You have one job, United States

(Note: I will try to compose a writing coherent enough to express my views on last night’s election outcome, as I am still in a state of shock).

For months, Donald Trump has been preaching from a pulpit of racism, sexism, bigotry, and overall crudeness. For months, this has been the main focus of the media and the press, rather than looking at the qualifications of both candidates and all those running for positions in Congress in order to determine the people best cut out for the job that they sought. For months, the people were so focused on looking for ways to make their own party and ideals look squeaky clean (at the expense of their opponents via nitpicking words and actions or anything of the like) that, when a threat in the form of the aforementioned demagogue rose to power and eventual victory, the people were helpless i  their rhetoric. The fact that they had to rely on a candidate that was, in addition to being equally as corrupt and unstable as the President elect, pre-chosen by a corrupt and broken National Convention in order to combat more hatred certainly didn’t help the cause very much.

The fear that this same racism, sexism, and bigotry will become normalized to the point where it may as well be lawful is very, very real. How do we tell our sisters and daughters that a sexual predator is the leader of the free world, and has many people backing him in the House of Congress to help him do whatever he pleases? What kinds of prejudice and hatred are we preparing people of minorities for, especially those who identify as a person of color or as a member of the LGBT+ community? What kinds of religious practices are going to be shunned against–regardless of whether one is a Catholic taking a stand for a life in the womb; a Muslim immigrant who wants to escape the horrors of a war-torn country; or a non-theist who wants to be able to practice their beliefs as freely as their religious brothers and sisters? Most importantly, what does the outcome of the election say about us as people? Where do our own values and morals lie in the grand scheme of things?

Despite the overall upset, there are several things to keep in mind. There are, indeed, a multitude of United States citizens that seem to share the same ideologies as Trump–but, by that same token, there are many others who still believe in the basic dignity of each human being, which goes far beyond any religious, gender, or racial label. We must not let differences in political opinion prevent us from achieving a better future with our brothers and sisters. The United States of America has seen many dark and frightening times in its long and detailed history, and the period which we are about to face is no exception. Yet, despite all that has been experienced, the spirit of hope and the dream for a brighter future has always been a beacon of light for the people, and has helped them see their journey through the darkest nights and even through the brightest of times.

A candidate with less than favorable (to put it nicely) beliefs and traits may have captured enough hearts to get to where he is today, but that is not a signal for everyone else to shut down and lose hope of ever achieving any form of good again. Therefore, it is on us to make sure that, despite whatever trials and tribulations may come as a result of the election, we do not let that stop us from treating our neighbors with the same love and dignity that we each desire in order that we may work together for a future worth having. Abraham Lincoln’s words of “a house divided cannot stand”are more important than they have ever been before, so let us react with love toward one another as we work together to fight for a brighter future.

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Election 2016: Public Service Announcement

Racism; misogyny; political lies; fear-mongering; and mudslinging have been abundant in this election cycle for sure–especially from the candidates of the two biggest political parties, Donald Trump (Republican) and Hillary Clinton (Democrat), in the United States. All of this is done in order to gain the voices of multitudes to ensure a victory as leader of the proverbial free world. Regardless of the fact that these faces are doing more harm than good, people of all backgrounds and statuses are rallying behind their candidate of choice based upon things presented solely at face value, and upon the belief that the president stands above any and all when it comes to power and lawmaking in the United States.

It is very easy for some to accept this as an absolute truth, but it should not take away from the other politicians running for offices within the States themselves and from within the larger federal government. Without a focus on the bigger picture of the election cycle, we have almost turned our backs upon the very things that are taking place in our own backyard in favor of the commotion on the streets. Locally, there are or could be measures that could affect the use of natural resources in one’s area. Or school board officials could be making a decision as to whether or not to detach themselves from Common Core. Many people, still, could be taking a vote on whether or not to mark a strip of highway as a toll road or to change the toll tax on a preexisting one. In any case, we would not be aware of whatever would be changing around us, simply because we have become preoccupied with only the prettiest piece of the puzzle.

Most importantly to add, however, is the fact that there are hundreds of seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate combined–both of which make up the bicameral House of Congress–up for a vote this year. This is where all of the laws and legislation for the United States is drafted and reviewed before being taken to the president for an approval or veto. This is where people from all over the nation send their concerns to their representatives or senators, in the hope that their voices may be heard and that a law in their favor may be passed. Many of the politicians whose seats are up for reelection are running again, and this has several citizens uneasy for several reasons. Not only have a bulk of these men and women been serving for a good chunk of their lives, but, seemingly, there seems to not be enough working getting done due to excessive vacations and/or a lack of desire to do the work expected of them. The election for these seats may go about by way of some of these scenarios, however: people will elect a new person out of spite of the current placeholder, vote for a new person because they want to “change things up”; or vote for the incumbent out of a sense of familiarity and a desire to keep things as they are. In any circumstance, the lack of research for a candidate that is viable and necessary for the job , incumbent or not, is apparent. Separately, it is worth noting that not every person in any one party is going to be for or against their party’s presidential candidate–do they have the same stances or platforms as said candidate. Or how do they differ? Or what does it mean for you, taking into account your beliefs?

Voting for the next president of the United States is a very important decision. However, that should not prevent anyone from ignoring the events happening around them, or other individuals whose actions and work may, ultimately, affect their way of life. In finishing, I ask any and all who read this to do as much research as they can about local measures that could affect how they live their day to day lives, as well as the men and women who will be running for office (especially those on Capitol Hill) and doing work that will, in turn, affect the general public. This way, come November, one will approach the voting booth with a better understanding of everything the ballot entails, rather than just relying solely on one vote out of many others.