In post-election America, stay politically engaged

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Viewers with the Travis County Democratic Party await election results on Nov. 8. Even after this election season, the government relies on Americans to stay politically engaged.
Photo Credit: Alex Dolan | Daily Texan Staff

This has been a grueling year. This election cycle has raised the country’s collective blood pressure, and we now need to somehow put our divided nation back together again. There are a lot of people who are not happy with the result of the election, but even those who voted for Donald Trump are looking at a period of adjustment.

Many of us have been following this election closely for months now. Our daily schedules have taken up a cadence: Wake up, check Twitter, cry a little on the inside and prepare for the day. Now that the constant updates and scandals are (hopefully) over and we have finally selected our next commander in chief, what will replace the countless hours that many devoted to this election?

News junkies, never fear — there will be no shortage of reaction pieces in the weeks to come. Once those are finished, there will be articles and columns galore on Trump’s first days in office, first term and first mistakes. The voting may be over, but let us not forget that the election is supposed to be the beginning of something new. And so it is. The outsider whom very few expected to emerge victorious has done so, and this marks a major change for our country.

The media has been in a state of shock these past few months, trying to make up for time lost treating Trump as a joke or non-issue. With the results in, people will see an influx of questions and speculation about the future. Gradually we will shift back to a regular news schedule. For a few months at least. 

Once Trump is in office, however, the media will have our work cut out for us. It is our duty to act as gatekeepers, to inform the public and to keep the powerful in check. We must be vigilant in the next term. We must be watchful and ensure that our great nation stays great. Very few can guess at what a Trump presidency will look like, but it is coming and we need to be ready.

Take a deep, steadying breath, America. It’s finally over. Maybe now the media as well as the public can look forward. We can put pressure on our representatives to do their jobs. We can remember that midterm elections are just as important as presidential elections.

We can stay involved. And hopefully, we can move past partisan disagreements and push for a future that all of us can be proud of.

Bonfiglio is a journalism junior from Oak Creek, Colorado. Follow her on Twitter @NahilaBonfiglio.