For many people, today has been a painful day. It's difficult to come to terms with the fact that, last night, Donald Trump was elected our next president, beating Hillary Clinton, a candidate whose beliefs and actions are the polar opposite of her opponent's. As the nation begins to process what happened and move forward with a Trump presidency, it's important that we don't lose sight of our values: the strength, tolerance, and compassion that defined Clinton's campaign and can, if we choose, overshadow the hateful rhetoric and behavior shown by Trump and his supporters. We may have lost this election, but, as Michelle Obama would say, when they go low, we go high: we can choose to rise above.
As you cope with the events of Tuesday night and start to look towards the future, take a few moments to reflect on the good that's come out of this election cycle — it may be hard to see it now, but it's there, and despite what so many people might be feeling right now, it's crucial that we don't let it be forgotten. Here's a look at some of the silver linings of Tuesday night's news.
Women + #WeAreTogether
As Clinton herself said in her concession speech, "we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling but someday someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now." She may not have been elected president, but her success and determination has inspired so many women, many of whom have come together to show their support and love for one another. If you want to honor Clinton or the other ladies in your life for whom you're endlessly grateful, tell Bustle why #WeAreTogether and join many other women in solidarity and support.
How To Help: If you're feeling scared and angry about Trump and Pence's anti-women rhetoric and policies, take action — donate to Planned Parenthood, National Organization for Women (NOW), Women in Need, and more. We won't let these men dictate our rights and our health. And while you're at it, send some support to other marginialized groups like the LGBTQ+ community and people of color. We could all use a hand right now.
Millennials + Progress
It's typically no use to dwell on "what if" and "what could've been," but this particular example might be the exception. Images of millennial electoral maps show that if only people in that age bracket voted, Clinton would've won by a landslide. Not nearly enough millennials cast their votes this election, but maps like the one below at least give hope that, in future races, this generation will show up when it counts.
Shut That Laptop: With news like this, it's easy to fall into a habit of losing sleep, eating badly, forgoing exercise, and not getting enough fresh air. But please, take the time for some self-care — you'll feel so much better if you let yourself back away from your computer for a bit and take a walk, or meet up with friends, or read a good book.
Champions + The Future
"To all the women and especially the young women who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion," Clinton said during her concession speech on Wednesday, and many women couldn't be prouder to have had her as our champion. She may be out of the running, but there are many other incredible women in politics who can fill her shoes, from Kamala Harris to Tammy Duckworth, when it comes to breaking ground and shattering glass ceilings. Get to know a few of them, and when the time comes, vote.
Take Pride: Pantsuit Nation, the secret Facebook group made up of Hillary supporters, now has over 3,000,000 members — a number that grew significantly after Clinton lost the election and will likely only continue to grow, thanks to that shout-out on Wedneday morning. Hill, yeah.
Emma Watson + New York
You can always count on Watson to speak eloquently about politics, and this was no exception. On Wednesday afternoon, the British star tweeted that she was going to deliver Maya Angelou books to the New York subway — and then continue fighting the good fight for the causes she believes in. JK Rowling, for one, was moved by the action, tweeting to Watson, "As I told you a couple of hours ago: I love you xxx." Let that Potter friendship warm your heart.
Need A Laugh? Watch the silly, sweet interaction between Joe Biden and President Obama during the latter's speech this morning from the White House. The world will be a sadder place without these two BFFs leading the charge.
2016 + Victory
No matter what kind of controversial policies or dark behaviors a Trump presidency brings, there are a few things that the results of this election can't take away. From Obama being our country's first black president to the fact that the Democratic race consisted of a woman and a Jewish man, these important triumps should be celebrated and not forgotten.
Snail Mail Support: Tweeting your thanks to the former candidate is perfectly fine, but if want to one step further, join the many others who are mailing Clinton thank you notes to her PO Box. It's the least we can do.
Today's WTF Moment: "I am absolutely confident that she and President Clinton will continue to do great work for people here in the United States and people all around the world." — Obama, accidentally saying Clinton instead of Trump. Freudian slip much?
What To Watch: Our government right now may be in limbo, but in the world of The West Wing, President Jed Bartlet and his loyal team work tirelessly to make the country a better place. Spend tonight re-watching the series on Netflix, or starting it for the very first time, and take comfort in seeing a White House that puts the well-being of all Americans first.
Design: Chelsea LaSalle, Alyssa Foote/Bustle