The reason I believe this election will unite millennials.

While I am angry with the victory of Trump, I would do myself and the people and issues I care about a disservice if I only focus on the pessimism I feel about the next four years.

Thinking about it really does engender great fear and bitter disappointment. Every single issue I care so passionately about could be challenged and uprooted — from climate change to health care to education policy.

While he garnered enough support to win the Electoral College, I do not believe the majority of Americans subscribe to Trump’s dangerous rhetoric. Therefore, while the conservative policy agenda will make huge strides, the most heinous of Trump’s plans — such as deporting 11 million people — are unlikely to bear fruit.


Perhaps most importantly, Trump, even with the office of the presidency, will never be able to bring back the America that ignored the humanity of the LGBTQ community or the America that allowed discrimination of racial minorities. America will never be “great again” in the way Trump promised his voters. His movement will inevitably suffocate itself, and a new generation will be there to pick up the pieces and build a new Republican Party.

It is within this new generation I have found a glimmer of hope — hope in the America we will inevitably become.

My generation will be the most diverse and potentially the most united in American history.

The divisive politics of the last six months are likely to continue over the next four years, and this divisiveness will only unite and mobilize the majority of Americans who do not share Trump’s hatefulness, especially millennials. America will continue to diversify, and we will champion this diversity. Those of us who came of age in the Obama era have seen what is possible, and we will be united when the time comes for us to lead our nation and the world.

My generation will not stand by and allow intolerance to fester. We will not abandon the issues we care so deeply about. We will not stop dreaming about a better America.

We will not give up, no matter who is in the White House.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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