This year’s election has proven that our country is more divided than ever. Although it will be difficult, it is our job as Millennials to mend the tear in our country’s fabric of core American values: freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion.
First, realize that we have the power to make a difference— had all Millennials turned out to vote, the results of the election would have been much different. Had all Millennials been old enough to vote, we would have easily overwhelmed the electoral college, tipping the scale of history.
Our generation has already proven — long before this election cycle — that we are heavily involved in the things we believe in. We can’t stop now. Fighting against hate and bigotry is the battle we have inherited. The only way to counteract that is by informing the public with sincere journalism and activism.
Right now, many people are afraid for the future. They are afraid of the tensions that have developed over the past year. Immigrants and minorities are afraid for the fate of their families, the LGBTQ community is afraid of their place in society, and women are afraid of whether or not they can succeed amidst sexist ideals.
Your fear is valid and it’s okay to take time to mourn. Prior to Nov. 8, many dreams and hopes were tangible, now the future seems uncertain.
But after overcoming the five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance — we need to take action.
The fate our our country lies in our hands. Now is not the time to give up because if we do, there will be no change. We must look at where things went wrong, where we went wrong, and make sure that this never happens again.
It feels impossible right now but don’t lose hope. There are things to be done. Get educated, educate the people around you, and the next time you have the opportunity to vote — go out and do so.
Two years from now we will have a chance to make a difference. If you’re not satisfied with the result of this year’s election results, you can get involved now to influence the Congressional elections that are held midway into a president’s term in office.
Let your voice be heard. This is only the beginning and we sure do have our work cut out for us.
This editorial was published in Miami Lakes Educational Center’s school newspaper, the Harbinger, not long after the 2016 presidential election results.