For months, I have felt like the 2016 presidential election was taking years off my life. And as I watched the results roll in with disbelief on Tuesday night, it became pretty clear that this stressful period wasn't about to end; it was just beginning. As part of the approximately half of the United States voters who did not turn out for Donald Trump, it was heartbreaking to find out that he would be taking office come January. But on Wednesday night, something amazing happened: People started protesting. But if you want to fight Tuesday night's decision, you have to do it the right way, and a certain celeb is making sure to get the word out. On Thursday morning, Sophia Bush tweeted about the Trump protests, and her words couldn't be more on the mark.
From the time the campaigns first began last year, Bush has been outspoken about this election, encouraging her followers to vote, supporting Hillary Clinton, and pointing out how dangerous a Trump presidency has the potential to be. And now that he's president-elect, plenty of people or angry and want to do something about it — hence the protests all over the country that broke out Wednesday. Bush issued an important reminder for those who choose to be a part of them:
She's totally right. Just like those who live in our country have the right to vote for our leaders, we also have the right to speak up when we're unhappy with what's happening in our government. But if we want to be heard, we can't let riots and violence take precedence over the actual message that we're trying to send — that more than 59 million of us did not choose to put Trump in office, and that we do not want anyone to feel unsafe here. When the news story about the protest isn't about the number of arrests that took place, there's no choice but for it to be about how many people do not want this man in a position of power. We can control the narrative, and it starts with making sure that these are peaceful assemblies.
When I first found out that people were protesting, I instantly felt comforted. Maybe it shouldn't have been, but for me, it was totally shocking to find out that so many people sharing this piece of the Earth with me could not only let this happen but actively choose for this to happen. It's 2016 — how could anyone vote for someone who has made outwardly sexist and racist comments like the ones Trump has made in the past year? But seeing people get out there with their signs to use their voices for good made me feel better. Our next president isn't something that just has to happen to us; this isn't game over.
Let's let these protests remain peaceful and let them serve as a reminder that those of us who are feeling lost in the days after the election aren't alone. There are always ways to work for a better future, and not only to make sure that this doesn't happen again, but to also ensure that the impact of a Trump presidency isn't as horrifying as some of us might fear. You might feel helpless, but you aren't actually helpless, and I'm finding strength in that fact.