The past few months have perhaps been some of the most volatile and unpredictable in recent memory, with the election of Donald Trump as out 45th President of the United States being the event that took the cake. Interestingly enough, at the time of this historical event I was actually studying abroad in London, which gave me a unique perspective on how this event was received internationally. I'm not a political person, so I wasn't very involved the eve of the election when it came to viewing parties and such. Nevertheless, when I woke up the next morning, checked my phone, and realized that Donald Trump was our next president, I was genuinely shocked. I knew at that moment that all hell would break loose amidst the liberal left, who was very confident that Hillary would win by a landslide. If this doesn't prove that anything is possible, I don't know what does. The people of London had recently experienced their own political shocker months before with the results of the Brexit referendum, so political tensions were also existent on the other side of the pond. However, I didn't notice any radical protests or riots or anything really. People sort of just expressed their surprise to the result, and carried on with their lives. This is one of the many reasons I hold great respect for the British people. Regardless of what is thrown their way, whether it be German bombs in WWII or a vote to leave the European Union, they keep a stiff upper lip no matter what and carry on. This is how it ought to be, however, when I returned to the States, this clearly was not the case as expected. Protests after protests, riots after riots, Facebook practically exploded with people voicing their opinions. Again, I wish to stress that I am very anti-politics. I personally believe that politics have become a dividing force against people, an unnecessary source of malice against one another. I would not want people to look at me in a negative light simply due to my political affiliation and beliefs, so I strictly fly under the radar in this respect. However, I do indeed have some opinions of my own regarding the matter.
So who did I vote for? The answer is simple, neither. That's right, I'm not even registered to vote despite being two years over the voting age. The reason for this is that voting in this election would have been like choosing the lesser of two evils. On one hand, you have a bombastic and controversial businessman that seems to be getting on everyone's nerves, and on the other you have an incredibly devious and untrustworthy politician who could arguably be considered a criminal. But nevertheless, the people have spoken and what's done is done. Well, I wish people could see it that way. Instead, many people think it's a valid excuse to riot and commit ridiculous acts and crimes all in the name of political opinion. Some of the things I've seen on the news with regards to "peaceful protests" and demonstrations are shocking and embarrassing to the rest of the human race. True peaceful protest is nothing to condemn, but some people just step way over the line in an unjustified way. I'm particularly troubled by the way that many have taken to express complete hatred towards the police, the same people that keep them safe on a daily basis. I also think that celebrities in Hollywood should not try to push their personal political views on the rest of the public, unless they try living in someone's shoes where they are simply trying to provide for their family and navigate a very unforgiving world. When Obama was elected, Republicans like myself were certainly displeased, but that didn't give us a reason to loot stores and set police cars on fire. The way some liberals have reacted to the election is disgraceful. The exact same people who proclaimed support for love, tolerance, and free speech are the same that are shutting down everyone who doesn't agree with their own views, both verbally and physically (in the case of that poor mentally challenged kid who was tortured in Chicago). With the end of Obama's 8-year term, I see that this country has taken a turn for the worse: race relations are at an all time low, healthcare is becoming too expensive for the common folk, our international image has been weakened, the list goes on. I have more faith in Donald Trump that things will change for the better, but I also remain nervous considering his tendency towards impulses and controversy.
In the end, the new leader of the free world has been chosen. There is no changing the result, what's done is done. Now, people must accept this (no more #notmypresident nonsense), because our electoral system isn't going to change just because one side does not agree with the result. America is in a state of drastic disunity and division, but as Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, "a house divided against itself cannot stand." It is imperative that we progress into the future with a stronger sense of national unity. While political opinions will continue to clash, we must simply take everything as it comes, and work towards improving our future, no matter how dire it may seem. If only we could learn from the British, who keep calm and carry on no matter that is thrown their way. We need to do the same. Constantly arguing over something that is in the past will get us nowhere. We should be focusing all of our efforts to ensure that our new president will cater to the American people as a whole. There is no going back, so its time for all of us to get a grip and deal with it.

~ Kyle Conti