In my most recent blog post, I said a lot about how I felt about the election: how it affected me, how it will affect women, people of color, Muslims, and the LGBT community, as well as how we as a country contributed to this result. I did say a lot of things in the post that could have been taken harshly, because these truths are definitely blunt. The reality of it isn’t easy to take in, but I felt they still needed to be said.
I kind of pointed fingers a lot to Trump supporters, third-party supporters, and people who didn’t even vote. Though I still feel that they contributed to the election of someone who hates so many marginalized communities, that doesn’t mean we can’t still be civil to each other. It doesn’t mean we can’t still work together for a better America. I still feel like there was a clear lack of regard for the rights of these groups by the way people voted, but to write them off as people we can’t still talk to, work with, and share opinions with on how to make the results of the election work for everyone would be too close-minded of a choice.
I’ll admit, I have openly said that I don’t want to be friends with any Trump supporters. Do I still feel this way? Yes. His hateful rhetoric was too hard to ignore, in my eyes, and a vote for him was a vote for an America ran on the same values. A vote for him meant that there was a clear lack of consideration for me, a member of the LGBT community and several other people in marginalized communities, and I don’t think I could ever look past the fact that someone, who I’m supposed to consider a friend, voted for someone who would actually take my rights away. Does this mean that I believe that they’re inherently terrible people who don’t deserve respect? Absolutely not. I can still be respectful to Trump supporters, because when it comes right down to it, we’re all still human beings. Though they may want to see my rights taken away, and though I am still angry with their choice, fighting with more hate won’t get us anywhere. They’re aware that we’re upset; it’s now up to them to recognize that and do something about it.
I don’t hate anyone who didn’t vote the way I feel would have kept Trump out of office. Am I angry at the result of their choices? Yes. However, we’re now past the point of blaming each other. Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I want people to know how their choices brought us to where we are now. Yes, I want them to recognize what caused this, but constantly bringing up the blame gets us nowhere. I believe that we can still work together against whatever Donald Trump may throw at us, whether we respect each other’s choices or not.
If there’s anything to blame for electing someone with such a hateful rhetoric, it would have to be the system. The people voted for Hillary Clinton; she had the popular vote, but the system in place made it so that Trump won, instead. We exist in a country where we value the system over what the people really want, and now we’re facing a dangerous consequence of that very system. We should find hope in the fact that more people wanted a president with a much less hateful rhetoric, and we should find hope in the fact that the younger generation wanted Hillary, meaning we’re existing in a world where the years to come will be filled with more acceptance than years before. One day, we can hope to exist in a world where the people truly get to choose the president, rather than contributing to a system that a complex system that seems to work against logic.
I don’t want to lose sight of hope. I want to believe that things will get better, no matter how much fear, anger, and sadness I feel about where our country might end up. We’re a country full of such beautifully diverse people, and while I think we all need to embrace our diversity, we also need to recognize what’s important to keep us from becoming too divided. We’re allowed to be angry about the result, and we’re allowed to feel the fear of what’s going to happen, but at the end of the day, more people voted for love than who voted for hate. That alone is something to find solace in.
We are stronger together, and as long as we keep remembering that, we’ll truly thrive in the face of hate.