Boy oh boy, what a crazy last 48 hours. Who would have thunk, right? After all of that; after all the “Clinton has 72% chance of getting the 270,” BOOM. You get yourself Donald J. Trump.
Okay, let’s get to it. I think I’ve had an appropriate amount of time to freak out and will now attempt to give my best open-minded reaction to all of this.
Doesn’t take a genius to figure out which candidate I supported during this election. I was very much hoping it would go the other way, but as the old saying goes, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”
Which, brings me to my first point: protests…? Now, don’t get me wrong. I get it, people are angry. For the majority of the last 48 hours I was angry too. I was scared as well, and I’m sure there are people out there who were (and still are) much more scared than I am. But blocking a highway (in a state full of people who probably voted the same way you did) doesn’t do anything. It just makes people late for work.
So, although I’m all for peaceful protest, I believe this has already started getting out of hand. The guy isn’t even in office yet! If you’re going to protest, do so on January 20th. The electoral vote isn’t going to change between now and then – regardless of how much you collectively whine about it.
And it goes for both sides! There are people taking advantage of the fact Trump got elected and using it for very crude displays of ignorance and racism. To those people I say: your candidate winning doesn’t give you the right to bully everybody else. In other words, my advice to both sides would be: let’s all take a chill pill.
Which is so much easier said than done. Like A LOT easier, but nonetheless we have to try. Because somehow, some way, we are going to have to work together over the next 4 years.
Now, exactly how are we going to work together over the next 4 years? That I don’t know. I don’t know that anybody in D.C. has an answer to that either, and I’d be very surprised if our President-elect has an answer. BUT regardless, we’re going to have to. And it all starts by being civil with one another.
To the Clinton supporters: labeling every Trump supporter as a racist asshole, only gives them the ability to hit you with, “Well aren’t you doing the exact same thing that you accuse us of doing?” (Side note: I will speak more on this later). When you sow wind, you reap the storm – which could very well be applied to the other side too, but just work with me here for a second.
To the Trump supporters: probably not the best time to say, “We dealt with this for 8 years with Obama.” One, because you weren’t exactly quiet in your disapproval of Obama either – going as far as questioning the location of his birth – and Two, because to the Clinton supporters’ defense, in ’08 and ’12 there was no candidate advocating for the removal of Muslims and/or being proud of grabbing women by the pussy. You can’t really compare is what I’m saying.
So here’s what I’m hoping takes place: Trump surprises everyone. My neighbor brought this up as an option Tuesday night. He said, “What if Trump was saying all the things he’s saying just to get elected, but then once he gets in office he actually works with Congress?” In case you couldn’t tell by the nature of the question, yes, my neighbor was high as shit when he said that, but I mean, what if he’s right?
You gotta give it to Trump, he ran a smart campaign. Granted, it’s probably easier to run a smart campaign when the thing you have to do the most is appeal to white people in economically shaky areas, but his goal was to win, and he did it. Moreover, Trump being the narcissist that he is, he’s going to at least try to come off as a good President…because that’s all he cares about! If someone called Trump and the United States “lame,” Trump would be more concerned with his own image than that of his country.
So, what if he actually becomes a good President simply based on the fact that that’s how he personally wants to be remembered? Hillary said it herself, “we owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.” And when I take that hippie-let’s-all-get-along stance, I have to agree. Not to mention the fact that supposedly the meeting between Obama and Trump actually went well (according to Obama). So, I ask again, what if?
Here’s where that theory kind of goes to shit for me: Trump’s Cabinet short list. Secretary of Education, Ben Carson. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Newt Gingrich. Secretary of the Interior, Sarah Palin. There’s more than just those people obviously, but come on, really?
I will try to make this the only part of this post where I really put my views out there as opposed to giving a straight reaction: I don’t think those people are either fit, nor bright enough for those positions. (That’s really holding back the criticism). And that’s your short list?!? Doesn’t really make me too hopeful for the “What if he becomes a good President?” theory.
There a few more things I want to discuss. One of those things being “political discourse”. Yeah…sounds like a fancy enough name. Recently Twitter has steered me towards the notion that “who you voted for doesn’t make you an asshole, the way you treat people based on what they voted makes you an asshole.”
I have a problem with that reasoning. The people you choose to vote for, the people you elect, are representations of yourself. You can’t disagree with that, we live in a representative democracy. Thus, when someone tells me, “I voted for ____” I can safely assume what their beliefs are. Based on those beliefs I can also choose whether I agree or disagree with that person. Which, in turn, influences whether I treat that person as a close friend or as a mere acquaintance.
The notion that it’s somehow immature “to treat someone differently based on the way they voted,” is flawed. Everyone should be treated with respect, don’t mistake what I’m saying here. But for example, if the person you chose to elect makes it more difficult for my mom to afford health insurance, what do you expect me to do? Do you expect me to look at you the same way? Do you expect me to look past the principles you voted for and hope that my mom doesn’t get sick? Should your friendship be more important to me than my mom’s health?
If anyone – and I mean anyone – expects other people to put their friendship before the direct consequences of their vote, they should truly reconsider the value of that vote.
A vote isn’t a random check on a list. A vote is a statement. You choose your friends based on their statements, the things they say, all the time – you’ve done so since kindergarten. So why’s a vote different?
Which brings me to my very last point, and it is more specifically directed toward Trump supporters. In my opinion, you don’t get to choose whether you voted to “Make America Great Again,” or to ban Muslims from entering the United States. If you voted Trump, you voted for both, there is no way around it. John Scalzi wrote a wonderful analogy for this idea last night. You can go read it in full there, but essentially what I’m trying to say here is:
You could choose one of two sides in this election; two packages. Now you may have liked one over the other, and you have every right to think that way, but make no mistake, only one of those packages stood for racism, sexism, and bigotry, and you chose it regardless. You don’t get to run away from that truth. When you sow wind, you reap the storm.
If you feel personally attacked by that statement, don’t take it out on me through anger. Prove me wrong. The way I look at it right now is that Trump – and everyone across the country who voted for him – has a chance to prove people wrong. President-elect Trump and all of his supporters have a chance to prove that they can unite us, as he said at the RNC. We owe them that chance.
Some of you may also be pointing out, “Hold on a second, Krato. You told Hillary supporters to not group up Trump supporters together like that two minutes ago. Yet, here you are telling them that their vote essentially makes them racist.” To you, imaginary person in my head who disagrees with me, I say good point. I just think it’s a real side to your vote which you may, or may have not thought about. I chose to include it in my general reaction to the election because I’m tired of people overlooking it, but I called myself out in my own hypocrisy because, frankly, what’s done is done.
Donald Trump is going to be our 45th President. There is no way around that. It is our job now to put all the anger, hate, and differences that led to his election behind us, and attempt to make something good out of all of this.
With all that said, I pledge to be as open-minded as I can throughout the next 4 years to ensure that our deeply divided nation becomes stronger together.
Weird, sounds familiar. Anyway, this was a long one, thanks for sticking around.