10 Hopeful Tributes To America's Fighting Spirit After Election Day
In the wake of Nov. 8's election results, millions of Americans are struggling to deal with the mixed emotions of knowing that the president-elect is, officially, Donald J. Trump. Although so many of us are feeling hopeless, lost, hurt, and scared, and are wondering just how dark our country's future is, if you look closely, you can still find plenty of tributes to America's fighting spirit after Election Day. From protests and petitions to basic acts of kindness and shared words of wisdom, people all over the country have refused to give up hope, and neither should you.
The country was stunned watching the election results roll in Tuesday night, and by the early hours of Wednesday morning, many were left with a sick feeling of despair deep in their bellies. Since then, many breakfast tables, group texts, and social media feeds have been filled with cries of anguish, angry outbursts, astonished disbelief, and blatant refusals to acknowledge Trump as the next president of the United States.
But, while it's OK to feel hurt and angry right now, it's also important to have hope. There have been many who have already found the silver lining in the dark cloud that is our country's political future. From protest and rally organizers to political leaders and celebrities to everyday citizens, Americans all over the country have taken this opportunity to spread not fear, but rather, hope.
In case you're still feeling lost and confused after the election — which, as I said, is completely normal — take a look at these 10 tributes to America's unbreakable spirit, because we aren't done yet, and we never will be.
1. People Are Protesting
All over the country, Americans are gathering to protest a Donald Trump presidency, letting their displeasure with Nov. 8's election results become unequivocally clear. Protesters are marching in places like New York, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, promising that once Trump takes his place at the White House, they'll be right there to hold him accountable.
While there are several critics of the protests, it's undeniable that these monumental acts speak to the unbreakable spirit of America. This is, after all, our country, and we won't stop fighting for it, even after election results are in.
2. People Are Signing Petitions
After every modern election, there is inevitably a conversation about whether or not the Electoral College system works for our democracy. After learning that Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote, those conversations turned into action in the form of petitions. From Change.org's petition, which has more than 54,000 signatures, to MoveOn.org's, which has more than 97,00 signatures, there are so many petitions you can sign if you believe we need a new way of electing the president.
There are also plenty of petitions for those who want to see a change happen right now, in the form of a Hillary Clinton presidency, as well as several petitions urging the Electoral College to vote for Clinton instead of Trump when they cast their official votes for president on Dec. 19. Though it's an insanely long shot, there is a chance that the Electoral College could change the results of this contested election after all.
3. Aaron Sorkin Wrote A Beautiful Letter
Like many other celebrities, Aaron Sorkin was upset with the election results. Instead of turning to fear and anguish, though, the writer-producer turned to his trusted pen (or, more accurately, computer). On Thursday, the Social Network creator wrote a heartfelt letter to his daughter, which was published in Vanity Fair , sharing a message of apology, of explanation, but most of all, hope. After asking his daughter, "So what do we do [now that Trump is president]?" he every eloquently answered himself by saying, "we'll fucking fight." Sorkin also acknowledged that the fighting wouldn't be done alone, and it doesn't have to be done with violence. He cited several ways to get involved with our government, and reminded his daughter, and the entire country, that the battle isn't over yet.
4. And So Did Leslie Knope
If there's one person who can remind you to keep fighting, no matter what, it's Parks and Recreation's Leslie Knope. In a letter by Knope posted on Yahoo TV, the fictional character shared her own horror story of an election that went wrong, and didn't miss the opportunity to lay down some inspirational truth for little girls everywhere.
You are going to run this country, and this world, very soon. So you will not listen to this man, or the 75-year-old, doughy-faced, gray-haired nightmare men like him, when they try to tell you where to stand or how to behave or what you can and cannot do with your own bodies, or what you should or should not think with your own minds. You will not be cowed or discouraged by his stream of retrogressive babble. You won’t have time to be cowed, because you will be too busy working and learning and communing with other girls and women like you, and when the time comes you will effortlessly flick away his miserable, petty misogynistic worldview like a fly on your picnic potato salad.
Knope's letter ended with a reminder that, even though Donald Trump is the present, there's a big, vast future out there for the taking. Those are words of wisdom we can all live by.
5. Students Walked Out of Class
When Hillary Clinton read her concession speech on Wednesday, it was filled with messages for young people to not give up hope, to not stop fighting, and to get involved with their futures. It seems like some were listening, because the students of Berkley High School in San Jose, California, staged a massive walkout to protest Trump's presidency, and they weren't the only ones. Thousands of Los Angeles Country students walked out of their high schools, as did those in Phoenix, Arizona, among many others. It's hard to lose faith when young people who can't even vote are getting involved, am I right?
6. A Kind Note Appeared at a Mosque
Despite the overwhelming reports of hate and violence that have been pouring out since Trump's election, there have been messages of love and support all over the country, too, especially for the groups most threatened by the changing America. On a mosque door in Fishers, Indiana, an unknown person left a note filled with nothing but kindness and respect.
I am sure things must be scary for you all right now. I hope the coming weeks and months are peaceful, but no matter what, please know that many of us appreciate what you bring to this community and wish you nothing but love. Thank you.
The note was signed with nothing more than a heart and "A concerned neighbor." It's a beautiful reminder about how powerful a simple act of kindness can be.
7. People Are Declaring Themselves "Safe" Spaces
Following the example of the United Kingdom in the aftermath of Brexit, thousands of Americans are wearing safety pins. Why? They're meant to signify that the wearers are a safe space for those feeling scared or in danger after the election. A powerful message about our country's refusal to back down in the face of hate, threats, and violence, these little safety pins make a huge statement.
8. A Book About Immigrants Debuted on the New York Times Best Seller List
Since the beginning of his campaign, Trump has made horrible, racist comments about immigrants and their families, and has continually threatened their lives, rights, and safety. Post-election, immigrant groups all over the country are fearful for their future, but as a reminder that this country isn't done fighting hate, Nicola Yoon's young adult book about three young immigrants falling in love, The Sun Is Also a Star, debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times best seller list. A beautiful reminder that not only do we need diverse books now, but that we want them in the hands of our children and families as quickly as we can get them.
9. Another Barrier Was Broken...
Kamala Harris made history on Tuesday when she became the second black woman to ever be elected to the U.S. Senate, and the first black politician to represent the people of California. The daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, Harris is no stranger to breaking barriers — she is also California's first woman attorney general.
10. ... And So Was Another
Harris isn't the only one making history. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada won Tuesday's election, becoming the very first Latina senator in U.S. history. The granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, Cortez Mastro ran a campaign on immigration reform, and will surely be a friendly face in the Senate for the millions of immigrants who are worried what Trump's America means for them.
We might not know what the future holds, and we might not know what a Donald Trump presidency means for ourselves or our country, but we do know one thing: We are not done fighting for what we believe in.