Unlike the candidate himself, I do accept the results of this election. Donald Trump is now our president, and we can look forward to- well, we can look forward to utter confusion and even more governmental fragmentation for the next four years. To say I am disappointed with the outcome would be an understatement. However, I would have been disappointed either way. This has been one of the longest, most peculiar elections I have ever had the privilege to participate in. For me, the election was another opportunity to exercise my constitutional rights that I have personally fought to secure and protect.

As Americans, we cannot allow the outcome of this election to cause us to turn against each other, or turn against the country. We need to trust in our political system, and trust that all of the branches of government will protect the country from any abuse of power attempted from our new president. No matter how unfair a system we think it is, it can only be changed with the voice of the people.

As far as implications that Trump’s presidency has on the future of U.S. politics, I think there are plenty. For one, he has set the bar for elections, campaigning and politics in general, very low. Any person running for any government position can now go about their campaign in any way they imagine, because Trump has already done it. Trump’s presidency will now be the scapegoat for all future bad policy decisions. Both supporters and critics will look upon future actions and be able to say, “well at least they are not Trump.”

Despite all the negatives we have to look forward to, Trump’s victory has provided us with a glimmer of hope for future elections. If Trump could run the most outrageous, nontraditional campaign and still win, Americans can hope perhaps someone with equally nontraditional methods of politics can have the same effect. This could mean that those who thought Sanders, Johnson and Stein were nontraditional and had views too different from those of the main parties, can now hope that third parties actually have a chance at gaining more representation with their nontraditional platforms and campaigning. We may have a future in politics where the stage is shared with a wider variety of candidates that may represent the American people differently, all because Trump won.

Whether you are overjoyed with enthusiasm by this result, or are looking for a way out of the country, Americans need to continue to advocate for change and speak to representatives about any injustices they feel are occurring in America. We need to come together and continue to work through our differences while we face both foreign and domestic issues, and we need to stay informed and involved in politics. Despite differences of candidates we supported for the presidency, we need to demonstrate to the rest of the world that America is still dedicated to liberty and improving the lives of the citizens, America is still willing to aid and help those in foreign nations who are unable to do so themselves, America still has respect and should still be respected, America still has humanity and America will still progress- no matter who is in the oval office.