Editorial: Moving forward with the election results

In an upset that shocked polls, political analysts, and the general population, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has defeated Secretary Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. Along with a victory in the White House, Republicans have also secured control over the House of Representatives and the Senate. Trump will also be able to nominate at least one Supreme Court justice, if not more.

These sentences cause anxiety for many Americans. Not only will Trump become president, but he will have a Republican-led Congress for at least two years.

Just take a deep breath, relax. Let’s look at the positives.

Tammy Duckworth, a female Democrat with a disability, moved from the House to fill one of the Senate spots available in Illinois. In California, Kamala Harris became the first black politician to represent the state in the Senate. Kate Brown of Oregon became the first elected openly LGBT governor in our nation’s history, and Nevada elected Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina senator. Although many are disappointed that Hillary did not win the election, there is still hope.

So, where do we go from here?

The results of the election will remain with us. There’s no going back. Although some of us joke about leaving this country, it is even more important now to share our love, compassion and continue to learn from others.

What we can do now is not be discouraged, become apathetic or feel dissociated. Rather, take this as an opportunity to become more civically engaged and learn about the community you live in and its people. During his acceptance speech, Trump promised to be a president of unity.

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said. “It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.”

If Trump wants this vision to come to fruition, then he needs to listen to the voices of the minorities who are in fear of their future in this country. African-Americans should not have to fear being stopped-and-frisked unconstitutionally because of the color of their skin. Members of the LGBT community should not have to fear that their battle for equal protection under the law will take several large steps back. Survivors of sexual assault should neither be blamed for being attacked, nor should they fear reporting the incident. Muslims should not have to fear practicing their religion in a country that guarantees religious freedoms for all.

Love trumps hate. It always will, even if the triumph does not come in the form of a political victory. Just as there is no room in our country for bigotry and hatred, there is no room for any kind of retaliation against Trump supporters. Don’t cut off your personal relationships with friends or family members because of the election.The political climate this year has become hostile, with little cooperation between the two major parties, and it needs to be fixed. We need to stick together. We need to listen to each other. We need to learn from one another. The division in this country will not be solved by politicians; it starts with us.