I have seen several memes across Facebook bemoaning the fact that the election falls so close to Thanksgiving. The Stanford Flipside even wrote an article titled, “Nation Just Grateful Major Political Event Happened Right Before Thanksgiving.” For those of us worried about the election results, it has been difficult to stay positive and appreciate what progress has been made. I would like to take a moment to reflect on a few things I am grateful for. After all, activism cannot exist without hope.
- Free speech
During a tumultuous time, I am grateful that I can continue to express myself to the world. Writing and sharing my thoughts empowers me and makes me feel that I have worth; it is one of my greatest sources of hope. We are fortunate that we can write, speak and march as we choose.
On Nov. 8, Oregon elected Kate Brown as its governor making her the first openly bisexual governor in history. Brown has been serving as governor since her predecessor’s resignation, but this is the first time she has been elected to the office. It proves that love always wins.
- A shout-out to some California Propositions
I want to talk about a couple of things besides marijuana legalization. Proposition 63 passed implementing background checks and other regulations on gun sales. This gives me hope for future safety.Proposition 59 passed, stating that California does not approve of the Citizens United v. FEC decision. Although this is mostly symbolic, I am proud of my state for saying it wants money out of politics. Proposition 58 also passed, allowing bilingual education in schools; this has been going on de facto for years, but the passage of this act signifies California’s openness. It will encourage more Spanish immersion programs and bilingual education to students who may not speak English at home. Feel free to visit Ballotpedia to see what else has happened!
- My family and friends
I am always grateful for my loved ones, but I have been especially overwhelmed with support over the course of the past week. The day after the election, my RFs converted our weekly staff meeting into a space to talk out feelings and reactions. It was a reminder that none of us are alone. My parents and other family members have sent me a constant stream of comedic and serious quotes/articles reminding me how much good exists. My parents and my friends have also reminded me countless times that I still have a voice. Look to those around you, and know that you are undoubtedly loved.
- Senator-elect Kamala Harris
I am thankful for the historic election of California’s newest senator. She is the second black woman elected to the Senate. Despite the sexism and racism, we have gained a valuable leader for young girls to emulate. Beyond her ethnicity, I am excited by her pledge to fight Trump’s calls to deport millions. I am given hope by the fact that even though one woman lost, others won.
- Our generation did not vote for Trump
Looking at the millennial vote of 18-25 year-olds, only three states went red. The future voted for love and kindness over anger and hate. Do not rail against older voters but instead take heart in the fact that the next generation of policy-makers will not continue Trump’s troll-like and hateful behavior. I also hope this will serve as a wake-up call to young people to get out and vote!
- Hillary won the popular vote
Though Trump took the Electoral College, he did not win over the people. Hillary Clinton received more of the popular vote than any candidate in history, save for President Obama. Votes are still being tallied, but she already possesses at least a 1 million lead on Trump. Women, take heart. We are not unelectable. The fraction of the population who actually believes in Donald Trump is small.
Though being here makes it a struggle to not be caught in a bubble, I am grateful to be a part of this community. My P.E. instructor told my class that our homework was to find someone unhappy with the election results and give them a hug. This prompted an immediate group hug between four other girls and me. Also, I am grateful for the Bridge and CAPS for working tirelessly to support anyone in need. Do not forget that we are privileged with safety at Stanford, but also take time for yourself and your own well-being.
- It sounds funny, but I’m thankful for Thanksgiving!
I am happy that I will be going home soon to be with my family and eat massive amounts of food. For those who cannot go home, I hope you still take the day to spend time doing what you enjoy and being with people you love. It is important to not forget about self-care or the little things in life.
- Harry Potter quotes
I love everything Harry Potter and have loved all of the tweets that have come out of this election. A particular favorite states that, “Even Hogwarts fell to Voldemort.” There’s a great compilation on BuzzFeed titled, “People Are Turning to Harry Potter for Comfort After the Election.”
Remember, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the lights.” – Albus Dumbledore
Contact Madeline Musante at mmusante ‘at’ stanford.edu.