There is no doubt that the presidential campaigns this year were equal parts passionate and hateful. News stories have often done little to serve the real issues and insults became a stand-in for policy talk during officiated discussions. Following Election Day, nearly one half of the country is left with feelings of hopelessness, fear and disbelief — none of which are invalid.
We must remain civil in this post-election environment. Tensions were high in the long months leading up to Nov. 8 and that will not change any time soon. People are rightfully concerned over a myriad of issues that cannot be downplayed. These problems also shouldn’t be quieted in favor of those who are happy with the election results. Ballot questions and representatives in all levels of office often have polarizing sides of support. This does not mean we can’t be gracious in defeat or victory.
Celebrate the victories that you rooted for and reflect on those that were lost to you. There will always be time to try again and put up a harder fight. In her concession speech, Hillary Clinton addressed the audience and the nation, urging them, “So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear.” This is exactly what our nation should aspire toward.
There is a limit to celebration, though. Decency has been forgotten in the days that followed the election results. The nation has been riddled with reports of unacceptable acts of hatred, ranging from physical assault to racist and xenophobic graffiti spray-painted through universities and high schools. Parents share stories of their children being harassed at school in the few days that followed the official results on Nov. 9.
Some have been urging America to stay calm in the wake of these threats. Though serious intent is unclear, the mere mention of these threats does enough harm. The New York Times expressed that, “While many of the widely shared complaints of harassment do not constitute criminal activity, they are stirring fear among marginalized groups.” Pushing more fear onto already uneasy people is a cruel display. It is needless and condemnable.
There is no place on this campus for concentrated efforts of hatred or intolerance. Boasting to the other side about any particular win in this tumultuous election year is not only inappropriate — it is spite that should be embarrassing to anyone who truly cares for this country. What could possibly be gained from these displays?
Furthermore, there is no place in this country for fear mongering or assault based on somebody’s political views. Time should not be wasted on mocking the other side. Instead, we should push ourselves forward in the momentum of this emotional election and strive toward continued change and reassurance.