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A time to lead, not to leave

| Thursday, November 10, 2016

For a while on election night, I very seriously thought about finding something to do outside of the country after graduation because I want nothing to do with what I perceive will be Donald Trump’s America. If his campaign is any indication of how he will run the country, I do not want to be present to a culture of misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia and racism.

However, I have decided against leaving because I believe that it is our responsibility as students of a top-20 university and thus some of the great minds of our generation to lead our nation in the direction that we want to take it. America is great, but this week, tens of millions of our countrymen succumbed to fear and denied the greatness within them and within their peers. They were convinced that our nation is incapable of tackling ISIS, the Syrian refugee crisis, or global warming. Our friends, neighbors, and family members have been made to feel afraid, and they have forgotten that the United States is a City upon a Hill, and a country of greater capability than any other nation the world has ever known.

Our friends may have forgotten this, but we know the truth. We are the voices of the future; we are the ones capable of dictating the dialogue for years to come, so it is paramount that we speak. It is up to us to be the change we wish to see. It is up to us to believe in our efficacy even when it feels like we have none, and it is up to us to protect the goals of our country. We cannot and shall not see this great American experiment in democracy fall victim to the mercurial impulses of the president-elect.

It will be fashionable in the coming days, weeks, and months to joke about fleeing to Canada or Europe, but this is nothing but cowardice and cynicism. To leave the United States over the result of an election is to forfeit any belief in the democratic process or the will of the people. It is more than reasonable to disagree with the majority, but it is an inherent virtue of the American democratic experiment that we can expect a peaceful transfer of power from one ruling party to another, and to flee as a result of your party losing is exemplifying un-American behavior.

I did not vote for Donald Trump, and I do not agree with the policies he happens to expound this week, but he has been elected president of my country by over fifty-nine million people, so I respect and affirm that decision. Yet, my nation’s conscience is determined by more than the whims of one man behind a desk in Washington. Let us all — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents — commit our substantial skills and talents to building a national community of which we can be proud. I have the utmost confidence in my peers to be a voice of compassion and love for all people as Our Lady’s University dictates.

It is time for us to lead, not leave.

Michael Waldoch


Nov. 9

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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