One Nation, Under Trump

JULIA SERRA | OPINION EDITOR

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I want reality to be lying to me. The election results still seem like a bizarre nightmare. I’m still holding on to a vague hope that I’ll wake up in a cold sweat and wonder what could have possibly caused such a horrific dream. I’m still processing all of this, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to. I’m angry. I’m scared. I’m confused. I’m sad.  I still can’t quite handle looking at Donald Trump’s face, and I don’t trust myself to confront anyone civilly. I’ve been asking why, and I keep being told that this country is too divided. My Democrat-dominated Facebook feed has been a line of eloquently crafted calls to root ourselves in love and unify America. I know that they speak the truth. This country cannot go forward in the divided state it’s in, but I’m still struggling with the concept of unification. What exactly does being a unified country mean? Does it require that I accept Donald Trump as my president? More importantly, does it require that I unify with the movement of extreme hatred that Donald Trump has validated with his campaign?

Normally, when an election heightens the sense of division in this country, we seek middle ground between left and right. But this election is not limited to Democrat and Republican. It has been a battle between social justice and the Trump Movement. When I speak of the Trump Movement, I’m not talking about Trump voters as a whole. I’m speaking of those that find comfort in Trump’s bigotry. The Trump Movement is a segment of America unified in racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia and the like. As much as I would love every American to unify so that we can move forward, I cannot find a reasonable middle ground between justice and injustice. There is no acceptable compromise between racism and equality, between sexism and equality, between homophobia and equality. Perhaps there is a middle ground to be met on some issues of policy. But when it comes to the hate that the fully legitimatized Trump movement embodies, there is nothing to do but oppose it. America is not only in need of unity; it is in need of a movement unified in love against hate. This movement cannot logically be unified with the Trump Movement.

My millennial peers, it is our turn. We will be the new movement: a revolution of the love and compassion we’ve been mourning the loss of this election season. I listened to a lot of Bob Dylan on November 9. And the line I wrote on my hand was, “ For the losers now will be soon to win.” I believe this wholeheartedly. Not because it is an inevitable prophecy (it definitely isn’t), but because I have faith that this generation will bring the passion and determination necessary to let justice be the winner. He is our president, but he cannot dictate the mentality of the people. This unification does not necessarily exclude Donald Trump. It most definitely does not exclude a Donald Trump voter, but stock in such a movement would require faithfulness not to Donald Trump, America’s leader, but to the concept of love and to a rejection of hatred. Whether you voted for Clinton or Trump is irrelevant at this point. This is not a movement unified by whichever box you checked on the ballot; it is unified solely by a desire for love and equality to prevail over the upcoming opposition.

I invite you to join me in this revolution. It’s a lot of pressure: it will be difficult; we will face opposition; it will be emotionally draining. We may be told that we’re too young to understand. There will be moments where we start to believe this, and we will feel like our voices are too small to have a legitimate impact.   There will be days when the entire world seems to be crying on our shoulders. We will wish we could numb ourselves to the struggle. There will be years of fighting for slow-moving progress. Our patience will be tested and our emotional stability will crumble. In this journey, I beg of you to keep talking, because the cause is greater than any individual. We will renew the zeal of this revolution with support and solidarity.  Our supporters from the generations above us will be the wisdom that guides us and the voices that will encourage us when we feel like children in shoes that are too big. If we root ourselves in love, we should be able to hold each other’s hand as we tread into a world of revolution. We are not children anymore, but we are young and I am optimistic. In this youth we will find the drive to fight for the sake of our livelihood, the livihood of generation before us and the livelihood of generations to come.

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