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What A Time To Be Alive: Election 2016

At around 12:25 this morning, my plane touched down at Boston Logan Airport. I was waking up from a nap, and hesitant to open social media. I was certain that as soon as I did, I’d be confronted with the dismal reality that Hillary Clinton had been elected president of the United States. I contemplated waiting until the morning to open social media, but I decided it was a band-aid that just needed to be ripped off. Bracing myself, I opened Twitter. And to my disbelief, not only was the race not over, but Trump had a significant lead.

Even then, I thought it was too good to be true. California must not have come in yet. I refused to get my hopes up. When my mother picked me up from the American Airlines arrivals terminal with NPR playing, I immediately asked her to change the station because I just couldn’t take it.

As we were nearing home, I decided to check social media. Trump was winning state after state and rapidly approaching 270. It was becoming real. I was happy, but I was still weary of having my soul crushed by being too optimistic.

And then Trump hit 264 delegates. In a cowardly move, Hillary Clinton had her campaign chairman dismiss her distraught, devastated supporters while she remained behind closed doors. The melodramatic Facebook statuses from my far left fellow Bostonians started rolling in. Donald Trump was going to be president of the United States with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress.

While Donald Trump was by no stretch of the imagination my preferred candidate, I don’t think a single other candidate on either side of the aisle could even dream of accomplishing what he did early this morning. As goofy, brash and embarrassing as he can be at times, he has proven a profound capability and resolve that America is in desperate need of. As much talent and promise that there was in the initial field of GOP candidates, and as much as I preferred almost any of them to Trump, I sincerely doubt that any of them could face what Trump did over the last year and a half and emerge victoriously. With the media, Hollywood and both political establishments colluding against him, none of us thought he would pull it off, no matter how badly we wanted him to.

But he did. And while I have always loved my country, I must admit that my faith in her has been dwindling. Between the astounding number of my peers that think that capitalism and borders are racist and the painfully dense think pieces I’ve read about why women drink because of misogyny, I have lost confidence in the fate of this beautiful nation. But this morning it was restored.

I’m not naive. I know that before I can decide what I want for dinner tonight, it will be 2018 and our majorities will be in jeopardy. But I am so incredibly proud of my country and hopeful for its future. Anything really is possible here, and we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to be the change we’ve wanted to see for the past 8 years.

Contrary to what hysterical millennials are saying, hate didn’t win today. Racism didn’t win today. Xenophobia didn’t win today, and neither did misogyny or homophobia. The United States won, as men and women of all persuasions, origins, and backgrounds looked past their differences to Make America Great Again.

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