A time of year where we should be united, we are divided. After witnessing the aftermath of the 2016 election, the riots as well as the peaceful protests. It struck me how divided the country really was during this historic election. Many who are protesting in the big cities of Los Angeles and Philadelphia across the nation, are protesting our system of government as well as Trump’s victory.
These protests are petty; they show weakness in our country. Now is the time to show support for our leaders and participate in government. Rather than protesting for a Clinton victory or a Trump loss, people should plan how they can help change or create a policy. As citizens, it’s our job to pay attention to the pertinent issues and see how they change now, not just during election season. This is the moment for the country to come together to create that better America we all envision. Only we the people can enforce change, and that’s not by protest, but by involvement in the lawmaking process.
People are angry, afraid of the Donald Trump presidency, but interestingly, some who protested in fact didn’t vote in the election at all. It’s time for those people, and all citizens to channel that anger by actually getting involved. They can propose laws to local officials and bring up the problems they face. They can send letters to their representatives and protest for rights or reform. In other words, the anger of this election’s outcome can be channeled through the democratic principles this country is built on in more effective ways than protesting.
Some may argue that the presidential election is not as important as Senate and House of Representative elections. Sure the president is the Chief Citizen, our Commander in Chief, but his responsibilities are limited to checks and balances. By voting for Congress, citizens can make the biggest impact by choosing the lawmakers they believe represent them. The mid-term elections of the House of Representatives and the Senate will define the rights those constituents believe in. If you believe in Trump or protest against his presidency, make this next election count.
In a time where the country is so divided, where this vote was so divisive, these protests will not fix anything. Under the U.S. Constitution and law, Donald Trump won, and people need to face that fact. The likelihood of the Electoral College voting Hillary Clinton in are slim to none. The American population knows these protests will not change the effects of the election, so why do it? This election revealed a lot about this nation. We saw the rise of blue collar workers voting in the election, the rural population finally putting in its vote. After eight years of a liberal America, voters want a change. They wanted to shake up the White House to see if a Donald Trump administration can cause change to improve the country.
The country is in disarray, raging against the machine. After an election that was defined by hate, each candidate aiming to delegitimize the other, these next four years need to be defined by hope. They need to be defined by unity and participation in government. If these protest and riots continue, it will be a battle to preserve or raze the nation.
We’re at a new crossroad of destiny, and whether or not we stand together, or fall divided is up to us. Protests only serve to seethe rage and frustration, but they don’t get much done. That hard work begins now, before the next elections, not after the fact.
The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Shiva Vallabhaneni at [email protected]