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A Great Divide

Before you even start to read this, I will warn you that this will be far from my typical exercise, motivational, or fun little recipe post…so there’s my warning label.

That being said, I am sad. I am shocked. And I am embarrassed for our country as a whole. I woke up yesterday morning to find that Donald Trump appeared to have edged out Hillary Clinton for presidency. My initial reaction was shock, because I honestly didn’t think he’d best her. And then you know what I did? I got in the shower and began getting ready for work because, you see, life is still moving forward no matter how disgruntled or disappointed anyone is. Sadly, my day got worse as I intermittently perused Facebook and news channels throughout the day. Facebook was like a train wreck. One of those situations that is so ugly, so messy, but you just can’t look away. So I tortured myself by checking my news feed and just when I thought the comments couldn’t get worse, another person was spouting more negativity. At first I thought that maybe all of my virtual “friends” were off work yesterday because it seemed that no one was being productive, aside from slinging hate via social media, but alas the majority of us were working. So many just got utterly caught up in the storm of the election. As I read post after post, I couldn’t help but to keep thinking of a saying I’ve heard somewhere before…

“We all put our pants on the same way, one leg at a time.”

And I think that many began to forget that. I can’t even remember all of the hateful things that I read, and I’m glad for that. I am absolutely stunned. Admittedly, I haven’t been around for many presidencies. In fact, the oldest one I can clearly recall is Mr. Clinton. But I can’t remember an election ever having taken on this tone. Just days ago, I was sighing with relief that the election was close to being over and that hopefully the hate and negativity would end with it. I was definitely wrong. It’s only gotten worse, and I am starting to wonder if it will ever end. No one is safe from the negativity, we are all feeling the aftershocks of November 8th.

If you take anything from this post, I want it to be this: I am unbiased. Leading up to the election, and even now, I’ve wondered how those two individuals ended up being our choices for President out of millions of Americans. And I don’t think that electing Trump as our next President has made us a joke to the rest of the world. No, I think the entire election has, with all of its scandals and dramatics. It was like watching a circus. You can’t believe so many backwoods, uneducated  deplorables voted for a racist and misogynistic Trump. And you can’t fathom that so many women and immigrants voted for a lying, should be in jail, Clinton. And then you have the real outsiders- the British, the Australian, the Chinese, grabbing popcorn and sitting back to watch all of us, the #trumptrain and #imwithher supporters all showing just how divided this country is. We are not a unified country. We’ve let two people divide us in half. And not one of them is better, more respectable, than the other. They’re both human, just like you and I. They’re in the spotlight, where most of us will never set foot, so their words and actions are under scrutiny by everyone waiting to see them falter. Think about everything you’ve done in your life, and think about how the masses would interpret your words and actions if given the chance. I’m sure we all have a skeleton or two in our closet that wouldn’t look so rosy under the harsh light of day. Have you ever been in a locker room? In a bar in the wee hours of the night? Colorful language at it’s best. Have you ever sent a text message or an email of a personal nature to the wrong person? I’m certain that this has happened to many of us.

Please understand that I’m not condoning either of their alleged behaviors/words. I have my own opinions on morals, rules, and how I depict right from wrong. My point is this, we are all offended by different things, we all believe in different things, and that is what should make this country great- the fact that we are free to have an opinion and that we reside in a democracy where we are allowed to have opposing points of view. I am distraught that so many have taken to Facebook and have “unfriended” friends and family because they did or didn’t vote for someone, or have been trolling people’s posts just waiting for the opportunity to strike with hateful words. There may very well have been rioting and chaos behind Trump lines if Clinton had won…we will never know. I feel that this was such a heated election that regardless of the outcome, the fallout would be brutal. I just didn’t see it going to this extent.

Right now, there is not a thing that any of us can do to change what is done. Burning buildings, vandalizing property, and severing ties with what were once friends/family will do nothing to reverse the results. What it will undoubtedly do, however, is strengthen the divide in our country and continue to make America an easy target to become a laughing stock around the world. The best thing that we, as a country, can do right now is come together and show our strength through this change. We don’t know that there will be a wall built between us and Mexico, we don’t know that marriage equality rights will cease to exist. For that matter, had it been Clinton, we don’t know that the ACA would have continued and worsened or that abortions would skyrocket. You simply cannot fight the invisible, and right now that’s what we are doing. There are riots and arguments, heated debates and severed ties, over what we perceive will happen in our country. You have the right to be scared of the future, of what might happen. You have the right to be hopeful that good changes will come of this upheaval. It’s your right.

At this point in time, we watch and we wait. Based on the words and actions of my fellow Americans over the past day, it’s clear that patience is not an American virtue. But we must face this change with an open mind and a patient heart. Wait and see. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that your life isn’t over because Trump is President. You might come to find, in time, that he’s not such a great leader. Right now all we have to go on is a campaign that has been riddled with black marks, from both sides. Take a deep breath, let it out, and see what really happens when the dust settles.

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