The U.S. is a country that allows freedom of speech; a nation that supports the right to peaceful assembly. As Americans, we’re nourished to believe that our voices matter. We’re also told from a young age that we have the right to speak up. So, what do we do with all of that?

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After the recent election, there has been a large turnout for anti-Trump protests. These protests are “organized” to express the disapproval of the decision to choose Trump as the nation’s President-elect. After a hard-fought battle between Trump and Clinton, America’s choice has been under scrutiny. So, with their right to use their voice, many of those who are unwilling to “accept” the decision have decided to make a scene.

Let’s discuss why this isn’t working…

Regardless of the candidate you voted for, according to the election results, Donald Trump is our President-elect. Yes, that could be sad for you. Yes, you may be terrified of the future. Yes, you have a right to feel those things. Still, you have to know that there is a correct way to be heard.

One problem that truly comes into play is the failure to recognize the meaning of “peaceful assembly.”

Rioting the streets and making a mess of things is an effective way to be seen. It is not, however, the best way to be heard. If you’re screaming “Love Trumps Hate,” while storming the streets and burning a flag, you need to re-consider your message.

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You have the right to be heard. People have died for your right. People have suffered for your right. You should treat that right with the respect and attention it deserves.

A riot and a protest are two different things. If you feel led to use your voice, it’s important to use it in the correct way. Maybe you intended for this to happen? Perhaps you feel that a riot is just what you need. If so, call it what it is. Don’t scream and call it a conversation. Keep in mind; a loud voice isn’t better than a loud message.

When one person is screaming so loudly to speak over the other, it’s not about being heard- it’s about being loud. When one person feels that their opinion is more important than every other opinion, it’s about entitlement.

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Which brings us to the next problem. Just because you feel that something is wrong, doesn’t mean everyone should, or will, agree. 

Even through the correct form of protest, there are some things that aren’t your decision. Protests are great for stopping animal testing and changing high school rules. However, when more than half of the country votes for a candidate, that candidate is considered the winner; that’s democracy. You can’t decide that that part of America isn’t working for you.

Saying that it’s your right to protest, while attempting to infringe on the right to vote, is counter-productive. If you truly believe in the system in place, which gives you the voice you’re using, you have to trust that it will work the way it’s meant to.

Stop blaming Trump’s supporters. They did the same thing you did: they voted for their choice candidate.

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Though he didn’t win the popular vote, Trump was voted in by bagging more electoral votes than needed. If you truly want someone to blame for the election, perhaps you should speak with the more than 40% of Americans who didn’t vote in the election.

If you truly feel the need to try to change this, check out the possible loophole that’s bombarding the Internet.

I have never supported Donald Trump. Throughout the election, I was terrified of the idea that he would one day be in office. However, America has decided that it’s time for him to show us what he can do. As an American citizen, I stand by in prayer. I can only hope that, whatever happens, we can make the transition an easy one.

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