What the 2016 Election Taught Me

What the 2016 Election Taught Me

America, this is where we are. Good Afternoon, today we have ended and began a turning point in our country’s history with our new president-elect, Donald Trump. This is an optimistic approach on how to extract any good out of the disgraceful, media driven, and manipulative campaign trail we’ve been dragged through. I am an American, and a very proud citizen. I exercise my rights where I see fit. War Vets, firefighters, entrepreneurs, police man, teachers, lawyers and state troopers make up most of the people in my family, and I’m the daughter of an immigrant who moved here to receive her college education. My family stands for public service and for a democracy that believes that if you work hard, prosperity and liberty is your reward. The world is moving faster than our country, and it’s not slowing down. So before the world distracts itself onto the next Kardashian episode, snapchat filter, or NFL scandal we should look at the real underlying factors, and hopefully lessons learned that drove this outcome today.

The power of believing in yourself

Donald Trump did not win the presidency based on his experience, or policy, we all know that. He won the election because he truly believes that he is the best person for the job. Regardless if you agree and/or dislike him, self-confidence, persuasion, perseverance, and love for oneself is not something he lacks. And, if a man who has never held office, can win the presidency should you really take those rejection letters for lack of experience seriously? What we should take away is to never let “no” get in the way of pursuing what you want. Breaking down standards and moving past barriers is what moves and changes the world we live in. If Donald took no for an answer there wouldn’t have been an article written about the possibility of him running. If Steve Jobs took no for an answer there would be no apple, if Sean Combs took no for an answer there would be no Biggie Smalls, anyone who has ever accomplished anything has fought through everyone telling them “No, it can’t be done.” Believing in yourself is the most empowering and clearly effective way to persevere through the doubt.

Don’t be afraid to bite off more than you can chew

My first job out of college was at MasterCard. The company started a young professionals mentor program where we were grouped together and assigned a high level executive to meet with us monthly. My first mentor was the head of Advanced Analytics, a very black and white kind of guy, and given his profession, he emulated his role perfectly. “If you don’t come into work overwhelmed, biting off more than you can chew, you are becoming stagnant, and not pushing yourself to your potential” he told us. Donald has bit off more than he can chew. But how else will you push yourself and others around you? He saw a problem, and wanted to be the change, he saw a challenge and wanted to tackle it head on. Always take on more than you can handle. If you want to be comfortable, don’t take on the projects that people say you are not qualified for, and remain in the background. The damage in my opinion is greater here than if you get to the top and fail.

We are all accountable

 In a work or personal setting you have colleagues, friends and family as support. Donald has his aides, and colleagues to seek advice, and of course the support of the American people. He still is in way over his head, whether you think the President-elect should be facing that is a different conversation but in an unusual way he is pushing us forward and giving us some of the responsibility, which we should have. We deserve to be held accountable for the outcome of this nation, and we simply cannot leave it up to Washington. You can’t become a great nation without the people of the nation paving the way and working hard to live up to the standards set forth. In many ways we became dependent on our government to make all the change, create all the jobs, eliminate poverty, and diminish racial injustice and racism. Yes, they lay much of the groundwork, but we have not held up the other part of the bargain.

In JKF’s inaugural address in 1961, he says, "ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." When was the last time our country really stood up and asked this question? In my opinion the only questions we’ve been asking is for more and more handouts and quick fixs from our government.

It’s easy to point fingers, but when you point your finger, you have three pointing right back at you. It’s time for us, the people, to take control of the future of this country. We have to start today.

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