Conservatives need to unite around Trump | Wikimedia Commons
Con­ser­v­a­tives need to unite around Trump | Wiki­media Commons

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.