America’s Shock Heard ‘Round the World

So Donald Trump won our election in 2016. That happened last night. It feels like a Black Mirror episode, the Twilight Zone, but it did happen. We are not sleeping. This is the reality of our country right now.
And the shock has ran through the country and it was felt not just in our country – but the world. I was left last night with a sense of shock and disappointment. I’m going through the stages of grief right now, taking in the experience that my family is being directly affected by this decision.
My wife was so confident, she spent the first half of the day, reassuring me that this was not something to worry about. I felt a swell of pride for our democracy starting yesterday and so hopeful for the direction that the end of our election would go and my role in that change. As the night went on, man, my wife’s confidence was shattered and my heart was broken for our nation’s decisions fueled by hate and fear. I was in awe by the fact that just four hours earlier, I was explaining the process of our elections and was so excited to share this with my daughter. She literally was as pumped as me to watch the election night results and share in the joy of watching it.
And now this morning, I am going to have to come to terms with the fact that I have to explain to her that sometimes we don’t win. Sometimes, you don’t get what you want in life. Sometimes you have to deal with the choices that are made around you. You have to keep your head up and held high regardless of negative around you and fight harder. I also have to explain to her that you have to respect other people’s opinions and experiences.
I have to be the parent who takes the high road – and educate my child that America is great without the fear and the hate. That we are a melting pot of beautiful minds and loving people. I have to come out of the struggle I’m in to keep my shit together, so that I can be the role model she needs, to make sure she knows that it’s ok to have a difference of opinion or politics and no matter how hard it is to deal with, everything in life is change and I’m confident that we will come out of this stronger for it. Its hard to come to grips with, but I refuse to sink to the low place that this election has already taken most people.
Take heart to remember that there are people in your very family and close friends who are hurting right now. They are genuinely scared for the way this country has voted tonight. They see fear and confusion in their hearts today as they wake up to what was said to be “the impossible choice.”
I’m not a Trump supporter and I have never been. I am not someone who believes that someone should be able to roll back the clock on the progress this country has made, or that it’s okay to say the things this man has said or instill the kind of violent rhetoric his supporters have called for. However, I am also not a supporter of disrespecting the President. (Something that the Obama detractors have done for 8 years)
That means, that while I don’t respect the man our country has elected and I have severe reservations about what we may or may not have done to millions of American people he has insulted, hurt, and incited violence towards, I respect the vote and the people’s choice. Here’s to the women, Muslims, LGBTQ community, veterans, disabled and other minorities who are feeling the very real dread of the next four years. My heart is right there with you.
I believe in the right to vote. I believe in the right to express your own opinion and to have your vote count and your voices be heard. I truly believe that the people who elected Donald TrumpĀ into the highest office of the land, did so, just as I did not. Because their path is not my path and their conscience was not my conscience.
Our paths are shaped by our own life choices, or our life experience and that’s what makes America Great. It’s already great because it’s a melting pot of ideas, cultures, beliefs and personalities.
I was devastated to see this turn of events last night, I was sick to my stomach and frankly I still fear for what might come next. As much as I want to and am struggling not to be, angry and hurt and scared, I will look to the future with as calm a heart as I can and a soul of love.
For all Americans today, win or lose, the sun has come up on a new day and that is a glorious thing. The sun will continue to come up on a new day and we have the chance to unify and stand together to make sure that our progress is not taken away. One man cannot shape the entire country, but the people of that country can.
The people of this country have spoken. It’s sad and scary and sometimes, downright insane to think it’s come to this, but at the end of the day, the people have spoken.
Admittedly, I want to be angry at those who I know that have directly voted in favor of candidates that support the hateful rhetoric this pair does. The policies, ideas and promises that have been made by this pair that directly affect me and my family. I’m struggling not to be angry, to not be disillusioned by our election system and the way it played out. I’m struggling with not losing my faith in the last bit of humanity and decency we had in this country.
But struggle I will, because I refuse to sink low and spew hate and anger throughout the world – there’s enough of that going around today.
So to those of you in despair, myself included, light a fire in your belly and in the bellies of your children. They are the future of this country. They have the chance to make better choices in the future. It’s up to use to set the example, the explain that sometimes you don’t win, sometimes you don’t get what you want and you have suck it up and plan for the future change you want to see in the world.
To those of you in excitement, congratulations. Though, I ask one small request. There are legitimately people, like myself, who are scared and angry. And if you don’t see why, you are blind to the fact that this is a very real thing that is affecting many Americans today. I ask that you acknowledge that fact. I ask that you find some sense of compassion in that.
Reach out to your family and friends who are really and truly struggling to come to terms with an outcome no one expected. Curb the hateful speech, the memes calling Hillary supporters stupid, or outright gloating on social media. Its tactless and hurtful.
At the end of the day, I hope we all want to love all people of all walks of life, don’t forget that an election is just four years of our life, and at the end of the day, we still have to live with and love one another. Don’t let winning or losing this election divide your families, your friendships, or your country.
Go into this day with light and love, on both sides, and give your kids a hug. Teach the future voters of our county to respect all the humans that all bleed red affected good or bad by this election decision. Teach love and empathy and compassion. Did love trump hate last night? We can’t borrow fears from tomorrow, we can’t wallow in defeat. We can rise up and raise our heads high and go forth with a new vision and keep our faith in our country and love of our family and friends.
I’m trying my very best to spin this in a positive light and it’s fucking hard. My anxiety is on full alert. But, we are the future of America. We are responsible for the future voters of America. Sometimes, we have to burn it all down to build it back up. That’s what I’m taking solace in right now. So, hugs to you – win or lose – class should prevail. Let’s band together and love each other. Seek a different perspective. Replace hate and fear with love and understanding.
It’s not the end, but the beginning. Now is the time we come to terms with how this country is made up, the scary truth of the underbelly of our great nation. Its out in the open now, come together and unify. Love one another and know that this too shall pass.
Be kind to one another.
Love and light to all of our country.