Editorial: Anger, fine. Hate, unacceptable.

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Editorial: Anger, fine. Hate, unacceptable.

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As the results of the presidential election rolled in on Nov. 8, a few things became apparent. They are, in no particular order: that a large number of the American people are angry with “politics as usual” and have rebelled against the status quo, that those charged with predicting the outcome failed miserably, that the economic and national security concerns of some have taken precedence over the rights and abilities of others, and that the United States would not elect our first female president, but would instead elect a TV reality star with few policies and platforms except “making America great again.”

The mood on campus the next day was somber for many, and undoubtedly euphoric for some, although the lack of outspoken support for the president-elect was palpable. A rally of solidarity was organized, peaceful protest occurred in the form of chalk graffiti urging students to “fight the violence,” and several students who voted for Donald Trump refused to give comment for The Bucknellian because they feared backlash from their peers or professors. The revolutionary and historic nature of this election and its results stunned many, especially given that pollsters and pundits alike predicted a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton.

The American people are allowed to be angry with the political status quo. They are even allowed to rebel in huge numbers. What they are not allowed to do, however, is discount the effects of a Trump presidency for others, especially those who are systematically and historically “othered.” If Trump makes good on many of the promises he made in securing the vote of the uneducated white vote, there is a chance you will not be directly impacted. If that is the case, however, you must realize that your support or indifference for president-elect Trump is a result of the privilege you possess from being born your race, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality, and/or social class.

Outspoken progressive politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have expressed their willingness to put aside political differences in favor of working towards unified positive change. Media outlets, too, have acknowledged the need to give Trump a fresh start. The Huffington Post, one of Trump’s harshest critics, has removed its editor’s note in an effort to allow Trump to govern in a non-sexist, -racist, -homophobic, -ableist, or -discriminatory way without the constant reminder of the principles that his campaign was run on.

As President Barack Obama said regarding the results of the election, we are all wishing for Trump’s success as president. Nobody is wishing for the existential end of America. Many, however, are being existentially threatened as a result of the hateful rhetoric and actions spewed by Trump and his surrogates during his campaign, including women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, the global environment, and many more.

To pretend that his presidency will not impact these factors for millions of Americans is willfully selfish and ignorant. To pretend that Trump didn’t run on a campaign that gave validity and agency to blatant sexism and homophobia and xenophobia and chauvinism is to pretend that you blacked out for the last 17 months and woke up on Election Day ready to make an uninformed decision.

Give voice and legitimacy to your peers who are either bereft at the missed opportunity to make history with a female president, or will be impacted in ways we cannot begin to imagine by this presidency. If you can’t understand why someone cannot rejoice at this shocking twist in modern American politics, it may be in part because you are privileged beyond concern for your everyday safety. At the very least, you must understand that Trump’s presidency could spell disaster for the civil rights of marginalized communities.

The broken political, social, and economic systems on which America rests need to change; that much is glaringly obvious. Change can be a great thing, as we’ve seen with many presidents in years and decades past. In the next few weeks, it will become apparent whether these rifts in our country are repairable by bipartisan efforts of lawmakers and the undaunted spirit of the American people. Until then, however, the implications of a presidency mired in hateful and vile language and actions cannot and should not be forgotten by either party. Love didn’t trump hate, but it will.

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