First of all, let’s all breathe a big sigh of relief that the 2016 Presidential Election is OVER. Thank God.
But I know that for many of you, relief is not necessarily what you feel. My personal Facebook feed has shown much disappointment from many good people I know. “Disappointment” might even be an understatement for some. I read messages of fear and trauma and deep sadness. Many of you truly feel like Trump could quite possibly destroy your lives. But I’m here to tell you he won’t. I’m not a so-called “Trump supporter”, and I’m not even super knowledgeable on politics (read about my break from politics on a previous blog post here). But I am smart, and I am hopeful, and I am an optimist. I believe in us as individuals, as families, as friends, as humans. Although much hype surrounds The Presidency, particularly during election seasons, one individual does not and cannot define all of us. Hillary does not define us. Trump does not define us. We define us.
I don’t know everything about your struggles or your life. And you don’t know everything about mine. And, that’s okay. The very fact that we lead our own unique lives with varying experiences and feelings is what makes us, as Americans, so incredible. We don’t have to be the same to be kind and respectful and compassionate. In fact, all of our differences are what’s most beautiful about this country. But even with those beautiful differences, we are more alike than most realize. MOST people aren’t assholes. MOST people want to live happy lives. MOST people are decent, deep down.
Presidential Elections (and politics, in general) are SO divisive. Politicians and media folks have this magical ability to fuel controversy. So, what if we all tried to brush off the hype? What if we all tried harder to be compassionate? I have learned more things by listening to someone with different experiences and opinions than by rejecting them. Let’s face it, it feels good to unite with people that share something important with you. It’s comfortable and empowering. But if you also open your mind and your heart to someone that shares less similarities with you, the feeling you will get is incredibly satisfying.
While some people I know and care about are feeling bad about the election results, some are feeling great. It’s a mixed and interesting time. But, no matter what your feelings about it, remember that “the other side” is not your enemy. We are not at war with each other. Hell, if zombies attack, we’re all on the same team, people. Every time you go on social media saying negative things about supporters of “the other side”, you’re talking about that friend of yours that never speaks up about politics, about someone’s dad, someone’s mom, someone’s child, someone’s spouse. We, the people, are just that – people. We’re not social media accounts. When you say, “You’re just stupid if you vote for…”, you’re calling someone you care about stupid.
Let’s unite and celebrate ourselves. Let’s work hard, help others and be happy. And if D.C. decides to join The People in our celebrations and pursuits of happiness, great. And if they don’t, it’s their loss. We, the people, are pretty damn cool.