Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A hopeful perspective for 2016 America

image : CNN
Today has been an emotional and shocking day for myself and most of the people around me.  I have the privilege of having many friends in many circles, and I wanted to shed some light on little known perspectives that I believe will be helpful for both Trump and Hillary supporters.  I shared this message on my personal Facebook page, and I wanted to make sure I make it public here, too.

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Hey friends, I wanted to share a bit, please read.

The election results have been incredibly divisive today. If you haven't yet seen it, you should know that the majority of minorities (racial, sexual, etc.) (aka a ton of your fellow Americans) are hurt and afraid of a Trump administration. They are hurt and afraid because they believe that not only is our next president is sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and uncaring about our environment's well being, but that the half of America that voted for him is, too.

It is an unfortunate lie that a vote for Trump is a vote for hate, one that I know the media constantly portrayed (one example being the picture I used above from CNN's website). In fact, from what I've seen, most/many folks who voted for Trump didn't really like their choice, but they felt he had the best chance to bring change to the country or because they strongly stood for one point of his platform rather than everything he stands for. For example, many evangelical Christians who voted for Trump did so only because they think abortion is morally wrong. Plenty voted for him only because they thought it was a safer vote than Hillary, war-wise (no one wants another Vietnam). Some voted for him because they thought he'd be the best chance for a better American economy thanks to his business background and distance from the general politics arena. I'm sure many voted for him just because they're loyal to the Republican party.

To Trump haters: Don't allow yourself to believe that because Trump won so many votes that half of America is a hateful group of bigots; that's just not true. Sure, many of them are (there are jerks in every section of America), but that is not what a Trump win means.

To Hillary haters: Show the other half what your motives truly are through your actions. BE a better, kinder, more beautiful society. Be caring, be kind, and be gracious, especially during this highly emotional season for so many Americans.

To everyone: Respectfully listen to one another. We're all in this together, and we all ultimately want a better country. Discussion and respectful debates are the first steps to help us get there.

One silver lining I’ve been able to find is that I believe this will be a tipping point for our society, especially in Atlanta where I live. As we see the government shifting, may we realize that, really, it’s up to US to make America beautiful and great. It’s not the President’s responsibility to set the tone for our country, it’s ours. And how good is it that love and progress and equality are louder and more powerful than their opposites?

In that light, I think there can be great good that comes from this, on a more local, personal level, and that is one thing I can be excited about.

Like Hillary said in her concession speech, we owe Trump a chance to do a good job. I’m glad that he seems to be taking this so seriously and his line “The forgotten men and women will be forgotten no longer” is something I will hold him to. So many Americans voted for him because they believe he will bring us good change. I AM nervous, but I'm also choosing to be brave and hopeful.

Finally, I know the fear refreshes every election cycle, but this is the first time I’ve been in the thick of things and with many friends who are so upset. I wish this wasn’t so divisive, I wish people weren't hurting so much, and I know we'll make it through. Feel free to comment or message me privately to further the conversation, and I hope your heart turns toward the good things in your life today. I'm going to be visiting a park with Mako later this afternoon myself.

Recommended further reading/listening:
Bite-sized stories from readers of The Hustle on who they voted for and why (Read this to start the trend of listening to others with differing opinions.)

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