Dear Radnor High School,
Let’s take a breath.
The election is over, and now we must face the results.
Some of us cast ballots, some canvassed for candidates, others studied the election through the media cycle. This election has been an ugly, contentious, and twisted product of our democracy. Our age group brings youthful idealism to American politics, but in a time like this, that idealism has vanished.
Before we give our reasons for not supporting President-Elect Donald Trump, we need to acknowledge the influences class divide and geographical bias have had in the election. The majority of Radnor is from a higher socioeconomic class than the rest of the nation. Many of us have not directly experienced the gravest problems facing our nation. Opinions are inevitably shaped by our environment, regardless of personal stance.
We, unlike those in much of the nation, are privileged to have the opportunity to receive a first-rate education. We grew up with the optimistic, idealized image of America as a land of freedom and opportunities for all. We believed that these ideals still existed even as Trump repeatedly degraded immigrants, the LGBTQIA+ community, women, blacks, and too many more. Americans took for granted that the civil rights we fought for would continue to be protected. But with Trump’s election, we are suddenly not so confident.
So far in American politics, Donald Trump has only held influence; for the next four years he will hold real power. Though #notmypresident is a catchy thing to post, the reality remains that Trump is President. He will represent the United States on an international level; he will command the Armed Forces; he will direct national economic policy. The prospect of Trump as the “Leader of the Free World” is frightening on a variety of levels. Trump’s unmovable facade, his “can’t-be-pushed-around” persona has been encouraging to many, and his supporters cheered as he threw protesters out of his rallies. But we fear what will happen when Trump doesn’t come through on his “yuge” promises, and rather than hearing public criticism, he silences it.
Our nation cannot afford to be silenced, and we will refuse to be silenced. We, along with over half the American population, are angry, and that anger is what will get us through the next four years. Anger is driven by passion, and passion has massive potential for positive change. Channel the anger and frustration into protests, progressive movements, and future elections, and use it to speak loudly about the values you cherish.
Donald Trump will try to achieve his personal agenda independent from the opinions of his opposition, but democracy has not died in America. This election has already inspired widespread involvement in the democratic process, and we must continue on this path with hope and with optimism. We are young and we are passionate, and the future of our country rests not in Trump’s hands, but in our own.
The Radnorite Editorial Board