By Hannah Meibers, Guest Columnist

So many people in my life that I viewed as owning such small voices bit off more than they could chew these past few days. On Tuesday Nov. 8, Donald Trump became our President-elect. After scrolling through Facebook and Twitter, I put my phone down for the evening. Vicious banter between friends, crying celebrities — it didn’t matter whose name was on their ballot.

There is such embarrassment attached to sore losing, but such egotistic behavior attached to sore winning. I’ve worn a veil of ignorance the majority of my life, unaware and naïve to the struggles of those living in poverty, people of color, rape victims, etc. However, I think I have become a victim of my own ignorance.

Living within my own box has shielded me from the “grit and grime” of the world. Of course, as daddy and mommy’s little girl, what could be any better?

But that’s not the real world. The real world is unfair. The real world is Trump being elected as our 45th president of the United States. Furthermore, the real world is accepting what we cannot change. Today, you are an American, and tomorrow, believe it or not, you will still be an American. Beyond the dictionary definition, being an American means respect and honor for oneself, one’s country and one’s neighbor.

Your voice will always matter, because just like Trump, you are human. Just as the First Amendment of the United States Constitution promises, your voice will never be silenced. And just as we are human, we are also selfish. If another’s views differ from our own, they’re going to seem repulsive. Although many view Trump as greatly egotistic, we are no different. Trump’s ego, unlike our own, was inflated on national television, through the media and behind a microphone.

Trump’s vision may not come into focus for all of us, but he wants to go down in history as one of the greatest presidents. This requires a great presidency and surrounding himself with people who will not let him fail and will only bring our nation to victory.

After this election, it’s easy to assume Trump has bestowed hate, racism, sexism and much more unto Americans. However, those who demonstrate such traits did not learn from Trump, but rather from themselves.

These actions and words are not of Americans, but of confused humans who will one day recognize their potential to help our country’s success. It can become discouraging at times, hearing derogatory slurs, reading of riots and protests. However, America has withstood much worse trauma and has always come out stronger.

It’s important to remember that Trump is not going to take away your voice. Just as we fantasize of our own American dream, so does President-elect Trump. He is not our enemy, but our leader. He is prepared for us to hold him accountable throughout his presidency.

We should never forget our pride in America, nor in ourselves.

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