d come up with a far stronger word than “sucks” to do justice to this utter catastrophe of an election. We lost. We lost big time. Our efforts to address the unstoppable force that is climate change might be completely eviscerated by Trump. The Affordable Care Act will be ripped to shreds, save for a few policies that Trump has surprisingly liked. I can’t even imagine what’s going on in the minds of the millions of Muslim Americans right now. All of of the above just barely scratches the surface of the rising fear among liberals. And don’t even get me started on his ridiculous wall.

So where do we go from here?

First, I’d like to address Trump supporters for a moment.

I know you’re not racists or sexists (for a vast majority), to start things off. Trump offers an appealing platform of rapid and effective change; this is something that the American public has deemed lacking in Washington for a long, long time. He’s an outsider who won’t take crap from anyone or anything. He’s promising to build up our economy and save a vast number of the “silent majority” that’s been feeling left behind by the Obama administration. So, congratulations. I hope Trump fixes what problems you’re having in life, and that he lives up to the presidential image that you hope him to be. I’m being sincere here; you guys won. Enjoy the fruits of your victory, but don’t smear your battle cry of “Make America Great Again” in the faces of the opposition. Trump commandeered one of, if not the most controversial and provocative campaigns ever. People are upset. Let them grieve, and learn to empathize with your “enemies.” You’ll find that they’re not as alien as they seem.

Onto the liberals.

Get your **** together, Democrats. We, along with the Republicans, are at fault. We let a ducking (I already swore once; I have to keep this somewhat PG, folks) psychopath who can’t handle basic online mannerisms into the White House. It’s no big deal, it’s just THE MOST IMPORTANT BUILDING IN THE U.S. Did Hillary’s email scandal unsettle you that much? At the end of the day, was your “valiant” protest vote for Gary “Aleppo?” Johnson worth it? Look, I know third party votes wouldn’t have changed a damn thing (whoops, swore again) regarding this election. But there was definitely a lack of enthusiasm for voting for Clinton in the Democratic party. This was not the same for the Republican side of the spectrum; they were venturing to the voting booths with as much enthusiasm for Trump as possible. For them, Trump was finally going to change their lives for the better. A grotesque amount of voters in the Democratic party however, especially young voters, failed to vote for Clinton. To them, she “just wasn’t a likeable person.” To some extent, I get that sentiment. Although I eventually shifted to supporting Clinton from Bernie Sanders, it took me a good while to fully accept her character and forgive her prior lapses in judgment.

But was it so hard to vote between a smug, glowing caricature of a steaming pile of orange elephant dung and Clinton?

No. No, it wasn’t hard.

And yet here we are, face to face with a living meme in the Oval Office. Learn from this, and get out there and actually vote for what clear-cut logic dictates in four years.

Forgive me for my passionate rant. I’m usually never one to stand on a soapbox. In fact, I shy away from such acts as my inner cynic feels like that nothing positive will come from it. I feel like a pretentious tool whenever I let my opinions out; that’s how I’ve always been. But this election has been something else entirely; it’s divided brother against brother on Facebook, it’s ruined long-lasting partnerships and it’s torn families apart at the seams.

In other words, it’s been a stressful election. If my jumbled collection of opinions could make someone laugh, cry or feel anger (maybe even at me), then I did my job. The point is that I want people to feel something. When my dad returned home from an election night party, we both just sat in silence for roughly 30 seconds. It was easily one of the most uncomfortable interactions I’ve ever had the pleasure of participating in. However, we both suddenly just began to uncontrollably laugh after that period of quiet. We couldn’t help it; it was just too ridiculous to not laugh at.

Sadness and anger aren’t the most dangerous emotions. Apathy and the resulting numbness will do far more damage than you can possibly imagine. Trust me. I know.

So get out there and get angry, people. Get sad; I wholeheartedly encourage you to bawl for a stupid amount of time in your car. Or if you’re up to it, laugh for a while. Do literally anything your mind can think of. But under no circumstance are we to simply fall back into into bitter, unemotional resentment. Move on, but don’t forget what happened on Nov. 8. So get out there and take a deep breath to recollect yourself, if you have to. We’ve got work to do.