The nation we’ve made

Hillary Clinton at one of her many rallies promoting her candidacy. Photo by Maren Roeske 18

Hillary Clinton at one of her many rallies promoting her candidacy. Photo by Maren Roeske ’18

Maren Roeske '18, Staff Writer

I was one of the people who said over and over again I would move to Canada if Donald Trump was elected president. I could not stand the thought of being an American if he was what represented us, this country. I told myself, and many other, I simply would not live under the authority of a bigoted demagogue who degrades women and minorities every other breath (together comprising 70 percent of the US population). Instead, I was going to move North (I had a contingency plan and everything all set up to move me to Toronto).

I never thought I would need it. I never thought that hatred would win. In my heart of hearts, even on the worst days in the past 18 months, I believed that America was better than Trump, that America was stronger than fear, that America was wiser than believing racially dividing rhetoric.

As I watched numbly as the results pour in, precinct by precinct, district by district, state by state, I saw hate win. I was not thinking of Canada or fleeing or anything but my home, my country.

I was angry that white nationalism had once again rooted itself into our minds and was polluting our hearts. I was angry that I hadn’t notice white nationalism had never left, and that ‘post racial’ America was as racist as ever. I was angry at everyone who said they cared about me, about diversity, about this country, and had not voted at all or worse, voted for hate. I was angry that that the nation we’ve made was proved to be one not of equality and liberty but of discrimination and divisiveness.

I was scared that my future in this county as a women and as a young person would no longer be secure. I was scared that so many of my friends would be in danger of losing everything because they are POC, LGBT+, women, or muslim. I was scared that hate’s victory would mean the work that has been done in the past eight years to help millions of people find health care, equality, and financial security would be undone. I was scared I would no longer recognize the nation that we’ve made over the course of my life, one based on principles of inclusion and love.

 I was paralyzed with anger and fear that in the blink of an eye, in the shift in a few numbers on a screen, in a powerful movement stemming from anger and fear, everything would be lost. But when I woke up from where I had dozed off, sitting in front of a TV blaring MSNBC and a computer screen glowing with polling, I was no longer angry or afraid.

I could no longer afford to be angry or afraid. I, and anyone else who believes in in diversity and liberty, must stand up and fight to protect it. We must remember that the nation we’ve made is one built on equality, one where bigotry will not be allowed to be normalized, one where racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, islamophobia, xenophobia will not be tolerated. And to ensure that in the current political climate we must go beyond voting, beyond being angry, beyond being afraid to fight to protect our rights. We mustn’t indulge in fantasies of moving to the multiculturally inclusive, northern land of Canada. We must work long and hard here, at home –our home– to make this nation what we want it to be no matter who run