I didn’t vote for this

A brief life recap before I begin! I’ve started a new, wonderful job. I’m loving every minute, and so happy I took the chance on applying. You would think that would be the reason I haven’t been writing here so much, but you would be wrong. I’ve just not felt motivated, to be honest. But then Election 2016 happened.

Despite the fact that this post is going to be about the election, I’m not going to talk about politics. I’m not going to talk about all of the things the executive branch can’t do, which the general public seems to have forgotten about. I’m not going to get into the details on why the Electoral College isn’t actually The Worst Thing Ever. I’m not going to tell you if I think Trump winning the presidency is a good thing or a bad thing. You aren’t going to hear me tell you what I’m registered as or where I voted or how I feel about anything.
I’m not going to talk about any of that, because it doesn’t matter.

I’m going to talk about facts and I’m going to talk about people.

Here are the facts of the matter:

  • Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election with 279 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 228.

That’s all I’ve got for you right now.

So let’s talk, guys. Let’s talk about people. And let’s talk about how absolutely horrendously disappointed I am in 95% of the people I know on Facebook.

It’s not because of who they voted for. To be honest, I don’t care who they voted for. I’m not friends with people because of their political decisions.

It’s because in the last twenty-four hours, I have seen those people tell their friends, families, coworkers, you name it, that they want nothing to do with them. Because of a vote. Because a vote makes them horrible people, despite the YEARS of evidence that probably proves the contrary. Because these people – who are, in general, intelligent and well-educated and kind – have decided that the best answer to all of this is hatred.

Hatred, and the encouragement of violence, and the alienation of people who love them. And that isn’t even touching on the simple rudeness and vulgarity, which I’ll let slide.

The answer is not creating an echo chamber for yourself, where the only people you’re friends with are those who agree with you. The answer is not telling people that they’re horrible or hateful. The answer is not hatred. The answer is trying to take ten seconds to understand. To talk. To discuss. To learn and to teach.

Because what you’re doing when you continue on this way? You’re driving stakes into an already divided nation. You’re building walls and burning bridges. You’re sending any hope we have for a better next time up in smoke.

Look – you’re allowed to be worried or confused or angry or sad. You’re allowed to be all of those things at once. You’re allowed not to like the decisions of your friends and families. I’m worried, too. I said I wouldn’t tell you who I voted for, and I’m sticking to that. But I can tell you that I truly did not want either candidate in the White House. I can tell you that I lost this election. I can tell you that I would have lost this election if HiIllary Clinton had won. And that’s what makes me angry.

America deserves better than this. America deserves better than a choice between Awful and Terrible.

And we all deserve better than the way we’ve been treating each other.

However you voted, the fact of the matter is that, in four years, you’ll have the chance to vote for someone else. You might not ever have the chance to mend the bridges you’re working so hard to burn.

People are so much more important than presidential elections. Dehumanizing, hating, dividing, ignoring? It’s going to get us something worse next time around. It’s not going to fix a single thing.

Love is the greatest gift we have in this world. I’m not saying you have to like everyone. I’m not saying you have to like anyone. I’m saying that you really should love them.

I’m saying that love shouldn’t have the condition of “if you voted for…” 

Hatred breeds hatred breeds hatred, leads to destruction, to war, to unhappiness, to brokenness. You can fix nothing with hatred. But you can heal great wounds with love.

My greatest hope is that, someday, I will actually be able to vote for a candidate I believe in. That day hasn’t come, yet. Until it does, I’m going to keep being friends with people i disagree with. I’m going to love people because of and despite of their flaws, faults, opinions, ideas, and voting records.

And I’m going to live every day thankful that I live in this nation, no matter who sits in office.

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