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In which John Green discusses the outcome of the 2016 election, the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, the astonishing and beautiful persistence of hope among humans, and offers somewhat lost thoughts on where to go now.
People quoted in this video include: Saladin Ahmed
Kamala Harris:
Lin-Manuel Miranda:
Emily Dickinson: She doesn't have a social media account.

Thanks also to Rosianna Halse Rojas, Hank, Sarah Green, Ilene Cooper, and my old friend Marie for thoughts that went into this video. Any mistakes or errors in fact or judgment are mine alone.

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Good morning Hank it's Wednesday. We were gonna have a video from the warehouse today but I thought I'd make one instead.

So it appears that more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump in the US presidential race, but the presidential race is decided by Electoral College votes and Donald Trump won most of them so he is the President Elect.

Most, if certainly not all of the people watching this video wanted Hillary Clinton to become president - I know I did - and for many of us the results of the election are devastating.

I think part of what makes it so hard for some people is that Donald Trump has often attacked not what his opponents believe but who they are - their race, their gender, their religion and more - and it is painful and scary to be called dangerous or less-than by a man who becomes President Elect of the United States, and I don't wanna minimize that fear or trauma because I believe that it is real and important.

I also wanna say that I'm sorry. I'm sorry that we've let our political discourse become so hateful, and I'm sorry that we've let our echo chambers become so sealed off that it is as unfathomable to me why someone would support Donald Trump for President as it is to many Trump supporters why I would support Hillary Clinton.

I spoke with hundreds of undecided voters in the days before the election and what struck me most was how different our information was. In many cases we had the same concerns - the environment, or healthcare or tax policy - but we were working with completely different data sets.

Our community by the way is also an echo chamber - just four percent of the nerdfighters who filled out the census this year said they would vote for Donald Trump - but I don't know how to make our community more inclusive without opening it up to cruelty and hatred.

We have to get better at listening to each other and challenging each other constructively and generously but I worry that the very architecture of the social internet might make that impossible. Honestly I feel lost and I am looking to you for guidance and clarity as I have for almost a decade now.

But the world doesn't end today as Saladin Ahmed wrote last night, "it's our job to fight those in power and stick up for the powerless, that stays the same no matter who's president," as Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote, "I love this country and there's more work to do than ever," and as Kamala Harris said, "this is a time to fight for who we are."

I think that this will be a tough time in US history, I hope it won't be, but I think it will be. But I also think our nation is and always must be bigger than any of its leaders and that our leaders are and always must be answerable to the people.

So it's always our job to stand together and make sure the government does its job - that it afford equal protection under the law to all citizens, that the rights of all are protected, and that our government's policies are fiscally sound and carefully considered.

Change doesn't only happen on election night and it doesn't only happen in the Oval Office, and it is up to us to find the places where our skills and talents meet the needs of our community and the world and to do the hard work to make life better for all.

And on that front, I am hopeful.

So ten days ago my nephew Orin was born and bringing that baby into the world was an act of hope on the part of his parents. I am glad for their hope and am heartened by it and I do not believe it was misguided.

That child was born into an America that is better than the one his grandparents were born into, and it was made better by people who's hope from restaurant counters in Alabama to the beaches of Normandy helped them stand together and hold the line in circumstances vastly darker than I pray most of us will ever see.

I don't think hope is idealistic or silly I think it is the founding emotion of our species, and it is not naive to hope that we can bend the arc of American history toward justice because we've seen our ancestors do that in the face of unimaginable difficulty.

As the great American poet of the human heart wrote, "“Hope” is the thing with feathers - /That perches in the soul - /And sings the tune without the words - /And never stops - at all -"

Take care of yourself, and take care of each other.