The state of millennials: A look at the way we are acting

So, how about that election?

In a nearly 50/50 popular vote, but a strong 290-232 Electoral College win, Donald Trump has become President-elect. He’ll become the 45th president of the U.S. on Jan. 20, 2017.

Because the vote was so split down the middle, a lot of people are pleased and a lot of people are angry. There is so much anger that protests and riots have broken out across the country.

With voters our age, Secretary Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. That being said, I saw a lot of crying, angry people on campus last week, some of whom had written Trump’s name next to vulgar language on their clothing.

Major news outlets such as The Washington Post and Fox News have reported on upset millennials. Around the country, there have been riots, violence against police, and some are going as far as to light the American flag on fire.

Is this peaceful protesting? I don’t think so. When vulgar language is thrown into the mix and people start calling anyone who voted for Trump a xenophobic, homophobic racist then, to me, it’s not a peaceful protest anymore. Not only that, but the right to protest is put in place for when the government does us harm, which hasn’t happened.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Trump’s the ideal choice. But I do think we need to give him a chance.

One example of fear I have seen comes from the LGBTQ+ community. I want to let you know that during his campaign, President-elect Trump stated that he will protect the rights of LGBTQ+ citizens. More specifically, he said that he wants to protect them from foreign ideologies that persecute their community.

As far as Republicans go, Trump is pretty liberal. I am being totally genuine when I say that I don’t think you have anything to fear regarding the legality of same-sex marriage. Trump’s policy going into the election was to let states decide. Since so many people have already gotten married, I don’t see states going back on that law. But that’s just my opinion.

I would also like to point out that many of our past presidents have also been flawed. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the media hid his polio disease from the country. President John F. Kennedy was a womanizer. President Bill Clinton cheated on his wife and then publicly denied it. And President Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner.

But you know what? FDR is a huge reason this country was brought out of the Great Depression. JFK fought against poverty and supported the human rights movement. Bill Clinton made a lot of positive change, especially concerning the economy. And, of course, Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence.

My point is that they were all good presidents despite their shortcomings. So, Trump has said some stupid, ignorant stuff. But his personal shortcomings don’t affect his ability to run a country. History shows us that.

I think a wonderful example of how to handle losing an election comes from President Barack Obama.

Not only did his political party lose, but Obama campaigned hard in favor of Secretary Clinton. But as reported by news outlets like The New York Times and BBC, he had President-elect Trump over to the White House on Nov. 10 to talk about transitioning the presidency. He is willing to work with Trump.

The only way we will reconcile any differences is by working together. President Obama is setting a great example in that.

My point here is that, as a generation, we need to be acting better than this. I have seen a lot of people become the hate they are protesting against. We’re not helping the stigma against millennials.

The reality is that millennials will be the people running this country within the next 20 years, so we need to act like it. Be the change you want to see in this world. Calling Trump voters “racists” and “bigots” is anything but peaceful and gets you nowhere.

I want to implore you all to stray away from the violence our generation has shown. Being an accepting people also means accepting those who disagree with you. When we accomplish that, we’ll make great progress in this great nation. The point of America is for different people to work together, and we’re doing a really bad job of making that happen.