A Day of Sorrow and Strength

Astrid Braun

It is the day after Election Day, when traditionally one political party is inevitably disappointed while the other celebrates their candidate’s success. I am not the first to say that this has been no average election, so unfortunately its outcomes resulted in far different reactions than in previous years.

Shaker Heights High School was exceptionally dreary today; the volume of emotionally distressed students prompted an announcement by Principal Kuehnle informing students of readily available in-school psychologists. If you cried today, you are not alone.

We losers – the liberal majority of Shaker Heights – are beyond disappointed. We are heartbroken.

Donald Trump’s campaign snowballed with hatred. He announced a plan to ban all Muslims, build a wall to block Mexican immigrants, mocked a disabled man and was eventually endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. He called Mexicans rapists, as rape accusations against him gained national attention. Previous degrading comments towards women surfaced, which he categorized as “locker room talk,” thus promoting rape culture and instigating that men are expected to behave as such.

He won.

He won because around half of the United States of America had one thing in common. They were willing — with various degrees of conscientiousness and malintent — to ignore, embrace, or vote in spite of the headlines attached to his name. Nothing he did, said, or believed could sway half of our country away from his prospect of change within the corrupt federal government, and his push to make America great again. Ultimately, none of the negativity mattered.

Those he offended, insulted, belittled, were set aside. Black, Latino, Muslim, Jewish, LGBT and disabled citizens were not a priority. Women were not a priority.

Trump’s election proved that half of the country devalues the lives and rights of fellow citizens, neighbors, strangers, loved ones, mothers, daughters, sisters. Today, we felt the weight of our own country’s stifling oppression, turning us toward our past before his presidency has even begun.

It. Hurts.

We felt a loss today that went far beyond the presidential election. We have progressed so much, working tirelessly towards truly equal rights for all Americans of all shapes, sizes, colors and sexualities. Today, we lost our stride toward that goal.

We cannot wallow for too long, nor will we. Just as we have shared our pains and sorrows today, we will share our strength and love every day, from now until forever because we are strongest together. We cannot label and debase all Trump supporters because we feel depreciated ourselves. Trump won, and we will move forward. We will find our stride again, and we will progress. We will be strong.

We will be together, as the truly, beautifully United States of America.

But today, we hurt.

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