Well, it’s over. The people have spoken by election of Mr. Donald Trump, President-Elect of the United States of America. For better or worse, he will be our Commander in Chief the next four years.
My feelings have been a roller coaster ride since the night of November 8th. From my doubt that he would have any real chance of winning, to total disbelief as the polls began turning in their results, to absolute sorrow at the announcement that he had won. My emotions were blanketed with doom. Surely, we would never come out of this presidency alive. There will be wars, men and women will lose their lives fighting senseless battles that should never have been started. Questions were filling my mind. How could this have happened? How could the good, hard working people of our country vote for such a man into one of the most powerful offices of the world?
My television remained silent after the election. I couldn’t force myself to turn it on. There wasn’t anything in the news I wanted to hear. All the speculations of the previous months were shattered on November 8th. The media was all abuzz over more speculations about where they went wrong, how they could have underestimated his appeal, and it was all the “uneducated white male’s” fault. At least I knew who to blame now. But I couldn’t. I could not blame any one portion of our population for what had just happened. Throwing blame serves no purpose and solves nothing.
A few days after the election, I noticed a news headline on my Facebook feed that mentioned riots. I followed the link, and then another, and then another, and that was when I first knew of the riots happening across our country in reaction to the election results. I was shocked. I expected riots if Mr. Trump lost. What on earth were people thinking? Followers of the Democratic party, like myself, were rioting and causing millions of dollars of damages, people were getting hurt, and to serve what purpose? Could they not see that what they were doing was exactly what the Republican party was hoping for, thriving on? What happened to “When they go low, we go high?” I understood their anger, frustration, and hurt, but this was no answer and would only make the situation worse. My prayers for peace and for our country took on a more fervent tone.
In the meantime, all my Republican friends were celebrating their victory. Rude jokes and defamation of the character of anyone and everyone of the Democratic party continued in earnest. Some became arrogant in their victory. Others were full of hope for the future, seemingly putting all or most of their hope for our country in one man. “He’s going to fix America and make it great again.” Over and over I read those words…he’s going to fix America. Over and over I read the words that said all Democrats were worthless, unemployed, stupid, and living off government welfare. Over and over I felt I was also being attacked by my “friends.”
On November 13th, 60 Minutes ran an interview with Donald Trump. I agonized over whether I wanted to watch it or not. Did I want to make myself upset again, or live in ignorance of our current President-Elect? I chose to watch the broadcast. Trying to keep an open mind, I listened to his answers, watched his demeanor and facial expressions for evidence of true or false statements. At times, I wondered why he didn’t conduct himself in this manor before the election. But then I realized if he had, he would not have been able to amass the targeted audience of voters he was aiming for. He knew exactly what he was doing and who it would affect. There were brief moments during the interview I felt hopeful, that perhaps our country would be OK, that maybe he could be relied upon to make sound decisions for the good of the people and not just for himself. No sooner had I felt that glimmer of hope than he would then say something with self assured arrogance about himself and would bring my newfound hope to an abrupt halt. The ego was still taking over.
It is now nine days post election. The sadness has eased, but not disappeared entirely. There is still a foreboding within me of something bad about to happen. There is also a bit of hope I am wrong, that good changes for our country will be made, an improved health care system in place, and fewer people will be living in poverty within this great nation. My trust for these changes lie not in our President, but in my faith in God. I continue to pray.
My thoughts this day are:
- America is a great country right now! No, it is not perfect. Yes, it can improve. But it is an amazing country filled with amazing, hard working people who are trying to get along the best they know how. For those who don’t believe this is true, perhaps they are the ones who should look into relocating. This is my country; I love it and I’m staying.
- President Obama has served and led our country well, with dignity and grace. He was fought tooth and nail by the Republican party every step of the way. He was not given the chance to do even greater things because of the never ending roadblocks and the right wing crying “foul.” Yet, he continued to go high when they went low.
- I have a right to my opinions, just like everyone else. My voice will be spoken for the equality of all people, for the rights and respect of women, and for the fight against bullying.
The next four years will be a challenge for everyone, all political parties. It’s time to work together more than ever. It’s time to lay down the egos, lay down the prejudices, and lay down the personal grudges. For those feeling that same sense of sadness and loss that I do, it’s time to make our voices heard for what we believe in. We can still make changes to our communities for the better. We can make changes within our homes to promote respect and love for each other. We can raise our children to know right from wrong. We can renew our focus on God and rely on our faith to overcome all the challenges ahead.
This is not the time to be silent.
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