This Election: My Thoughts and Going Forward

Well, here we are. November 9, 2016. And we have a new president. A "man" who has openly admitted to sexual assault, who has repeatedly proved himself to be a racist, who has absolutely no intent of uniting this country, and--well--you all know the rest of it.

To my international friends, I am sorry. This is embarrassing and shameful. We are in dangerous times, and though America has often failed in the international sphere, this election outcome is especially dangerous.

To my fellow Americans--that slight majority of us who voted for Clinton even though our electoral college system rules the roost--don't give up. Don't let anger and sadness keep you in a state of inaction. Give yourself a little time, but then get right back up and continue the fight.

For white people who voted for Clinton: You did the right thing. But we have been naive in thinking that there has been any kind of significant change in attitude in this country since the civil rights movement. I truly thought things were getting better, but they haven't. That is horrible, depressing, and sad, but it only makes me what to fight harder.

To people of color, to those of different religions or sexual orientations, to the disabled, to all gender identities, to anyone who didn't vote for Trump: Stand tall. Continue to fight for what you believe in. We must be allies. If we turn on each other now, everything is for nothing. I see lots of Sanders supporters expressing a lot of anger. That is fine and justifiable, but this can't last long. We have work to do for the greater good. People of color and those of different religions, identities, and cultural backgrounds: Continue to raise the alarm when something is wrong. Continue to boldly make people see truth and continue to show the best of yourselves.

And to those who did vote for Trump: You are still my fellow Americans, but I cannot be in favor of this president. I will respect the office of the presidency, but he will never stand for what I stand for. That being said, let the best of your beliefs rule your reactions to what he does. Do not support hate. Do not support injustice. Remember your history lessons, and keep your party in check.

To those crediting Jesus/God with Trump's victory: Trump is NOT what Jesus would advocate. His hateful rhetoric is not godly. His is not the message of Christ or any other religious figure. We are told to love one another, and I still love those Americans who voted differently than I did. I am not especially religious, but I hold dear to my heart the core message of the Jesus of the Gospels, because I think it is a good message. I also respect and hold dear messages from other world religions--Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Paganism--you name it. There are some beautiful and wonderful things in all of them. I identify with Christianity because it is what I grew up around, but I think all religions seek the same thing, and I make it my job to search for my own truth and not be ignorant of what unites us as humans. (Also, if you did this to stop abortion, you failed. You only have to look at history to see that.)

Now, more than ever, all of us have to be watchdogs. We are the new checks and balances. I am not anti-Republican, but I am concerned any time one party holds complete power. This party, though deeply divided itself, dominates both houses of Congress and the presidency. It will choose our next supreme court justices. This is not a system of checks and balances. This is not the experiment our founding fathers had in mind.

That being said: ACT. DO. SERVE. HELP. Do everything you can to right wrongs--and there will be plenty of them in the coming years. This isn't to say there wouldn't have been wrongs with Clinton. She has her own set of problems. But this is a whole new ballgame.

In closing:

Be the change you want to see in the world (and, FYI, this isn't a quote from Gandhi--his is much better--but it is often attributed to him). Keep living life as you know it should be lived. No matter who you voted for, hold them to high standards. I wouldn't have supported Clinton 100% of the time. I would have called her out if she did something I was against. I will give Trump a chance, but I will definitely be watching him like a hawk. I will be extra watchful, and I will support those who are most in need. I will live by example and do what needs to be done. I will continue to love my neighbors--many of whom voted for Trump. I won't turn my back on anyone, but I won't back down in the face of wrong. I will join forces for those who stand for right and do right, but I will not join forces with those who seek to destroy those unlike themselves or promote injustice.


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