OPINION / National unity starts with each of us


Ezra Fax

OATH: Students watched President Trump’s swearing-in ceremony and inaugural address live in the gym Jan. 20.

By Ariella Sassover, 10th Grade

On the rainy Friday morning of Jan. 20, all eyes in the gym were glued to a screen on which history was being shown. The entire Shalhevet student body and faculty filled endless rows of chairs, some kids were sprawled on the floor, to witness Donald J. Trump’s inauguration on a TV rolled in from a conference room.

Regardless of their views of the 45th president, everyone in the room was anticipating the event which so few had thought would become reality. Murmurs could be heard amongst peers discussing their predictions for this long-awaited new presidency.

In front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., hundreds of thousands of Americans were experiencing the same emotions as they stood in crowds huddled together in the frigid weather.

This election is the first that I have actively followed and has been among the most intriguing and turbulent elections ever. The separation between communities that plagues America has become a very noticeable issue during the campaign. The unforeseen election result clearly says something about the divisions that exist across the nation; one side had no idea of the strength or size of the other.

In particular, this election exposed how disconnected the metropolitan citizens and the small town citizens are from one another. President Trump claims he will listen to the demands of Americans, but the Americans who supported him are completely different from the Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton.
It is more difficult for me to relate to the communities that voted for Donald Trump due to my upbringing in the Democratic state of California. However I am obliged to keep an open mind to their demands, as the world they live in is so different from mine.

Throughout the campaign, Donald Trump was controversial in his no-filter approach and addressed the needs of lower and middle class America. His approach impacted those people, causing his following to largely consist of Americans who felt their concerns weren’t being heard.

These Americans didn’t seem to mind the brash and unfiltered way that he acted throughout the process. His style, which starkly conflicts with the cliche, polished politician, was attractive to them. He symbolized a change in government, from his inexperience as a politician to his disregard for political correctness.

While Trump won the election, there is a whole chunk of Americans who are upset with his takeover. Americans held protests against Trump the day after the inauguration, leaving a sour taste on the tongue of democracy.

Even though diversity of opinion is encouraged in America, when citizens don’t stand behind elected officials, the government cannot function sufficiently. Therefore America’s issues cannot be resolved unless there is unity between the two sides.

And although peace and understanding appear to be an impossible feat, it is up to us, the American people, to step outside of our own communities and find ways to bridge the gaps among opposing parties, races, genders, religions.

This task seems daunting, but starting on the individual level can ultimately inspire the most change overall. Therefore, I encourage each individual in the Shalhevet community to reach out to Americans whose opinions conflict with their own.

Simply stepping into the mindset of those who disagree will bring about understanding and eventually unity within America.