Nov 13, 2016

Posted by in My Viewpoints | 2 Comments

Election Season: The Aftermath of the Voting

My mother always taught me to pick my fights carefully, and to that end I always try to do just that. Some fights aren’t worth taking on. For the most part, I put all politics right into that category. I keep politics on a similar level as religion. We all have many differing views, and it’s usually not worth the breath it takes to argue about them.
That being said, I am so disappointed in what I have been seeing lately on Facebook (I don’t browse many other social media platforms), and I’m finally to a point that I feel the need to say something to both sides. As someone who feels that neither the left nor the right had a suitable candidate for this election, I have been stuck in the middle. I feel like a child watching their parents bicker, and being helpless to stop it, but wanting it all to go away.
To the right I say, don’t be a sore winner. To the left I say, don’t be a sore loser. It seems harsh, but it’s the truth. This election was going to end the same exact way, regardless of who won; it’s just a matter of who was going to be on which side. And I’m not talking about the platforms on which the candidates stood, I am talking about the voter demographic and their reaction (because lets be honest, if Hillary won it would be Trump supports who were leading the outcry).
To the right, I say this. You don’t get to tell the left that they need to suck it up and work with Trump. You don’t, because you did not want to suck it up and work with Obama. Just as you felt he was wholly unfit for office, they too feel Trump is unfit. Regardless of the reasons behind those feelings, you both feel/felt the same way. You do not get to tell them that they don’t get to experience these emotions, and you don’t get to tell them to do something that you, yourself, were unwilling to do. Lead by example. You did not do that.
To the left, you don’t get to tell the right that they’re all lumped into one category. Has anyone ever, historically, agreed with everything the candidate they supported has said? No, I don’t think so. I doubt you liked everything about Hillary, either. That’s why we wanted Bernie, but the DNC screwed us out of that (and where was the anger then?). Still, you voted for her. Just like that doesn’t make you a liar, voting for Trump does not make everyone racists, sexists, etc. It just means they agreed with more of his stances on the issues.
To those concerned about people becoming raging assholes because of Trump’s status as the President-Elect, I ask you to stop and think for a moment. Trump did not say to each of those individuals “Now that I’m in this position, you’re free to do as you wish”. No, he did not despite what you feel. These people who are doing bad things are A) Being hyped about by the media and B) Would do them anyways. In addition to Part B, they are using Trump as an excuse to mask their own hideous nature. If Trump were not President-Elect, they would likely still do the same things, they’d just have a different excuse (and it’d probably be blamed on Hillary winning somehow). Having a certain person in power does not change the nature of individuals. Individuals are who they are, and if they’re an asshole, then they’re going to be an asshole. I’m not condoning their actions in any way, but please don’t be so blinded by your hatred for Trump that you fail to see the situation for what it is. These people were probably disrespecting others long before Trump even announced his run for Presidency. Now they’re just using it as an excuse. And the media is gobbling it up because they love a good controversy.
To the people asking me to “see it from their point of view”, I ask, did you ever consider seeing it from mine? I can sympathize with you, I can listen to you, and I can try to see things from your perspective. To that extent, I ask you to do the same for me. But in the end, we are each individuals, living our own lives, with our own experiences. I will never understand 100% how you feel, because I am not you. The same applies to you trying to understand me. I have not lived your experiences, I cannot feel your emotions, and I do not know your fears as you do. This is why when we vote, we can only vote based on our own individual experiences. To ask anything else would be unfair, because when does it stop being about you, and start being about us? Each of us? It wouldn’t. There are always going to be scary candidates as time progresses, and the whole country is never going to agree on who the scary candidate is. Do you think the right was not afraid of Hillary? To that end, so long as we are not being assholes, we can only ask that we are shown respect, and in return, we must be respectful.
Those who accuse third-party voters like myself of “causing all this” or that “if we just didn’t vote third-party, Hillary would have won”, I ask if you have really listened to the words you said? How can you guarantee that the 1.2% of voters who sided with Gary Johnson would have ALL voted for Hillary? You cannot. A vote for Gary Johnson, or any other candidate that wasn’t part of the two-party system, was not a vote for the candidate you hate. It was a vote for the candidate it was cast for. Think about it. Trump supporters feel that my vote made it so Trump’s margin of winning was much lower, and was therefore a vote for Hillary. Hillary supporters feel that my vote caused Hillary to lose, and it was therefore a vote for Trump. How on earth does one person vote for two people like that? They don’t. So please, stop with the rhetoric. A vote for Gary Johnson was a vote for Gary Johnson.
If you think that because Trump is the President-Elect, that things are going to suddenly change, please stop deluding yourselves. When Obama was in office with a Democratic majority on the floor, how well did that work for him? It was still a fight, right? Trump is going to experience the same thing. Historically speaking, just because a Republican candidate gets a Republican congress and senate, doesn’t mean that everything they want happens. That’s because even their own party cannot always agree, and so they don’t just get everything they want. Yes, Trump is going to do things that the left does not agree with, and that may seem bad; but remember, Obama did things that the right feels the same way about. We’re not always going to agree.
To those who want the Electoral College to pick Hillary anyways, I ask that you kindly stop. The Electoral College is not the DNC, and they should not be asked to behave as such (because lets face it, Bernie was the more popular candidate by far and the DNC wanted Hillary, so we got Hillary). We have the Electoral College so that lower-population areas get a proportionally equal say as higher-population areas. It is in place to make sure that minorities get heard too. But it cannot function if the voters don’t show up. In fact, it is surmised that part of why Hillary lost is because far less democrats showed up to vote for her, than for candidates in the past. Voter turnout was down as a whole, but it was really down for the left side of things. Furthermore, all minorities did not vote for Hillary. I live in a very minority-rich area, and am honestly one of the few white people living here. Everywhere I went though, it was Trump sign after Trump sign. I was shocked, to say the least, because it was not what I expected at all. Even though it’s wrong of me to assume they would hate Trump because of their ethnicity, I can’t say that I wasn’t thinking that. So for the love of the Constitution, and what our founding fathers put in place, please stop asking the Electoral College to ignore how it’s supposed to function because you feel so strongly against Trump. Especially because you cannot promise all of us that those who are asking this of the Electoral College are all also people who made sure to vote to try and keep this from happening. How many of the people upset that Trump is the President-Elect are people that didn’t even bother to show up at the polls, but are registered voters?
Please remember that people who voted for Trump, as a majority, do not hate other people. They wanted one major thing, and that was change. Hillary was not going to give them the change they seek. In fact, she wasn’t going to give you the change you seek, either. She was very much the status quo. Everyone wanted change, even the left, that’s why we wanted Bernie. Honestly, I’d have voted for Bernie Sanders if he were on the ticket, but he was not. He represented change as much as Trump did, and that’s ultimately what we all want. We are tired of politicians running amok in the system. We are tired of the status quo that allows big banks to prosper, and leaves the middle class to pick up the scraps. And Trump represents that change.
In fact, he represents that change because you, the left, are angry and upset. You’re now far more likely to do something about it, when you can. Do not let go of the passion you feel, but please apply it in constructive ways. In order to spur change, you need a catalyst, and that catalyst works better when it’s got explosive properties. Hillary Clinton was not a good catalyst, but Donald Trump is.
I also urge you to not let your fear control you. As I said before, Donald Trump is one man who has to try to get all his items passed by Congress and the Senate. Not all Republicans agree with him, so he’s not going to have an easy time of it.
Please also stop being so condescendingly critical of everyone else around you who did not vote as you did. Lead by example. Be the love you want to see in the world, when dealing with people who have done nothing to harm you or others. You do not have to condone the actions of those who are actually being racists, sexists, and outright assholes. But don’t label your friends, who have done nothing but love you, as a racist because they voted for Trump. You’re only going to serve to isolate yourself, and to make your entire movement more hated in the long run. If you want people to listen to you, you cannot just speak. You also have to listen.
If we all take a step back, take a deep breath, and just listen to each other, we’ll find out that we probably agree more than disagree on what we need. I think we all agree that we need to fix the middle class, fix the economy, fix the education and higher-education systems, fix the housing market, fix our government, protect freedoms, protect our borders, protect people, and generally do good things. What we disagree on is how to arrive there. Accusing each other of being crybabies or racists doesn’t achieve a solution. Talking does. And you cannot talk to one another if you’re too busy lumping them together as a whole, and spitting on them.
To the right, no one is going to respect you if you act like an elitist asshole because your candidate won. No one is going to respect you if you act like a jerk because you think your candidate winning automatically makes you correct.
To the left, no one is going to respect you if you accuse everyone who voted for Trump of being an asshole, and being your enemy. No one will listen to you if you enter the conversation so much on the defense that you turn into the very close-minded individual you claim not to be.
So in conclusion I say this: We need to come together. Not under Trump, and not under Hillary. Not under any President, Congress, Senate, or government in any form. We need to come together as people who are trying to navigate life on the same chunk of land. We all need to stop being sore winners or sore losers long enough to realize that this election was difficult. It was really, really hard on everyone. All of our emotions have been run ragged, and we’re all tired. We’re all being short with each other because of this, and we’re only dividing ourselves further.
This should not be us -vs- them in any way, shape, or form. It needs to be a we the people, and we the people need to remember that together we are more powerful than any group of assholes, and any government establishment. We need to recognize that the media is going to feed our fears, not our hopes. We must not forget how slanted the media viewpoints are. We must not forget how the media will demonize any movement with whatever material they can, because the media likes the status quo. Think about it, with gun rights they always focus on who got shot. With Black Lives Matter they always focus on who is burning and looting things. With Occupy Wall Street they focused on the trouble-makers, not the peaceful protesters. And so, right now, the media is focusing on the evil again, instead of the good.
Do not let the media draw lines in the sand.
Do not let the government draw lines in the sand.
Do not draw these lines in the sand.
We are only powerful if we are united as one. We the people will make this nation great again. But it doesn’t start by being the very people we claim to hate.
  1. Bravo! You are a sane and reasonable voice.

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