Donald Trump won the presidential election in the early hours of Nov. 9. Demographic-specific results show that a majority within the age range 18–25 favored Hillary Clinton, and the protests in cities across the country since then show that this group and many others are considerably distraught about the results.
Yet, refuting facts has rarely led to progress. Trump is now the president-elect, for better or for worse. Instead of spending time decrying the masses upon whose votes he rode to a victory, energy must be directed toward the many avenues through which one can express discontent in our political system.
If you truly are upset about this election, join a political action group. Vote in the midterm elections. The answer is not to degrade those who have voted for Trump. Tactics like those are only sure to further the gaping divide between the already fragmented segments of this country.
As young adults, it is crucial that we foster ideas of acceptance and understanding. That means accepting Trump and understanding the people who support him. It means accepting not everyone thinks the same way you do and understanding that there is no value in generalizing the negative traits of the few to the many. It means fostering an environment of civil discourse rather than blind hatred. We collectively must embody those qualities that so many among us dislike Trump for lacking.
For those with fear — and minorities are not wrong to feel it — take some small solace in the fact that some of what Trump says that he will do is most likely already off the table. Many congressional Republicans do not hold such radical views as the president-elect on topics including changes to immigration policy.
In any case, it goes without saying that the country has changed. Understanding why is now key.