By: Meghan Malas
The American democratic process is one that has been held dearly by the people of this country since its founding. Democracy as a whole has its flaws–every type of government does–but above all, democracy is one type of government that directly represents the people, and with this, it will not fail to effectuate its prospect because a democracy in itself fulfills its purpose by definition. A democracy is a system where individuals choose what they believe is the best option for a cause, and the majority is chosen to become the newly implemented rule or policy. Whether the policy chosen affects the group negatively or positively in hindsight does not determine the failure or the success of the institution of democracy itself. If the democratic process has been used and practiced as it is defined, it is successful. Again, this is not to say that our democratic system does not have flaws, and cannot reveal the underlying fear, greed, and negative characteristics of the society taking part in the process.
With that in mind, this is what I have observed in the days following one of the biggest election upsets in United States history: people are angry, people are scared, people feel that the electoral process has ultimately failed them. Initially, this is how I felt. The government now represents so little of my ideals and opinions about how I believe society, and a country, should be run. I do not feel that as a girl my government represents my best interest. I do not feel that as an advocate for the protection of my planet the government represents my best interest. I do not feel that as someone who is aware of the millions of people without the healthcare they need the government represents my best interest. I do not feel as someone who fears the growing power and influence of the wealthy in the legislative process the government represents my best interest. And as someone who believes that the country needs to continue moving forward, technologically, socially, and economically, I know my government does not represent my best interest.
But as my perspective widens, and my emotional cloud begins to dissipate. I know that my vision for a successful America is not the same vision that everyone in this country shares. Donald Trump is the president, so as an American, he is my president. Even if I do not support his policies, even if I cringe at his character, he is who the people chose to lead, and I have to respect that decision. I know that a lot of what I care about may not be represented in the next four years, but I also know that there are just as many people supporting the same causes as I do as there are people who oppose or ignore them. This is not the end of the fight for fairness and justice, and this is not the end of the world.
Right now, I am rooting for Donald Trump, because if he fails, we all fail. I supplicate that Donald Trump and his administration do not lead with the same bigoted actions and words that they pursued during the campaign. I look to the figures I have admired in this election for leadership, and I think they have represented the direction this country needs to head. Senator Bernie Sanders states, “To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.” I believe the plan Sanders has described is the plan we need to follow. Protest, refute, argue, protect, but accept the outcome. This is not the end, and we do not have to wait until 2020 to challenge the opposition. I plan on voting for my causes, locally, statewide, for congressional seats. I will actively support organizations that protect what I believe. And above all, I plan to accept the opinions of others, but refuse to accept the outward hatred that I saw present in the Trump Campaign.