“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” As I look upon those words proclaimed by FDR, during his first inaugural address, two conflicting feelings rise inside of me. The first is one of dismissal, rising from a feeling of disgust towards a man who was just elected the President of the United States. How can these words hold any weight against a campaign that has promised the exclusion of the rights of Americans? The second, however, is hope.
Donald Trump’s campaign was founded on fear. It preyed on the anxieties of Americans who were hurting and worried about the condition and safety of our country. It took advantage of those disparities and gave them names: illegal immigrants and Muslims. It took advantage of the fear of having a dishonest president elected and turned “Anyone but Her” supporters into Trump supporters. And now that this campaign of fear has officially been successful, it has instilled fear into the ones that it targeted.
And fear has run rampant.
I have listened to the unguarded terror of friends who are scared that their rights will be taken away. I have read the shock and dread that people express over the trajectory of our nation on social media. I have felt the sorrow of my friends as I hold them. And more than anything, I have seen it in the faces of people all over my school campus: a dejection like no other.
However, amongst the terror, is hope.
I listen to friends who vow that they will stand with those who have been made targets. I read the declarations of people who will support the communities who have been made victims through Trump’s campaign. I can feel the support of my friends as they hold me. And more than anything, I see it in the signs that my classmates wear around campus that say “I will support you.”
We cannot fear. This nation is not governed by solely one man, it is governed by the people. It is governed by a people who right now are shouting that we will not allow our brothers and sisters to be targets, we will stand with them.
It is governed by a multitude of people who are not happy with the policies that have been put forth by the man elected. Even a proportion of the voters who supported Trump could not say they voted for him with pride, but rather out of fear, and will not support the policies that he will try to enact.
We cannot fear, for fear is what has caused this mess.
Instead, we must have hope and love and support for one another. As one of my friends put it, love trumps all. In our heartbrokenness, we must stand together and heal together and prepare to face what is ahead of us. Fear is not the end of this. Donald Trump is not the end of this. Terror has not won. As former President Obama stated, “The sun will rise in the morning.” So I will be upset over the election, but I will not fear its results.