Before I start on today’s post I want to be very clear that I support Samantha’s right to voice her opinion (here). This blog is OUR place to say how WE feel. This is not to say that Samantha and I will agree 100% of the time, but the fact that we are SO different is why we believe this partnership is so powerful. With our differences in mind, I have a few comments of my own about our countries decision to elect Donald Trump as our commander and chief.
It is no secret that our country is in a state of shock, nor is it a secret that the United States as we know it has been shaken by this recent turn of events. But believe it or not more than 50% of American citizens actively voted for Donald Trump to be the President of the United States – meaning for the first time in 8 years the Democratic voice is in the minority. Welcome to democracy people, it can be a bitch no matter what side you are on.
I can tell you for a fact you will never see me utter a word of where my political allegiances lie on this blog or on any social media platform for that matter. That means that in this post I will not sit here and tell you about my feelings on the results of this election or opinions on the candidates themselves, but instead I want to take a few moments to talk about my feelings on the reactions I have seen by my fellow Americans. I want to start this conversation by reviewing three beliefs that I hold near and dear:
# 1 | I believe that whoever you decide to vote for is a deeply personal decision and that decision should be respected.
The decision of which candidate you vote for is often times heavily influenced by family background, race, social standings, and geographic location. Before you jump on Facebook and condemn a candidate please understand that you run a very high risk of deeply offending someone, of making someone feel small because of their beliefs, and you run the risk of losing a friend or the respect of a colleague because you felt the need to speak without thinking about the consequences. Not to mention, once you have put these words out there for the world to read, they are out there FOREVER. Do you really want words uttered in anger to follow you around for the next 5, 10, or 15 years?
# 2 | I believe that as an American citizen it is your responsibility to get involved with your country and fight for what you believe in.
As an American citizen, you have a unique opportunity to drive social change by sharing your opinion and collaborating with other like-minded individuals. If you chose NOT to get involved and decide to view politics as a spectator sport, then the only person you should blame for the outcome of every single election is yourself.
# 3 | As American citizens, it is our responsibility to accept the wishes of our fellow countrymen and work together to make this country great.
It is okay to be disappointed by the results of an election, but it is not okay to disrespect the rank and (in turn) disrespect the American people who elected that candidate to office. If you do not like the candidate, then actively work towards making your concerns heard – DO NOT sit around ranting and raving on Social Media for the next four years and think that you are doing your part. ACTIONS speak louder than words. If you are passionate about a social issue there are a million ways you can get involved and influence change. Collaborate with the powers that be to make sure that they understand your position. Change does not happen over night, but I assure you that if you work hard enough you will make an impact.
Let me be very clear when I say that as I write this post I am frustrated by the reaction of the American people to the recent election results. As I scrolled through my Facebook feed yesterday amongst the countless hate-filled posts that included comments like "#NotMyPresident" or "anyone who supports him must suffer from mental illness" I came across a friend’s post that I feel sum up my emotions perfectly…
“I am frustrated by all the people who, for the last few months, have been preaching tolerance, hope, support, inclusiveness, optimism – turn on a dime to despair, hands thrown in the air, wailing at the injustice, simply positive this is the end of the world and the country has failed them. 50% of the US voted for Trump – you’re saying their opinions are not impactful or valid, just because you disagree? Talk about being decisive. I mean… come on. It sucks, but do not be a hypocrite. Seek first to understand.” - Anonymous Facebook Friend