With the presidential election decided, it’s time to work together to better the country

It’s official; in a couple of months, America will have a new president: Donald J. Trump.

That name is currently generating hope in the hearts of millions and creating fear and worry in the hearts of millions more.

Some people are excited about what Mr. Trump will do for the U.S. economy; others are fearful about what will happen to immigrants. Some cannot wait to “make America great again,” while others are terrified about for whom it will be “great.”

Your excitements are not unfounded, nor are your fears. The presidential campaign trail was extremely polarizing this year. For better or worse, abstract rhetoric was used by both candidates to draw in voter support, some of it wildly inspiring and some of it fear-provoking.

One fact remains.

Regardless of how Nov. 8 happened, it happened. What is important now is to look toward what is going to happen during the next four years.

Trump supporters, it’s time to stop bashing Hillary Clinton and focus on the future. If you are a Republican, your party has the Presidency, the House, and the Senate. This is a unique opportunity for streamlined progress. Make it bipartisan streamlined progress. Remind those who don’t recognize it that this country is for all people and that every person has a voice. Some people have an idea that you are a bigoted racist – prove them wrong.

And remember, your candidate did win but the election was not a mandate. More than half of the voters in this country chose somebody else. Don’t quash their voices; promote discussion and seek unity. It’s through working together that we can accomplish great things.

Clinton supporters, focus on the future and progress, not the past and hatred. Trump is going to be your president; he is going to represent you and work for you the same way he will be working for his voters. You still have a voice and I believe you need to keep this in mind in order to progress.

Continue your mission. Don’t let the things that made you so excited about being “with her” die. Advocate your opinions to your local, state and federal elected officials. Work with your representatives rather than against them every day to continue the change you want to see. It’s through working together that we can accomplish great things.

Bipartisanship will always accomplish more than polarization.

My first class on Wednesday was actually modified in light of the election results. Rather than following the planned schedule, my professor chose to allow us to discuss the election results and what they mean for our country.

What I heard from my classmates was fear. Fear of xenophobia, homophobia and Islamophobia. Fear of racism, sexism and religious discrimination. Fear that this country will not be an inclusive place for all.

I hold the same fears, but I have hope. I am making the decision to trust our government and to trust that it will continue to respect and care about its people. All of them.

I’m giving my elected representatives my hope, trust and respect, and I expect that they will honor it.

One further thought – if we don’t see our expectations being met, if we see our fears coming true, we need to take a stance. We need to use our voices to stand up for the marginalized. We need to be a force of unity.

As college students, we are powerful. As millennials, we are powerful. As Americans, we are powerful. As people, we are powerful. The U.S. will always be a place to be proud of if we stand together as a country, regardless of who is in the Oval Office.

Can you work past politics to work toward unity?

Jimmy Corra is a news staff writer and can be reached at jacorra@buffalo.edu