(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.