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How This Election Hurt Us All

The past 500 days or so of this presidential campaign trail has seemed like the most draining experience for all of us. The conversations and the controversies have sparked the largest interest in the history of our political world. Although this can be seen as a huge leap in our government’s democracy, we can’t ignore how hurt we have become throughout this process by these five things.

1. We lost friends

Admit it, after this election you won’t be able to look some people in the eye ever again. The articles they have shared and the statuses they have posted all add up to be a completely different person. You’ve seen new sides to almost everyone, in which some cases, you never knew were there. These people genuinely surprised you and it is now a struggle to maintain a morally balanced friendship. How can you share clothes if you can’t even share opinions on civil rights, 2nd amendment rights and gender equality without getting into a fight?


2. We felt betrayed

By our friends, yes, and maybe even by our families. However, we also felt betrayed by something as sacred to us as our country. We were betrayed by freedoms that founded our country and were fought over during fallacious debates so fearlessly. Since when did the rights of our neighbors, brothers and daughters call for such drastic insults? How can people who claim to care about our country hurt us so harshly? We were betrayed by a system that claims to be a democracy, yet at the same time demands a vast population of voters to depend on the biased media business for election education. “Don’t boo, vote.” But half of us are betrayed by the verdict.


3. We were faced with harsh realities

The reality that racism, sexism, islamophobia, mysogyny, white supremacy, margianalization, police brutality, religious ignorance, gender inequality, tax corruption, extreme debt, and climate change conspiracy are all alive and well is pretty heartbreaking – to put it lightly. The world we live in has grown, evolved and become more accepting. However, I suppose it takes twice as long to get out of a patriarchal system of oppression than it took to create it.


4. We thought it was a joke

The memes made us laugh a few months ago. Now somehow those same exact memes are making us nervous cry to the point where we almost have an extreme mental and emotional breakdown. Why did we think this was funny? At what point does laughter become unacceptable for this historic decision? Dealing with the vey real possibility of having these candidates in the white house was done in the worst way – with memes that mocked the situation. The future of our country, and our country’s foreign relations virtually all over the world, are now humorous due to our defense mechanism.


5. We don’t know what the future holds

The Dow Jones is dropping. Drastically. We weren’t prepared for this. We weren’t prepared for the president to actually enact a change, because frankly we didn’t trust either of them. And now, here we are. Baffled and confused; uncertain, scared and nervous for what our future has in store. How will our children grow from this when we don’t even know where this is going? People are scared, worried, concerned, and terrified. Some see this as an issue of patriotism, or a loss of faith in our country, when in reality it has nothing to do with patriotism. It has to do with personal feelings, and nothing is more powerful or unpredictable than that. 


Despite the outcome of this election, which has steadfastly shaken up the entire world, we must reflect on al that we have endured throughout this election. Now, we must collect our feelings and channel them purposefully. We must communicate all of our concerns and work cohesively to create the new vision, the new reality, of our future. This is a time for us to use our feelings to enhance our voices, and more importantly to enhance our actions as well. We are hurt, but we are not broken. We have made progress, but we are not finished. This should propel political interest and education more than ever, and it is up to us to work together to make it happen. America can be great again. What “Great” means, well, that’s for the American people to determine.

To feel is human. To hurt is human. With hurting, comes healing. We will heal. 


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Katie Sall

Illinois State

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