Since the shockwave that was Donald Trump's victory on election night, I've seen countless posts on social media along the lines of "Stop whining! Your candidate lost. Get over it."
Many left-leaning persons lamented the fact that Hillary Clinton lost the election. Lament is a natural part of any political loss. It occurs after each election. Its prominence in recent years might just be due to the public display on social media. It is true that there has been much dismay over Clinton's loss to Trump. However, the lament over Clinton's loss only begins to scratch the surface. The wounds incurred over this election season are not caused from normal political banter and infighting. Trump's candidacy was rooted threats against the poor, women, the LGBTQ community, and racial minorities. People now are fighting for their rights and lives. And thus the fear of many is legitimate precisely because President Trump was not a "normal" candidate and he is not a "normal" president.
As I said in the days after the election, the accusation that people are "whining" about their candidate losing is misguided. Many lament because Trump has threatened their very existence. This is as true after the inauguration as it was immediately following the election.
Trump's threats have turned out to be more than just political rhetoric in the first few days of his presidency. Since January 20, President Trump has already signed executive orders to undo the Affordable Care Act, following through on two years of promises. Many immigrants fear the wall that Trump built his campaign on. I could go on, but enough has been made of the president's fear-mongering tactics.
America has shown it is not ready to turn over and succumb to President Trump's policies. Within 24 hours of Trump's swearing in, millions around the country marched peacefully throughout major metropolitan areas and through smaller, rural communities as part of the Women's March. In my own city of Denver, nearly 200,000 marched as a sign of protest against Trump and as a sign of solidarity to stand up for one another's rights. Some may ask, "what's the point?" The "point" is multifaceted, but one aspect is for the people to be visible and numerous. Many of the same people asking about the point of protesting also seem to be of the same demographic regurgitating the "stop whining that your candidate lost" message. The lack of understanding about why so many are upset about Trump's election has now resulted in questioning the validity of protesting.
I myself have been and will continue to be a vocal critic of President Trump. I will fight against President Trump far more than I would have if Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush or John Kasich had been elected. Despite a vast disagreement on nearly every issue, I can say that those men appear to be respectful individuals who truly care about the well-being of their country. They just simply have different ideas on how to arrive at a better tomorrow. I can look back at the last 15 years and still to this day disagree with the policies of former President Bush. Yet I believe he had the best intention in his course of action, however short sided his decisions might have been. I surmise that the response to other GOP candidates, had they won this year, would have been the same.
I will use whatever resources I have at my disposal to fight for the rights of those that Trump threatens. I say that because President Trump is no mere politician. Trump is not just someone to whom many disagree with on matters of political and social belief. Disagreement is part of the fabric of our society. The fury over Trump stems not merely from disagreement - it is the result of threats against many.
That is why the peaceful protests, specifically the Women's Marches, are so significant. They have brought together communities in a spirit of unity and passion to stand up for each other's rights. This demonstration is one America needs at this moment. It not only is a uniting force after a divisive election, but it demonstrates to the Trump administration that the marches are not mere moments, but longstanding movements. This is a movement of unity and solidarity, concepts which transcend fear. We are in the early days of the Trump administration. It is my hope that every day the president sees this hope and that one day he might become attentive to the vision of the people.