Be Hopeful

Classes have officially ended here at the University of Delaware, and I’m happy to post the latest #BlogBlog, where I publish student voices that may not be otherwise heard. Many of these Millennials have expressed candid thoughts about their first time voting. This blog, voted as best by her peers, comes from Emily Tyree, a senior majoring in Political Science and Communication with a minor in Journalism.

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As we are now a little over a month since the 2016 election, pessimistic and hopeless attitudes continue. The election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sparked emotions that I, as a 21-year-old, have never seen in my life. Never in my lifetime have I seen so much fear and resentment towards a President-elect in so many people’s eyes. While I understand where the fear and resentment is coming from, it saddens me as a woman, as a first-time voter, and as a citizen, to see the hopelessness among so many of my peers.

Whether you are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, a part of the Green party, Independent, or simply choose to go out and party rather than identify with a party, we must remember one thing: we cannot become cynical. Grouping people who voted for Donald Trump as racist or rapists is cynical. Saying, “If you voted third party, I blame you,” is cynical. And saying, “If you didn’t vote and you’re eligible, I blame you” is cynical. This is a democracy and we are all free to do what we want in this sense.

We as a nation must come together, not divide. We cannot let politics be so embedded in our identity and cause such high egotistical involvement. This will diminish any opportunity for movement at all. We must reckon with the fact that Donald Trump is in fact our president. Unless he gets impeached or resigns, we have to deal with it. My hope is that my peers and my country will entertain the possibility of our mistakes. Look at each other, talk to one another, and recognize where each other is coming from.

Peaceful protests are fine. If you are unhappy, by all means, protest. But do not burn the American flag or attack Trump supporters. This needs to be a time where we come together; we need to make a connection.

A professor at Loyola University started a campaign called the #oneperson project. Her goal is for people to take a minute out of their day to introduce themselves and meet someone. She urges people to stop and tell someone your name and ask for theirs. She asks for you to post it on Twitter using the hash tag #oneperson. It’s a small start, but together we can form a stronger community. I believe that is a good first step.

I do not want anyone to forget why they fought for the candidate they did. If you believed Hillary Clinton should have been the first woman president, don’t stop believing. Maybe join a women empowerment campaign, like Vote Run Lead, and start campaigning for the next election. For whatever reason you wanted her to win, join a cause for it, and be the change you want to see.

Follow in one of my classmate’s footsteps. She said, “believe me, I don’t agree or even like everything President Trump says or does, but rather than be offended by it, I mobilize to change it.”

If you voted for Gary Johnson and people are blaming you, don’t let that affect you. You are entitled to your own opinion and nothing can change that. Nothing.

If you voted for Donald Trump and you see so much angst and notice someone crying because they fear for our country, go talk to them. Explain why you voted for him, why you think he was the better option, and allow them to see where you are coming from. Relieve them of such anxieties. If you can’t, give them a hug. Let them know you are there and you support them no matter what political beliefs they hold.

Have hope. Have hope that Donald Trump will do good for us; have hope that he will bring us together again; and have hope that you will be satisfied after his time in office. We must wake up from this cynical state. Connect with someone. We might not all be the same but that is the beauty in all of this and what makes America so great. Engage in thoughtful political discourse and engage respectfully with others in the aftermath of this election.

“Keep listening. Be an ally. Do not isolate. Show kindness. Show empathy and compassion. We got this. x0x0 #oneperson,” UD’s Professor Danna Young says.

Be proud, be disappointed, but just don’t be cynical. Have some hope. I’m counting on my peers and my country to push #oneperson forward.

Written by Emily Tyree, a Senior at the University of Delaware

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