12 Quotes From History To Calm Your Post-Election Anxiety

Late Tuesday night, in a victory that stunned the country, Donald Trump became the president-elect of the United States. For many Americans, especially women, people of color, and LGBTQ people, the days since then have been a difficult time, so we could all use a few historical quotes to calm the post-election anxiety. If you're anything like me, that anxiety reaches critical levels mere moments after I begin to grapple with the idea of a Trump presidency — something that went from laughable to “Oh god, it’s really happening” over the course of a single night.

The election sparked a wave of protests across the country, with thousands of demonstrators gathering to criticize his campaign for its intolerant ideology and Trump himself for his disrespectful behavior toward women and people of color. It's inspiring to see people taking political action, but after months of intense media coverage and the shock of the election results you're totally justified in feeling exhausted. It's easy to look at the current state of American politics — Republicans now control Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court could be next — and want nothing more than to flee the country or stay in bed for the next four years.

But with Trump's presidency looming mere months away, it's more important than ever to stay hopeful. To that end, here are twelve quotes to help dispel the sense of doom hanging over your head since Tuesday night.

"It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart."

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— Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

"When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak."

Audre Lorde

"The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."

— Abraham Lincoln, message to Congress

"Only in the darkness can you see the stars."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

"In a time of destruction, create something."


Maxine Hong Kingston

"Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time."

Malcolm X

"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country."

Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them."

Woodrow Wilson

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they've tried everything else."

Winston Churchill

"You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give."

Eleanor Roosevelt

"Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power."

William James

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

John F. Kennedy

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