As a writer, I'm hardly ever left speechless. Yet, after Donald Trump became the president-elect of the United States last night, I find myself struggling with the shock this morning. I could talk for hours about every single thing that terrifies me about this. Instead, we'll focus on the positive: The things that will never be taken away from us, regardless of what the 2016 presidential election brought us. Because despite the raincloud hanging over many of our heads right now, we do have victories to celebrate, and no one can stop us from doing so.
We might have a long, difficult road ahead of us; but that's why I think that now, more than ever, it's crucial we remind ourselves why we love our country and its people so much. We cannot succumb to the hate and fear and bullying that was used to build the foundation of the man who will (somehow) soon be the leader of our country. That would be futile.
We've been so passionate about this election because we've tasted success over the years. Progress. Unity. And we feel like we have a lot at stake. We do. But I have at least one silver lining for you: There are victories we've achieved that will never go away.
We Had A Black President For 8 Years
People argue race shouldn't matter. It shouldn't. Unfortunately, it does. Otherwise, nobody would have uttered words like "We're not ready for a black president" when Barack Obama was running. But they did. And he won anyway. Twice. (Mic drop.) Obama broke through a barrier, and it'll forever change politics.
We Had A Female Presidential Candidate For A Major Party
Regardless of individual political stance, none of us can deny that the mere fact we had a woman vying for this position as the nominee for a major political party is a huge victory. Women have been kept from politics from day one, and it goes without saying that your gender should never dictate whether or not you're capable of running for office. Clinton wasn't the only one, either. I'm looking at you, Carly Fiorina.
In June of 2015, the Supreme Court declared bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in all 50 states. It was a day many of us thought we might never see, and cause for celebration in every corner of the nation. LGBTQ people have been dismissed and discriminated against by the government for far too long, and although this is far from the only LGBTQ issue that matters, it was a giant step forward.
It's true that there is the fear that Trump might attempt to overturn the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling; he has said in the past that he would, and although it would be difficult for him to do so, it's not impossible. But no matter what happens now, love did win. And it will win again.
We Had The Possibility Of Having The First Jewish President In History
Bernie Sanders never made this a focal point of his campaign, but let us not forget how much this matters: Although Sanders has said that he is not actively religious, he was a strong candidate, and if he had received the nomination, the path would have been open for the first Jewish president of the United States in history.
Side note: Let's also not forget that during this election season, Ted Cruz became the first Latino to win a primary or caucus. Regardless as to how you feel about Cruz, that's big.
Moderators Got A Chance To Shine
NBC journalist Lester Holt moderated the Trump-Clinton meeting on Sept. 26, becoming the first African American man to moderate a presidential debate. CBSSN's Elaine Quijano presided over the Oct. 4 meeting between vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, becoming the first Asian-American person to moderate a debate. I would call that a huge win — wouldn't you?