Hate trumped love; love must trump hate

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Hannah Vogel, Opinions Editor

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It is said that progress triggers progress; however, in the case of nation-building, this remains only somewhat valid. America gained independence from Britain on July 4, 1776. Our founding fathers wished to emancipate themselves from their mothership, England, and start anew as the United States of America. The road was bumpy, consisting of many steps taken forward only to be retracted. Yet, America stands united today.  

When our founding fathers guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they failed to uphold their promises to all people—strictly speaking, to anyone who was not a white male. Today, although we are a more tolerant nation, a Mr. Donald J. Trump represents the intolerance extending as far back as the Civil War.

How can America progress if we remain intolerant of our fellow human beings? How can we attempt to peacefully coexist?

On November 8, 2016, America elected Donald J. Trump. America made the electoral (not popular) decision to elect a man who doesn’t believe in our fundamental guarantees as stated in the constitution—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (for all people of the United States). He does not believe in equality, nor in liberty, but that is beside my point.

I am not here to slander Mr. Trump. I am simply here to say that I cry for my country—perhaps not literally, but certainly the heartbreak is felt nationwide.

I cannot hate my country for this choice. This country needs love rather than hate, so I must allow my love for America’s freedoms to trump hate.

My voice may be small, it may be insignificant, but it is my voice—and I will use it until I no longer can speak and the last gasp of air has left my lips. I will stand up for what I believe in, and, I’m sorry, Mr. Trump but that is not you. I will exercise my right to petition, and my freedom of the press—Mr. Trump cannot rob me of my basic freedoms (he wants a free America who takes the constitution literally, doesn’t he?).

One day your words, Mr. Trump, of empty promise will grow old, and you will lose to the masses. My words, though they may never be read, nor heard, will not lose meaning—in fact, I will fight for the recognition of my small voice—the voice of a sixteen-year-old student with hopes and dreams. You can push me and those you dislike aside, but we are not going anywhere—we are rising, and we will triumph. Hate will lose.

Mr. Trump may represent my country, but he does not speak for me.

I will fight for the scientific research of climate change, and I will fight for the immigrants from Mexico, Syria and all those Mr. Trump wants to keep out (that’s not very home-of-the-free, or of the brave, is it?). I will fight for every woman’s rights: the right to control her own body and have an abortion, the right to work with equal pay to a man, the right to be EQUAL not weak. I refuse to bow down to misogyny. I am a woman, and my words, Mr. Trump, are not weak—words are the most powerful form of protest. “Words and ideas can change the world” (Dead Poets Society).

I may not understand you, Mr. Trump, but I will agree with you on one point: my freedoms cannot be taken from me.  

I will speak up, speak loud; there is nothing in your limited power that you can do to stop me…nothing. This election, the choices may not have been perfect, but it is our duty, for the future well-being and progress of our country, to stay united—to make sure we have a say in the progress that our country makes.  

The polar ice caps are melting, people are killing each other across the world, and this country, this America, cannot simply “build a wall” and lock ourselves away from all problems.

Mr. Trump, I want to believe the best in you; I want to believe that you will fight for the same things I am. I have hope—hope for America.

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Hate trumped love; love must trump hate