Remember my post about friendship being more important than political speech? Let’s remember that today and not throw stones at people who voted for Trump. Half of the country does not hate Muslims, Mexicans, women, the LGBQT+ community, or anyone else. What do these results mean? They mean that America is discontent and divided about how to move ahead into the future. This is not the first time in our history that we’ve faced these feelings. America was founded on a feeling of discontent and division far greater than this. The same was true when the division and discontent resulted in the Civil War. Keep all of this perspective and remember that Americans can be divided in huge ways but realize the future of the country is bigger than that temporary discontent. Patriotism is bigger. Our founding fathers were not lifetime politicians. They were strongly opposed to an elite ruling class like the one they left behind in England. In some ways, it looks like we just relived that principle.
Let’s be honest, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were amazingly flawed candidates. I’m reminded of a line from one of my favorite movies, If Lucy Fell. Sarah Jessica Parker’s character comments that she’s getting this whole dating thing. You watch as these men try to impress you in weird ways and then you pick the least disgusting one. This is kind of how I felt picking a President this year. I felt disheartened that these were the best options we could find. People today are angered that their fellow Americans are racist misogynists, but I just don’t believe that is true. I think what we witnessed was a vote not based on social progress or a vote against social progress. What we witnessed was a vote against the elitist attitude of a ruling class that thinks it is better than everyone else and above the law. A vote for change and economic progress that will raise everyone higher. A vote to reset and restore the federal government that most Americans feel is completely broken and dysfunctional. A vote to try something else and see what happens. A vote that believes we’re better than the mediocrity we’ve settled into over the past decade. A last ditch effort at hope and change.
I know a lot of you are upset, scared, or worried. You are not alone. Regardless of how a vote was cast, everyone has fears and uncertainty about tomorrow. Your friends and neighbors are the same people they were yesterday. Your relationships only change if you let them change. Think about how you would choose to react if the results had gone the other way. Would you reach out to your friends and encourage them? Ultimately how we all treat each other today, tomorrow, and next week says a lot more about the people we really are and what is in our hearts. Do you truly want to make an impact on the way people think and in how they live their lives? What you do every day is far more important than the vote you cast yesterday. We say that you should be the change you want to see in the world, and perhaps that is overused and under thought. It is, however, true. I’m choosing to live that out today by writing this post. I don’t care how you voted as long as you voted. I don’t want to judge anyone and don’t want you to judge me. I just want us to work together to make our lives better and happier. We can have different ideas about how to get to that place and still care about one another. Nobody is evil because of how they chose to cast a vote. Everyone is just trying to pick the least disgusting candidate and make the best of it. So, please join me in the choice to move beyond the divisive rhetoric and towards making a difference one day and one person at a time. Trade the tears for laughter and get back to work. We’ve got lots to do.