Campus Voices are written by members of the Elon community, not ENN staff members, and represent their informed opinions. Campus Voices and other opinions content are separate from news coverage.

Democracy can hurt. Our competitive system forcibly leads to winners and losers. These titles bring with it an array of emotion — from euphoria to melancholy. But, this election has awoken an emotion like never before: fear.

Fear is an immobilizing force. It can be a destroyer of cherished progress. Today this fear exists within the minority. Not only minority groups — those most threatened by the current state — but also those who felt the need to defend these groups through their votes. This fear cannot be called unwarranted by any, for no one can understand this fear unless experiencing it themselves.

But fear has also led us to our current state. This fear came from those who now stand with the majority, but once the minority. This fear, too, cannot be dismissed. Those supporting the current status quo at one point felt their livelihood under attack, and the fear produced from this attack enacted the path currently traveled. A path paved by fear.

Fear is harmful no matter its source, and being unable to understand the fear felt by others leads to a hateful haze toward all. Being that fear cannot be dissolved without comprehension, we find ourselves at a standstill. We can all see the lack of progress produced by this standstill festering in our country today.

This is why I believe a new burden has risen upon the people of America. We have all seen the deterioration of our political system over recent decades, and all have felt the pain of a government unable to hear our voices. We now sit at the horizon of an even larger threat occurring at an accelerated rate due to the increase in fear felt in our country. Something must change.

I write today not to tell you to agree nor love one another, but to encourage every American — no matter your affiliation — to come together with the understanding that we have all felt fear. Knowing no one has enjoyed the feeling of fear, we can try to find a way to alleviate us all. This cannot be done unless we listen and speak to one another. So I pledge to hear every viewpoint I can, despite my opinions, and I pledge to ensure my voice is also heard for others to consider. With my pledge, perhaps I can help ease the fears felt toward a Trump presidency, and with this pledge, I also hope to ensure that the fears that led us to our current state are never felt again by any American. So I ask you, will you also make this pledge?