Newly elected American President, Donald Trump

In response to a life-changing and unprecedented election, Sayeh Yousefi insists that we must cling stead-fast to our hope in democracy.

I sit here watching as the pinnacle of the democratic world crumbles to its own self-destruction. With each additional vote, the numbers rise, and I can’t help but question the legitimacy of this vote. Could the American people really elect this man to be their future leader?

This event is unprecedented in modern history. Never have I seen so many posts or articles about one single topic. Social media aside, the entire world is abuzz discussing the results of this election. The walk to the dining hall, the kitchen workers in the cafeteria, the doorman of the building…not one person is unaffected or disinterested in this election. Why? Because Americans have had enough of the static, politically correct, and stagnant political ‘establishment’.

People claim the reason Trump won is because there was an unprecedented number of bigots who voted. As idealistic and impractical as it may be, I still have hope in the American people. I believe they voted for Trump because they wanted a political revolution, not because they were ill-intended or bigoted.

At the very least, political establishments have now been rattled into reality. They didn’t listen to the people when they wanted change, but now they have to listen.

I do believe that Americans made a grave mistake in giving into fear over logic. As much as I support taking a revolutionary stance and demanding substantial change from your leaders, sometimes the consequences are too important to risk. Clinton may have been a representative of the ‘establishment’, but Trump in comparison is an inexperienced and unprepared leader, whose actions may make us all hope we’d stuck with the establishment.

Opportunity to bring positive change to the country

The beauty of democracy shines through in moments like this. The bittersweet realization that this was a mass-scale demonstration of the power of exercising your right to vote; of showing your leaders that you want change and will not stand for a stagnant and indolent government any longer.

I think back to the article I wrote just a few days ago, how confident I’d been that the vote would be positive and reflective of American values and morals. How drastically things have changed since then.

I may just be trying to unsuccessfully mould this horror story into one with a happy ending, but I do still have hope in the power of democracy. America can, and will, recover from this.

Where do we go from here? I have to admit, the more I listen to esteemed politicians and leaders speak about Trump’s victory, the more newscasts I hear, I find myself slowly coming to terms with Trump’s presidency.

I respect Trump’s perseverance, his honesty, and his dedication to his work. I do however hope that he sees the important role he plays and he takes into greater consideration the comments he makes. I still don’t believe he’s a fit candidate to fulfill the role of president, but I have hope that this political revolution will be a positive one.

Perhaps I’m just trying to console myself, but I intrinsically hope that Trump is not ill-intended and that his words thus far have been taken out of context. I hope that Trump takes this opportunity to bring mass, positive change to the country, and overcomes the pre-set negative expectations of him. Hope is an abstract and intangible concept, but right now, it’s all we have.

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