Morgan Tankersley is an aspiring writer, swimmer, frequent shaka user, and hockey enthusiast. Her (limited) spare time is well spent watching reruns of The Office and reading books with dismal endings.
When I was twelve years old, my family and I sat in our living room and watched the entire opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics… all four hours of it. Honestly, I don’t really remember much about it, except for the moment when the English athletes walked past their queen, and that is a moment I cannot, and will not, forget. Pride and wonder were evident on their faces and they stared up at her, their sentiments mirrored on her face. It was at that moment that I, an untalented 12 year old very very far from being even remotely fast, decided that I wanted to represent my country and leader for swimming (my sport). I wanted to look up at my president, knowing that I was going to try and make him (or her) and my country proud, and feel like I was a part of something greater than myself. Now, I’m closer to my dream than I ever thought possible, but there’s one thing that I never could have accounted for…
I’m now giving it my all for an opportunity to stare into the face of President Donald Trump.
A man who is widely considered bigoted, racist, and an egotistical maniac. And I’m not even going to get into his politics at this point… his character alone proves him to be someone I would never associate myself with, let alone aspire to represent. But guess what? Life sucks sometimes and this roadblock is just something that I have to accept and overcome. If there’s one thing that sports has taught me well, it’s how not to be a sore loser.
But at this point, it seems like a lot of people can’t get over Trump’s presence at the head of our country, and even downright refuse to accept it. By now it should be obvious that I am very far from a fan of Donald Trump, but life’s not fair, and in order to move forward and progress, our country must accept his election… those who identify with the “not my president” movement are actually doing more to hinder our country and their platform than to rectify the situation.
The first step in the movement towards change is recognition of the problem, and in claiming that Trump isn’t their leader, people are therefore denying that there is an issue at all. Furthermore, this type of “protest” is inherently ineffective, as denial of a problem does not lend towards an effective solution; they are merely shielding themselves from reality. Those who acknowledge the election of Trump place themselves in a much better position to promote change, as they can take legitimate action against a perceived legitimate issue.
Another drawback involved with the not my president movement lies in the increasing party polarization in the United States. In the eyes of Trump supporters, and even to some who don’t support him, denying Trump’s election is trivial and sophomoric… and this complete refusal to accept the other’s candidate leads to further alienation of Trump supporters. This spirals into a vicious cycle of nonacceptance and hate, which clearly is not beneficial to our country, especially when there is already so much of this present.
Those who refuse to accept Donald Trump introduce another monumental issue… they’d rather see their country fail than admit they were wrong about Trump. This mentality is astounding, and sets the United States up for inherent failure. Even though I don’t love Trump, I want him to succeed and be a strong president for the sake of our country… not to satisfy my ego. When such a large number of citizens wish failure upon their president… the next four years become much more daunting.