“In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.” -Charlie Chaplin
We, as Americans, have lost the way. That is the unavoidable truth. This election cycle highlights that. To put it simply, there is a disconnect in this country that cannot easily be bridged. While millions celebrate the success of Donald Trump in the election, millions of others feel lost and confused, with thousands of them have taken to the streets to protest. Liberals cry out at what they feel is a “sexist, racist, homophobic, incredibly ignorant” group of American voters. But that misunderstanding is part of what cost them the election. When Donald Trump labelled Mexicans as people bringing drugs, bringing crime, as rapists, the nation cried out. Yet when people categorize the entirety of Trump voters as racist, homophobic, sexist, and ignorant, there is very little comment.
I am not saying Trump’s campaign did not inspire those feelings. I am not saying there are no people with those views supporting Trump; there are. However, that does not give us the right to label them as that. That only divides us further. We as a people need to take a long look in the mirror. There is no definite good or bad in all of this. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. As easy as it is for many of us to embrace the never Trump movement, that will bring nothing but temporary feelings of satisfaction. People have a right to protest, to stand up for what they feel is right. Yet when people turn to violence, smashing bottles, windows, and burning effigies, there are no positives to be found. Trump is our president. Regardless of whether or not that makes you happy, that is a fact. Congress is Republican. That is a fact. As a liberal, I was upset by this outcome. Many of the policies I believe in, be it climate change or abortion rights, will be taken apart by a Republican president. Democratic policies in the future may suffer due to the large possibility of a overwhelming conservative majority in the Supreme Court. Despite this, I believe that we as a group cannot continue to call for Trump’s assassination, or for the election to be this year decided based upon popular vote. A friend of mine pointed out, had Hillary won, and there been major protests around the country by people supporting Trump, we and the media would have labelled it as an attack on democracy.
As Dylan Thomas wrote, “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” With the election settled, it is now most important that all of us, regardless of the political affiliation we may hold, continue to respect the rights and opinions of all others in society, and work not solely in the interest of ourselves, but in the interest of the population as a whole. As people young and old, democrat and republican, let us not close our minds to certain people and views, nor sit back now and let this divisiveness continue. Together, we must not succumb to racism and bigotry, and not fall back upon the foundations that have already made this country great. As Americans, we have a right to choose. We have a right to practice. Together, we have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. “Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. In the name of democracy, let us all unite!”
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