OPINION: An Uncertain Era: How to cope with the election results


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Amanda Duncklee, Community Editor

I love the rain. Sun showers, thunderstorms and even torrential downpours appeal to me in the way their waters clean the earth with promise of healing and refreshing power. Last Wednesday morning’s rain following Election Day, however, offered me none of that calmness.

Last Tuesday night, I stayed up so I could celebrate when the American people elected their first female president. Instead, I found myself crying silent tears when they elected an incompetent man with zero political experience who promotes (or at the very least does not admonish) sexism, racism and intolerance of those who differ from him.

Waking up that Wednesday morning, I did not want to move. I would have been more than happy with lying in bed forever and pretending the entire election was a horrible dream that would erase itself from my mind if I ignored it hard enough. Even the rain outside seemed defeated: a tepid shower, overcast and gloomy, the kind of rain that ruins your hair and you can’t even catch a raindrop because the fall is so pathetic. This was the world I woke up to Wednesday morning, and I did not know what to do.

Wednesdays are usually my favorite day of the week because I volunteer as a job coach for my favorite organization at Marywood: the SOAR program. SOAR, or Students On-campus Achieving Results, is a program where local high school students with autism come to Marywood to learn skills both in and out of the classroom.

Just like the rain, these students are pure and good. They are sometimes unpredictable, but always refreshing. They deserve a president who will care for them. They do not deserve a president who has never spoken on his plan for people with special needs and disabilities, who believes Autism and vaccines have a direct correlation and who implies that children becomes less “beautiful” if they have autism. Unfortunately, the world is not fair, and Trump, a man who has no clear stance on how he will help people with special needs and disabilities, will be their president.

Grappling with what to do, I ultimately got out of bed, went out in the rain and fulfilled my duty as a job coach. It was a small victory, but a win nonetheless. I did not want to move, but I realized some important things.

Our roles are bigger than we are and silence is no longer an option. Now, more than ever, is the time to continue our work. We must refuse to allow this uncertain era to distract us from doing what we believe is right.

Life is not always fair, but something beautiful about it is that it goes on. Though Trump will become president this January, he does not have to represent any of us, and in four years, he might be gone. We do not have to spend his presidency waiting for its end when we can spend the next four years working to ensure his legacy of hatred will end.

There will be rain, both terrible and beautiful that will fall whether you are ready or not. Remaining in bed lamenting the rain will solve nothing. Allow yourself to feel however you want to feel from this election, but do not allow those emotions to overtake you. Go to your classes, for you will need intelligence to fight intolerance. Volunteer in your community, because building a nation starts in your backyard. Listen to those who are different from you, and learn what you never knew you never knew.

These four years will pass and when they do, make sure you did not spend them idle, but instead spent them living.

Contact the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @ADuncklee_TWW