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EDITORIAL: Unity trumps hate

We must not allow one election to tear America apart

Protesters march north on State Street in downtown Chicago on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Americans elected Donald Trump to be the next Presient of the United States. There are two things we at Central Michigan University and around the nation can do about it.

We can either accept the results. We can protest in the streets en masse, which is what scores of Americans and CMU students have done since Nov. 9.

For those who vehemently oppose him, the specter of last week’s election will undoubtedly bother us for years to come. Those anti-Trump Americans will figure out how to cope while they grieve. His supporters will most likely rejoice in the idea of President-elect Trump each year he remains in office.

Either way, what’s done is done. Each of us – those who voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, for some other third-party candidate, or those who didn’t vote at all – has played some small part in his rise to power.

What we cannot do is allow him, his followers, or the hordes of anti-Trump protestors to divide us even further. We must give Trump a chance to prove his mettle as president. We must allow him to show us whether he’ll enact the horrific policies promised throughout his campaign.

No matter the outcome, it is our civic duty to accept the results of an impartial election that clearly favored the stronger candidate, despite Clinton winning the popular vote.

It is the hallmark of our democracy to have a peaceful transition of power, as outgoing President Barack Obama put it while meeting with Trump in the Oval Office last week.

We understand how tough of a pill that is to swallow for the racial, gender and religious minorities targeted by Trump throughout his campaign.

To tell them to simply “suck it up” in the face of reported discrimination is ignoring the reality of renewed bigotry.

The same goes with our reactions to his supporters. Trump’s presidency is legitimate. To call it anything else would be hypocritical, especially after eight years of unnecessary opposition aimed at Obama.

America is at its best when we stand as Americans first. We must strike some tone of national unity and believe the integrity of our Constitution and its associated Bill of Rights will protect us from the tyranny of a single administration.

Riots will not help in this pursuit, nor will rogue expressions of hate on the sides of buildings or on social media.

It is 2016 and we’re standing on the edge of history. Our future is uncertain, and our unwillingness to compromise has brought us to this point.

We must not let America unravel with the results of a presidential election.