A long night but a longer road ahead

Nov. 15, 2016, 12:13 a.m.

Editor’s note: This op-ed was written Wednesday, November 9, and refers to Election Day accordingly.

I sat in a room yesterday and watched hope drain from the eyes of the people around me.

I attended the Stanford in Government election watch party last night. I haven’t been at Stanford for very long but from the people I met, I know that I was in a room with the a group of the most passionate, driven and hopeful people on campus, people dedicated to making the world a better place through policy and government work as public service. And that is all the more reason why the images from last night are burned into my mind.

As the night wore on and we watched as state after state was called, conversation quieted to a murmur. The center of the room emptied as the space against the walls filled with people staring at their phones or into space trying to process what was occurring. People trickled out to eat or sleep or take refuge in places they found safe.

I left at 11:30. The race had not been called yet but we all knew the outcome. I walked silently with my friends over to TAP, past the protest in White Plaza where I could hear a prayer being delivered with one overarching question, why?

When I returned home, my dorm was filled with tears, hugs and angry jokes. Everyone was reaching out to someone, trying to understand what had just happened in the country we all thought we knew. While some rationalized, others sat quietly, listening to our next president declare victory.

Today has been quiet. The anger of the night before while still present in our thoughts and in the graffitied words “Fuck Trump” on the side of my dorm, had been mostly replaced with overwhelming sadness.

We are sad for our country, sad for our future, sad for 60 million people who seem not to be able to see the danger we face by choosing this man to lead us.

Throughout the day my heart has felt heavy. I have felt sorrow and anger and fear. But I have also felt hope.

Last night the forces of acceptance and progress lost the election. But Tuesday, November 8th was not the last day that matters. We now face an obligation. An obligation to stand up, to vote every day with our voices and our actions for equality and hope and progress.

I was disheartened today to see that the hashtag #NotMyPresident was trending on Twitter.

I did not vote for Donald Trump. I hoped with all of my heart that he would not become president but that does not change what is fact, what is reality.

Only three months ago I sent in my registration for the draft as I am required by law to do before I turn 25. I received the confirmation of my registration shortly after arriving on campus. Mr. Trump will be able to send me to fight just as much as President Obama can. I am invested in Trump’s presidency whether I want to be or not. Donald J. Trump is my president.

Our work for the future must start from that foundation. We must not say what Mitch McConnell said in 2010 about Obama. Our lone goal cannot be to deny Trump a second term; it has to be much greater than that.

The choices we faced yesterday are nowhere near as difficult as the choices we face tomorrow. We can either accept what we cannot change or embrace delusion. We can either stand up or sit down. I choose to stand.

— Bryce Tuttle ’20

Contact Bryce Tuttle at brycectuttle ‘at’ gmail.com.

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