Despair helps no one. Walking around campus last Wednesday after the general election, I heard countless melancholic remarks about Donald Trump’s election. Numerous faces looked depressed or angry at the outcome. Jokes about weeping regardless of the election’s result permeated the air leading up to the election. This has got to stop. Get it together. The time for words and negative emotion is over. Now is the time to be adults and step up to the plate and act.
I never made and continue to make no pretense: I voted proudly for President-elect Donald Trump. I do not agree with many of his personal decisions nor do I necessarily think that his character is one to emulate. But then again, haven’t a lot of presidents had serious personal flaws? We elect a person, not an infallible human being. There were two possible choices on the ballot, I chose the one which I deemed to be the most practically useful for the national issues facing us. I chose someone who will protect this country – the primary role of government. Prudence means making the most pragmatic, virtuous decision in light of present circumstances. Aristotle emphasized the practicality of prudence and its strong connection to action.
I don’t fault those who did not vote for Donald Trump; instead of spending the next few months mourning the state of this country, I urge you to get on your feet and act for your beliefs. The lame duck period is upon us, with the clout of Hillsdale College in Dr. Arnn’s hands we can influence the policy decisions that will be made in Congress over the next two months. Hillsdale College may be a bubble but every day we have the chance to influence the nation.
Divided we are weak. Students are throwing ignorant comments about the new chapel around carelessly, and it is issues like this that we need to be educated on and learn the administration’s perspective and reasoning. If the college’s administration is going to withstand the storm of liberalism, as Dr. Arnn spoke of at senior convocation earlier this month, we must unite behind our college and its administration. Having spent over a year in Washington, D.C., I have seen the power that Hillsdale has in that city. Let us not waste that. We should present a united front to the external world. Right now, this means standing behind the conservative name of this college and supporting the new presidential administration to influence upcoming reforms. Worried about the unpredictability of President-elect Trump? For months people have been saying this. Make his actions predictable by incentivizing him and the government to act according to conservative values. Demonstrate the pragmatic reasons for conservative policies: Play on self-interest to achieve the good ends we spend four years learning about.
Unity means compromise. People were berated as a result of voting for Trump; people were treated as irrational for voting against him. The time for all of this internal fighting is over. Irrespective of the outcome of this election, it is time for us to unite. Let us learn to compromise, find what we have in common, and fight for that: how else do you imagine soldiers are willing to fight and die together – there is a cause far above their personal opinions.
The liberty that has made this nation great is at stake. Conservatives have a big battle up ahead: protecting conservatism and thereby truth, liberty, and life from a culture hell-bent on destroying us. This election’s outcome shows us that America still has spirit. The voice of the people has spoken. If you have a grain of respect for a republican system, then accept this and move forward with those who also respect the system. We have fellow students and family members sacrificing their lives to protect this country – if nothing else, do not let this “last full measure of devotion” be in vain. My dream is the same as that of Abraham Lincoln’s:
“…With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in…”
Ms. DePhanger is a senior studying politics.