Over half of U.S .voters, voted against Donald Trump on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
It’s easy to see why: Trump attacked women, Muslims, Prisoners of War, Mexicans, refugees and other minority groups.
Trump also denied climate change, attacked the family of a fallen soldier, imitated a disabled reporter and failed to disavow the Ku Klux Klan’s endorsement of him.
In spite of his divisive tactics and xenophobic message, Trump won the election. Half of the country woke up ready for the world as they knew it to end. Half of the country woke up ready for Trump to make “change.”
As journalists, the election was tough to watch. One of the core principles of journalism is to report the facts.
With major media outlets–similar to politics– becoming more polarized, opinion has come to supersede truth in the world as we know it. Fact-checking didn’t play a part in how this election shaped up. While this is partially because both candidates weren’t trustworthy, there was a blatant disregard for factual truth, especially in Trump’s campaign.
Trump has made people believe anything he wants them to.
For example, though Trump tweeted in 2012 that climate change was a concept created “by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” Trump easily brushed off the fact that he denied climate change time and time again.
Hillary Clinton also frequently denied facts throughout her campaign. During the same debate she denied that she had called the Trans- Pacific- Partnership “the gold standard.” When, during her time as Secretary of State, as the deal was forming she said that it was “the gold standard.”
A disregard for the truth did not sink either candidate because the American public did not know who to believe. We were forced to choose who we thought would be the lesser of two evils, and supporters of one candidate bitterly opposed supporters of the other candidate for a long list of reasons.
However, the presidential campaign is over. It is time for the nation to heal the deep, dividing wounds that the nearly year-and-a-half long election cycle has inflicted upon us.
It is acceptable to take issue with the way president-elect Trump has run his campaign. Hatred, fear-mongering and xenophobia have no place in 21st century America.
It is also acceptable to have concerns for the future of the minority groups that Trump has demeaned and for the progress we have made in recent years.
It is, however, not acceptable for an American who did not support Trump to claim that he is “not their president.” Half of those who voted, chose Trump, and to deny him as the president is no better than those who claimed that Barack Obama was not their president.
Whether we like it or not, Trump is the president-elect and we have to do the best we can with the current circumstances. To root against a Trump presidency is to root against American prosperity. It is possible to support Trump without supporting hate and xenophobia.
For those who supported Clinton or had another person in the race, remember that your voice has been heard and half of the country supports the same ideas as you. Now, however, is the time to support Trump and to try to understand where the other half of the country who voted for him is coming from. Americans cannot let one man undermine decades of social progress that we have fought so hard for.
What should we do now? Fight. Fight for the rights of minorities. Fight for those who don’t have the voice to. Fight for the vision of America that you believe in. Whether or not your candidate got elected, the principles they stood for must live on, and as Americans we must move forward together–leaving the xenophobia, divisive rhetoric, disregard of truth and fear mongering behind.
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