We have all heard that Nov. 8 will be the end of America as we know it. On one hand, you have a bigot who seems impressively incompetent, and on the other you have a career politician who makes Richard Nixon look honest.
It sounds horrifying, but it is not as catastrophic as it seems. There is reason believe that we do not need Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to “Make America Great Again.”
The United States has been around for 240 years and has the longest living constitution on Earth. Written originally by a homogeneous group of white male protestant property owners, it has evolved with our changing times. Over the past 240 years, the American people have demanded that African-Americans and women be given the vote. Our Constitution was amended to formally end slavery, and through the voices of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and millions of other progressive leaders, America has grown to extend the dream to broader and broader demographics.
Of course, that work continues today. Just a short time ago, the Constitution was once again interpreted to allow gay people to marry, and early next year, it will go before the Supreme Court to further the dialogue on transgender rights. Someday, our children will read textbooks filled with the stories of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement.
The country remained strong through a massive Civil War and a Great Depression that was straddled by two world wars. This country has survived a total of 223 years of armed conflict. While Trump likes to think this may change, which it will not, this country has seen peaceful transitions of power over 240 years, through assassinations and the Nixon controversy and during times of total war.
Not only has the country survived, it has flourished into the world’s largest economy by a huge margin. As a government and in the form of personal donations, we are the most charitable in the world. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans are also the most productive, working more hours and taking fewer vacations than any others, including Japan and China. Our universities are the undisputed best, with many incredible colleges located right here in Boston.
In the sphere of innovation, we file more patents than any other. Half of those patents come from legal immigrants, which by the way, according to the State Department, we accept more of than every other country combined.
Our military is unmatched by any on Earth, and one I am proud to be a part of. The rights outlined in the Constitution have remained untouched by any enemy, foreign or domestic. When some have attacked any amendments, whether it be the freedom of speech on the internet or taking away our inalienable right to bear arms, it has proven controversial and rightly difficult to do so.
This is not some uninformed cry for American exceptionalism. This country is not perfect, nor is this election not vastly important. Race relations still need to be improved, and we have questions regarding our justice system, student and governmental debt, national security and many others that are still in dire need of answering.
But on Nov. 8, regardless of the outcome, be proud of what this country has accomplished and what we will accomplish, and find solace in the fact that this country has seen much worse times than a peaceful election between two candidates we dislike.
– Noah Tagliaferri is a freshman computer science major who was previously on active duty in the Marine Corps. He is sergeant at arms of the Northeastern University College Republicans.
Photo courtesy Michael Kumm, Creative Commons