If you've recently adopted a reclusive lifestyle or chose to abstain from all forms of media last night, you may have missed Donald Trump's stunning presidential election win. That's right: The Donald will become the 45th President of the United States of America, but that's no reason to despair just yet. Even though four long years of Trump may seem unbelievable to some, we can assure you several positive things happened last night.
Don't believe us? If you're looking for a smidgen of silver lining on this dark cloud, just check out some of the incredible strides made in the 2016 election.
1. Ilhan Omar Will Be The First Somali-American Legislator
Omar commanded an impressive win for a Democratic House position in Minnesota, herself a Somali refugee and Muslim American.
Of her win, Omar told the Star Tribune, "It's the beginning of something new."
"Throughout this campaign, those divisions have started to melt away. People are starting to see themselves as part of a community." Now we all need to move to Minnesota ASAP.
2. Massachusetts Votes To Uphold Animal Rights
A new Massachusetts measure now bans selling products from calves, pigs, and hens not provided with proper confinement standards. Farmers preventing animals "lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs, or turning around freely" will be in direct violation of the new measure, set to take effect in 2022.
3. Maine, Arizona, Colorado, and Washington Vote To Raise The Minimum Wage
All four states opted to raise their minimum wages to at least $12 an hour by 2020. Washington aims to increase the minimum wage to $13.50, while Colorado's $12 an hour will be subject to cost of living.
4. Washington Strengthens Gun Control Measures
Voters just passed a gun control measure that limits persons "showing signs of mental illness, violence, or other behavior from obtaining firearms." Concerned parties file a court order to temporarily ban persons displaying concerning behavior from possessing guns.
5. Pramila Jayapal Is The First Indian-American Elected To House of Representatives
Jayapal, a Washington state senator, won a landslide 57 percent victory to become the first Indian-American Congresswoman. Jayapal actively supports women's rights as well as those of minorities and immigrants.
6. Kate Brown Is America's First Openly Elected LGBTQ Governor
Despite being the incumbent in last night's election, Brown won her first election officially on the Oregon ballot. Brown assumed her role back in 2012 after Oregon's previous governor resigned in scandal. Her win marks a huge progression towards LGBTQ acceptance in politics; Brown previously worried her sexual orientation would threaten her career.
7. Tammy Duckworth's Senate Win Makes Major Leaps And Bounds
Duckworth, an Army war veteran, won the race to become Illinois' first Thai American senator, the nation's second Asian-American senator, and the first female senator to have served an Army combat role. Wow, talk about a force to be reckoned with!
8. Kamala Harris Becomes California's First Female Black Senator
Harris broke a 24-year senator streak to become California's first ever black senator. She is only the second black female politician ever to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
9. Catherine Cortez Masto Is America's First Ever Latina Senator
In a heated race, Cortez Masto helped the Democrats retain their Senate Minority as she assumes one of Nevada's senator seats. Cortez Masto is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and "believes everyone deserves a chance," according to President Obama.
10. Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Loses Arizona Re-Election
Arpaio, an Arizona Democrat, conceded to fellow Democrat Paul Penzone for the Phoenix metro area sheriff position. Arpaio had previously been charged with criminal contempt in a racial profiling case and was widely criticized for his stance on illegal immigration. Needless to say, Arizona is happy to have a new sheriff in town.
No matter your feelings on last night's election, it's important to recognize the good in everyone and the capacity our country has for humanity's progression. Remember, there's a silver lining wherever you look.