I hate posting political posts. I’ve avoided it all this time. I hate talking about politics with friends in general. But social media is on fire right now, which has brought me to this:
I am with Hillary for my first election. I am outspoken about how much I disapprove of Trump as President. My Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds are either filled with insulting comments (from both ends of the spectrum) or angry and disappointed statuses. Some Hillary supporters are threatening to defriend their Trump supporting friends (who are posting arguably very very dangerously racist and sexist things). A part of me is crying out for their broken hearts and scared bodies. While I agree with many and disagree with quite a few, I wrote a post much like this blog post on my Facebook peacefully claiming that I decided I will not bash the characters or different viewpoints of anyone around me who voted Republican this election. (But if you are a friend of mine and reading this, I do not want to know if you voted for Trump sheerly because I don’t want to take it personally. And I still love you.)
As much as I don’t like to admit it, there are a few people in my past or my immediate present and probably in my near future who either support Trump or voted for Trump. If anyone knows me personally, you’d know half of my closest friends are registered Republicans. They voted for Trump. My ex is a Republican. Hell, he worked Trump’s campaign after graduation. My family members often vote Republican. My entire county at home is Republican despite New Jersey being a Democratic state. In fact, I was a moderate Republican up to a point in my high school career before my viewpoints shifted to become moderately Democratic.
This morning, I woke up feeling quite empty inside today. I was scared and sad. But guess what?
I don’t hate the people in my life who supported Trump. I don’t even hate the people who act like bigots and spew insults to minorities. Many of these people are actually uneducated especially in terms of acceptance and cultures and have not been brought up to think with an open mind and heart. The only people I dislike are those who genuinely hate others and try to make someone who supports a different value or candidate feel like less of a person with threats of harm or death.
I do not agree with my friends’ political decisions but I know a lot of these people’s true characters. I’ve been a victim to sexual assault, to horrid racism, to being torn apart for supporting more liberal social and human rights. Four (and probably more) of my closest friends have been viciously raped before. Seeing people in my life help make Trump my President hurts something so deep inside of me that I cannot even feel it or put it to words. Yes, they supported someone with, in my opinion, horrible values and harmful viewpoints. But their vote for Trump was NOT a personal attack to me. Their votes were also not necessarily because they agree with Trump’s character, values, actions, or words. I’ve heard may people speak poorly of Trump but still vote for Trump because they are loyal to their party’s beliefs or have graver opinions about Hillary Clinton. Their vote was for a person they believed could do a better job. That’s their right to exercise. That’s not in my best interest to turn that right into something selfish by making it out as a personal attack to me.
Now before you jump at my throat about how a vote for Trump is a vote for allowing a man who represents deplorable things to represent one of the greatest nations in the world, keep in mind that to some people Hillary Clinton is in their minds worse than Trump. It’s not because she has any of those values but simply because they can’t trust her and at least with Trump they “know what they’re getting.” Do I agree with this mindset? No. But it would be unfair for me to say that Hillary is perfect. There are things she’s done or said that I cringe at. Do I prefer her to Trump? Any day. But I’m not in the place to tell a Trump supporter who I personally know that he or she is automatically Satan for voting for Trump. In fact, I’m glad they actually even went and casted a vote in a hard election where they didn’t necessarily agree with either candidate. They exercised their rights. They were a great friend to me, great boyfriend/girlfriend to their significant others, great fathers/mothers to their children. That’s all I could ever ask for as an person, as an American.
Here’s the thing: No matter what happens, speaking negatively to supporters of other candidates doesn’t make you or your candidate better. It doesn’t make America better. It just makes you as bad as someone, President or supporter, who bashes others. It is clear that our country is not going to be united. Our country is not going to be settled. Be as upset as you wish or be as happy as you wish with the results. Post what your heart desires on social media if that helps you cope. But to the best of our abilities, be respectful of different view points and calmly walk away if we do not agree.
America is diverse. Sometimes it sucks, but it’s what makes us America.
Don’t let an election break friendships and relationships. Don’t let an election spur MORE violence or hate than it has. Don’t let an election create a divide that dismantles everything America has worked for. Even if half the nation supported the opposing candidate, half this nation supported the same candidate as YOU. You and I all joke about moving out/impeachment, but there is still half a nation who supported your candidate. There’s still some shred of possibilities and hope. Making America “Great” Again is now not just a concept but something that we as Americans definitely need to do. The world has spoken through its numbers last night. They have lost faith. To them, America is not great anymore.
So, let’s not waste our time bashing who and what we can’t change in this moment. Let’s have some faith and refocus our enegy to #MAGA our own way and prove the other half exactly why this may have been a huge mistake. In the meantime, be a true American and believe the system. For all we know, Trump can utterly shock us. Or he can prove all Clinton supporters right. Either way, American is about second chances. Let’s watch before we call a major SOS to the sky above. Or still call the SOS, but at least wait before you pack up and move across borders. American has been here since 1776. We can be here another 4.