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Nov. 9th at Ballard High School was quieter than usual. We were hushed with the still aftermath of trauma — a state of denial.

We did our very best.

We really, really did. We voted. We donated. We preached equality, justice, and progress.

And yet, a reality TV star is now in charge of our country.

Red or blue, what we thought we wanted was change, and we were willing to go to great, costly lengths to get it.

America bit down hard on the bait that was painted with the word “change” but was laced with regressive, hateful politics.

This election was won through fear and bigotry. But it is important to remember that one man is not enough to destroy our country, no matter how terrifying he may be — the hatred that he preaches will be our fatal flaw.

We have shown that we wanted change so badly, the direction didn’t matter. We elected a candidate who made clear the line between change and progress. He promised to overturn basic rights and securities that many of us fought so hard to only so recently acquire.

The man we elected to the presidential office reveals that we are not who we had hoped we could be. “We” are only as strong as the weakest of us, and a Trump presidency shows that the weaker part is much worse off than many of us had wished to believe. We are not beyond voting for a sexist, racist, xenophobic candidate until we all are. This has not happened yet.

This is our generation’s wake up call. We grew up in a comfortable state of political stagnation, but now more than ever before in our lifetimes, our country requires our attention and action.

The next four years may not belong to us, but our time is coming. For those who had the opportunity and privilege to participate in this election, do not allow the outcome to discourage you. And for those who weren’t able to vote this year, remember your time is coming soon. Do no accept that your vote is meaningless.

There is no solution. We did everything right. The only wrong to do now would be to stop caring. To become apathetic now would be to relinquish control of your future. Your future. We have taken a loss as a community this election season, but we did what we can. The system failed us, but it has before. We must remain unified. We are plenty and we are young and we are strong-willed and strong-hearted. The sun will rise again. We will be there, waiting patiently at the edge of the darkness. Do not neglect to do so.

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Our Best