This past weekend, the American people experienced two historic events back-to-back: the inauguration of President Donald Trump as well as the Women’s March, which is being called one of the biggest demonstrations in U.S. history. Trump’s election win stunned voters in November, following months of polling and media reports counting him out. A political outsider, Trump won the votes of many by being just that, an outsider.
Now the nation is as divided politically as it’s ever been in our lifetimes. Between extremist and apathetic views, it is hard for many people to come to a middle ground. But regardless of political views, either far left or far right, or even dead center, the Torch believes that every person has the right to share and voice their opinions. The United States is no perfect nation, but one of the beautiful things about being here is that everyone can say what they want without persecution. All Americans have the right to protest peacefully, and should exercise those rights when it comes to issues they care about.
When people voice their opinions and spread these messages to others, things can really change and differences can be made. Look at the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests from a few months ago, or even the People’s Climate March from 2014. These are all prime examples that things can be changed when enough people come together and speak their mind.
Especially as college students, we have a very unique voice. We are all furthering our educations to get jobs, live productive lives and make our society a better place to live. We all want to leave college and enter a better world to live in, where we can find employment, accept and help each other and coexist. This is why voicing our opinions is crucial to living this life.
We saw an example of this just last year, when college students at the University of Missouri protested racial tensions for months, leading to the resignation of the university’s president and chancellor. There is great power in our voices, when we choose to use it.
Whatever opinions you may have about any current issue, whether it be political, environmental, social, or anything else, there are bound to be other people who feel the same way you do. The beauty about the United States, in all its glories and faults, is that speaking out about these things can actually provoke changes.