People with their fists in the air at an anti-Trump rally

Last Wednesday morning, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. On Wednesday night there began protests against the idea of a President Trump all over the country. These demonstrations have spread here to campus.

There are protests because people feel like they have something to say. Or at least, that they have to say something. What is being said is not groundbreaking, but it serves as an affirmation that the words have not lost meaning since Nov. 9. People shouting at Trump Tower and proclaiming “#NotMyPresident” know both that this will not cause him to change his behavior, and that he actually is their president. But they also know that the most feasible future for Progressives is a remaking of the Democratic party. And considering the cluelessness of party “elites” (to adopt the nom de guerre of the campaigns) on Tuesday night, it must be a remaking by the people.

Politically involved progressives are looking toward the future, searching for a rebuke to what will be implemented by the Trump administration. Some are motivated enough to hit the streets, some are still drinking before noon. But the end of the day is four years from now, when left­-of­-center voters hope to have allies in many of the those who elected Donald Trump.

Next year will bring near ­total Republican control of the government and voters distressed at that fact -- ­­what with the GOP being the party of the self-­described pussy-­grabber, and the party which is already planning to strip away climate protections and millions of people’s health insurance -- must take the chance and believe that America is still a functioning democracy. They must believe that the people have a voice more than every two years, and if there is to be any recovery from the coming term, it is a voice that must be heard. And people hear before they listen; opponents of Trumpism feel the need to make noise as early as possible to keep their ideals alive, as we have seen this week.

But a protest of a democratically-­elected official makes little sense without the context of the political climate.

For the past eight years, Americans, especially young Americans, enjoyed a tailwind of social progress after the election of the first black president. For them the prospect of a Trump presidency is jarring, and the reversal of the general direction of the country frightening. For many Democratic students, the result is even more frustrating because of the party’s hedging toward Clinton during the primary, and away from a man whose economic message touches the same issues of income inequality and system-­rigging as Trump’s, and who would have undoubtedly drawn working class voters away from the president­elect. Bernie Sanders­inspired students who see the reason behind liberalism’s vulnerability in our government, and accept that working in the two­party system is the only realistic option, also see that the new democratic message must be constructed and promoted by the democratic voting populace.

So if these protests seem pointless now, with two months until the inauguration, just know that Donald Trump and his associates are planning for his first day in office. Clearly the only ones capable of holding a progressive opposition up against it, the people, already realize they should be too.