Like it or not, Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States.
On Tuesday, the Republican presidential nominee captured over 279 electoral votes to win the White House. While the economic, political and social ramifications of a Trump presidency are making a lot of people nervous, there's still some hope. Here are five reasons why we should take a deep breath and remain positive:
1) Our government is more diverse than ever before.
In spite of Trump's xenophobic rhetoric, Americans just elected a diverse group of individuals to represent us on a national and state level. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois became the first U.S. Senator to be born in Thailand. Cortez Masto of Nevada is now the first Latina to become a U.S. Senator. And Ilhan Omar of Minnesota became the first Somali-American Muslim woman in public office. Glass ceilings are still breaking!
2) The U.S. Senate is not filibuster-proof.
Remember all of those years when Republicans in the Senate would obstruct President Obama's agenda? Well, the same thing could happen to Trump. Republicans won't reach the 60-seat filibuster proof requirement, which means the Democrats will still have a legitimate opportunity to advocate for their preferred policies.
3) Trump's win proves that you don't need a political or military background to win office.
After we've had 44 U.S. presidents with prior political and/or military experience, Trump's victory will break that streak. While his relative inexperience could spell some trouble, perhaps it might serve as inspiration to all Americans that you don't need to be a career politician to run for office. There could be a wave of new Americans — Democrats and Republicans — who will feel empowered to run for local or state office.
4) Voters are taking matters into their own hands.
Americans fed up with the lack of progress in Washington voted in support of major changes through ballot referendums. In 2016, recreational and medical marijuana are now more widely legal than ever before. Several other states passed tougher gun laws and others raised their minimum wage. The voters wanted change in 2016 — and they might want more changes in 2020.
5) Trump could unite Republicans and Democrats on the issue of trade.
Donald Trump was able to win in traditionally Democratic states because of his economical proposals regarding jobs and trade. This is also an issue that many progressives — including Bernie Sanders voters —support. Perhaps this is the issue that could bridge the gap between both parties. After all, our country needs to come together at this crucial time.
Cover image via Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com