In the aftermath of these contentious 18 months, I need my representatives in the federal government to hear me now more than ever.
Donald Trump is our president-elect, and that means that he works for me and my representatives. It is my right and obligation to tell them what I want for this country - and it is their obligation to represent me in doing that work.
I want them to fight for health-care reform, not repeal. I want them to fight for climate-change reform, not ignorance. I want them to fight against building walls. I want them to fight for inclusion, equality, and respect. And I want them to fight for education and programs to relieve poverty in our country - two crises painfully ignored in the conversation during the last year.
I want them to fight with every fiber of their beings against hatred, discrimination, bigotry, and misogyny. My fellow citizens and I will do the same, but I am counting on my representatives to do it publicly, and especially in front of Trump. Our children are watching.
|Rose DiSanto, Philadelphia
The campaign is over, the president-elect has been chosen, but the nation has not returned to any semblance of relief or acceptance of the results. Across the country, predominately peaceful marches are protesting the anticipated Electoral College pronouncement, while incidents of intimidation and harassment are being inflicted on those who opposed the victor. In colleges, public schools, and neighborhoods, people of color and different ethnicities and religion are being targeted by the "winners."
The bottle of hate was uncorked during the vicious campaign, and it won't be easy to recork it.
|Marlene Lieber, Medford
We can't always have things the way we want them. I hope President-elect Donald Trump knows that, too - our representative democracy, with its checks-and-balance system, tends to prevent that from happening.
I have no patience for racism, misogyny, religious intolerance, discrimination, and plain, old-fashioned hate. And, I have little, if any, respect for Trump, even though he won fairly and squarely - he hasn't earned it.
What I do have is the utmost respect for my country. I am a patriot who has taught my students to believe in our Constitution as a more perfect form of government. I wish Trump had been one of my students, because I have my doubts about his understanding of our foremost governing document. However, I must be willing to give him the opportunity to prove me wrong. I promise to give Trump a fighting chance, and should he succeed, he will have my support. Being a businessman, he would have to agree that's a fair deal.
|Ron Ranieri, Dresher
As the stunning upset by Donald J. Trump for the presidency continues to sink in, college and university professors are particularly perplexed.
They are confused as to how the candidate who ran up a laundry list of offensive statements on the campaign trail was not soundly defeated by his polished, feminist rival.
They wonder how uneducated, working-class voters overlooked intolerant language used openly and unapologetically.
They wonder how 18 percent of Latino voters cast their ballots for a candidate who had attacked their self-esteem.
To the dismay of these educators, this election has been a referendum on the insular nature and selective censorship that is growing increasingly common at our colleges and universities. Perhaps it's time for these tenured instructors to step outside of their bubbles and learn how to dig some coal.
|Ryan Navarro, Carnegie, email@example.com
I work for a Philadelphia art school that makes a concerted effort to draw and admit African American, Latino, gay, trans, and female students. The day after Election Day, these students spoke and cried from their hearts, devastated and terrified that a man who shows disdain and disrespect for Americans who are not white, straight, male, and born here will be at the helm of our government.
These students learn to express their feelings in their art. With hearts so open, they experience the full emotional weight of the derision and exclusionary rhetoric expressed by Donald Trump - often even worse by some of his supporters - now seemingly legitimized by this election.
In her concession, Hillary Clinton said we owe Trump "an open mind and the chance to lead." I can do that, but I also need to see that our new leader can respect all Americans.
|Larry Passmore, Havertown
I understand the disappointment of Hillary Clinton voters. If she had been elected, I would have been scratching my head and wondering what is wrong with this country.
When President Obama was elected, I wasn't happy, but I reminded myself that he was not out to destroy our country, and hopefully he would deliver on his promises. He didn't, and now we have a man who single-handedly - understaffed and outspent - won the White House. And he says he will not take the taxpayers' money for a salary and won't be very big on vacations." These are signs of a serious leader whose only objective is to make this country better.
The liberal media will try to spin another narrative, but until Donald Trump proves it wrong, I say: live by the assumption of goodwill.
|Eileen Haggerty, Phoenixville
I've been trying to understand the thinking that led so many to vote for a man who has the potential to destroy what America stands for in so many ways. I keep hearing that they are "sick of the gridlock" in Washington. Why, then, did they hand the keys to Congress to the very people who created and sustained the gridlock? It was the Republicans who vowed, when President Obama was elected, to block anything he tried to do, and who have thumbed their noses at their constitutional duty to vet his nominee for the Supreme Court.
|Marie Conn, Hatboro, firstname.lastname@example.org
My parents always told me that America is a great country where anybody can be elected president. I am grateful they are not alive to see exactly how right they were.