The 2016 presidential election has been stressful for all involved. But now that it’s over, stress, anxiety and fear over the election of Donald Trump have skyrocketed. Tears are being shed, protests are being organized and countless online posts are expressing deep regret and sorrow over the results.
But not every American is drowning in their sorrows. In fact, some are dealing with these events in a more constructive way.
Going into this election, I was extremely anti-Trump. I was simply astonished what he said about “locker room talk” and even more appalled that he was a serious candidate for the presidency. I found his campaign behavior to not only be disgusting, but feared that it was possible he could become the 45th president of the United States.
I did my part and voted for Hillary Clinton, all the while, terrified of the possibility of President-Elect Trump.
And like many Americans, I watched the results of election night with interest, which quickly turned to panic as more and more states swayed toward Trump. At first, I was horrified, hoping for some dim and impossible miracle in Clinton’s favor. But as the results came in and Donald Trump won the presidency, I had an epiphany.
Trump’s election is not the end of the world.
Regardless of where people stand on their opinion of Trump, like it or not, he has been elected. That’s set in stone and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. People are still crying over the results, but that won’t change anything. This event, however grim it may appear, cannot come to define how someone behaves going forward. If you were opposed to Trump before the election, there’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t let those feelings crush your spirit.
Life will go on no matter what Trump does next. Yes, his election behavior was perhaps the worst ever seen from a presidential candidate, but a large portion of the country thought that despite this, he was qualified enough to earn their vote. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
Ever since Trump’s election, I’ve kept a level head. I won’t argue that this event has elicited unfair reactions from people, because that would be ignorant. But for the general public, this election is taking a toll. All this time, I’ve been telling friends and family that I was terrified of Trump’s election. Now that he’s elected, I’m keeping calm because that’s all I can do.
Like many people, I thought Trump’s election would be the absolute worst thing to happen. But when he won, I didn’t move to Canada, I didn’t cry and I didn’t freak out. These events are out of my control, and even if they weren’t, the world will keep turning. Trump or no Trump, this election shouldn’t crush people. That’s not how people who voted for Mitt Romney four years ago reacted.
The president of the United States is a demanding job. It doesn’t happen overnight. Trump isn’t sworn in for another few weeks, so the best thing for the world to do is take baby steps. Trump hasn’t done anything too awful yet and he has a long road ahead of him. And who knows? Maybe Trump will do a 180-degree turnaround, maybe not.
But until then, the people of this great nation have a choice: Accept the realities, or let this event define everything.
Bradley Burgess can be reached at email@example.com