My son Eric is back writing the blog this week to reflect on the mixed emotions he’s experienced following the election of Donald Trump. The message is clear: stay positive, stay graceful, stay kind.
Less than half of the American Electorate is happy about the result of the election. Interestingly enough, less than half of eligible voters showed up to be a part of the American Electorate. Facts and figures on voter turnout aside, Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States and I (a registered democrat, gay, upper-middle class, Californian) am certain that the world is NOT ending, democracy is NOT dead, and in fact believe that the best is yet to come for our country. I’d like you to join me in that mindset.
During our election viewing party, the air became heavy when Florida was projected to go for Trump. The air didn’t feel any lighter when we woke up the next morning. When I got to work and logged onto Facebook, the air got heavier still. One colleague even signed off an email with “RIP America.” Then The New Yorker published an article entitled “An American Tragedy” stating that Trump’s ascendence to the most powerful political post in the world is “a sickening event in the history of the United States.” While I’m a devout fan and reader of The New Yorker and reporter David Remnick, I couldn’t help but cringe at the hypocrisy of the apparent shared mindset of Clinton supporters after her concession. Were we not, just days ago, vilifying the Trump campaign and its supporters for the use of this same rhetoric?
In fact, since he started his campaign, Mr. Trump, has been criticized for being a sensationalist, for misrepresenting the facts with hyperbole and bluster. In some ways I suppose the rhetoric worked; today, though, there are no votes to be cast and the shouts of #notmypresident protest only serve to deepen the partisan divide that has become inherent in our political system.
He’s been accused of being inflammatory and narrow-minded- of being intolerant and unkind. But both candidates are guilty of this crime… the question that we now need to answer is whether or not we carry that torch. The lost promises of the now-defunct Clinton campaign will not be answered by the implementation of such negativity.
The half of the country that didn’t support Trump during the campaign is now weaponizing his language in protest.
We, as members of a healing community, are called on now to reflect on the power of positivity and reflection. Redirect the judgment, disgust, and disbelief into a plan of action. On the other side of the fence (a fence that desperately needs to be deconstructed), there are more than 50 million people that came together to Make America Great Again and succeeded. Simply put, I’m impressed by the work that they did and am inspired by thinking about what could be done in four years now that we know that change is a very real direction to go in. If we unify our vision and take responsibility for our shortcomings in this primary and campaign, imagine what we can accomplish.
Donald Trump has been elected president. It is my sincerest hope that Donald Trump is an exemplary president and that his winning platform of change effects a very real shift in the ways of governance in our country... I hope that, by the time 2020 rolls around, a candidate emerges (even if that candidate is Donald Trump seeking re-election) that can inspire the changing face of the American Electorate to support him or her in another truly revolutionary moment. Until then, though, embrace the ideals that guided you when you voted on Tuesday and go do something about it- in 2017 that must become the American way.
Be graceful, be positive, be open-minded.