Photo courtesy of s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.comby Kevin Copp ’18
In the past week or so, it has been very easy for many Americans to become distraught at the state of our country. The new president of the United States, Donald Trump, has promised to change America in ways that will bring harm to many people, Americans and foreigners alike. He believes that building walls and discriminating against people by their religion and nationality will make America a better place.
Understandably so, it is easy to become upset at these sentiments. These are his beliefs, and the idea that lies at the core of the Constitution is that anyone can believe what they choose to believe. So even though the man who desires harm for many of the people he governs, is the ruler the nation, it is essential that any American citizen who might be despairing remembers to not lose hope about what good can be accomplished in the next four years. Americans should have hope now because of the renewed sense of activism that has recently swept over the country.
The Women’s March that took place in the days following Trump’s inauguration demonstrated how strongly people will act to protect their beliefs. There is a uniting factor in the willpower and the rallying together. Those who share the notion that women’s rights are now endangered can now see just how many people across the country and throughout the world stand with them. The call to equalize women’s pay and create better maternity leave options, amongst other reforms, carries a larger weight because of the election of a man who cares so little about those reforms and so carelessly belittles women. Americans should have hope now because the impetus to define what it means to be an American lays squarely in the road that every citizen must travel on.
Trump’s presidency is not a signal to the rest of the world that the United States is a land filled with bigotry and that every man and woman wishes to be left alone inside its borders. Every American citizen who does not buy into the sheer xenophobia of preventing followers of a certain faith from entering the country must take ownership of their nationality and live out their own beliefs. Whether this entails peaceful protesting or simply accepting others who are different from you, either way is better than standing by as injustice slanders America’s name.
Americans should have hope now because power remains in the hands of the people. Ironically, Trump focused on restoring power to the American people during his inauguration speech. It is these same people he mentioned that can create change that transcends presidential policies. Even this past Sunday’s second reading at mass spoke to the authority that people in seemingly unimportant positions have. Everyday Americans, those without political weight or even money, can have an impact just as “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
America remains a democracy, and the fools of the land still have enough sway to shame the president and move forward despite backwards-looking policies. Americans should have hope now because even after a Trump presidency, America can still be a better place.