It’s no secret—particularly on a liberal-minded college campus—that a good portion of the American population fears what may happen during the Trump Administration. Trump has already begun to follow through on his damaging policies regarding pressing issues such as environmental protection, healthcare, and immigration. To the informed American citizen, it’s no secret what those policies are. Certainly, now is the time for political action to be taken, before such policies get out of hand. It is necessary not just to hope, but to actively ensure that actions like the Women’s March continue to occur. Such action has been necessary throughout history, and the voice of the people has been heard in a variety of instances.
Our situation now, however, is different. We are no longer faced simply with political or social injustice, but the frightening possibility that society will reorganize itself around the values and actions of an egomaniacal, dishonest, and nearly dictatorial figure. The coming age calls for something greater than policy-making action.
In order for the values of a civilized, democratic society to endure, such ideals must persist in the lives of those who make up the Union. We cannot allow the Trump administration to normalize intolerance and disregard the truth; the values which many of us hold dear cannot be compromised simply because the nation’s highest political office is held by a man so clearly apathetic.
Inclusion, tolerance, and hospitality can only persist if American citizens recognize the importance of such values in their own lives. Regardless of race, gender, or political tendency, the very first priority of human interaction must be compassion, wherein lies acceptance, fidelity, and empathy.
Now more than ever, individuals must take hold of their own philosophies, align their desires with the perpetual effort to benefit others, and, above all, never adopt intolerance by imitation—that is, a lack of acceptance gained by the political or social influence of some external source.
Certainly now is the time for official action, and it is certainly necessary for those working in government to be heard by those whom they are elected to represent. In our ongoing pursuit for an ideal society, the compassion of individuals plays a monumental role.
So, in an era when much of the population draws its behavioral inspiration from social media or the teachings of others, we must not allow ourselves to passively accept and adopt the moral code of an out-of-touch administration.
Now is the time to rededicate ourselves—as well as our actions—to the values which benefit those around us as much as ourselves. It is only in this manner, by actively resisting the uncompassionate actions of a higher power, that society can endure.
A resistance such as this starts with the individual.