Moving Forward

Today I’d like take a break from my travel blog and speak for a moment about the future of our country. This isn’t a pro-Democrat or an anti-Republican post. This is a post, from one human being to other human beings, about how to move forward – something I am personally struggling with. About what comes next. Because although I am scared and upset, the sun is still shining and it’s a new day. The world hasn’t ended, and we need to figure out a way to carry on. No matter who you voted for, hear me out. We need to turn to compassion and love instead of digging in and growing this enormous divide we have in our country.

***

Today has been a very hard day for me, as it has for many people around the country and around the world. It hasn’t been hard for me because my candidate lost – that’s how democracy works. It’s been hard for me because almost fifty-nine million Americans voted for a candidate who has run on hate, misogyny, xenophobia, racism, and fear. And to me, the fact that fifty percent of the country is okay with this behavior, or that they can overlook it for the sake of policy and politics makes me personally very sad. I know most of them don’t personally believe it, but still, I feel heartbroken.

I know that the other side doesn’t see it that way. Right now, millions of people are celebrating. Some of those people are people I love very much. And I understand their perspective. To them, Trump stands for hope and change of the status quo. Yes, he makes inappropriate comments, but his off-the-cuff answers and lack of political correctness is refreshing for them. And though some of the stuff he says is worrisome, it can be brushed off as just talk.

I am not going to sit here and list out the reasons why, to me, this is complete and utter nonsense. That I am terrified. I am not going to lament injustice. And I am not going to throw a fit on social media demanding that all Trump supporters unfriend me, or curse third-party candidates. That doesn’t help. Demonizing Republicans won’t get you anywhere – in fact, it only makes the partisan split bigger. This election was close. And had it gone the other way, there would still be fifty percent of the population that feels exactly like I feel now. In fact, four years ago – they did. And even though many of us are scared of what is to come, fifty percent of the population is very excited.

The fact is that come January, Donald Trump will be sworn into the most powerful office of the entire world. And no matter how much you yell and scream, it’s going to happen. And no, moving to Canada isn’t the answer (This coming from me – someone notorious for seeking refuge from real world problems by running abroad).

America is a great country – one of the best in the world. And democracy is one of the things that makes us so great. The peaceful transition of power is one of our trademarks. And America isn’t only a President – America is 320 million individuals. We are a giant melting pot that values diversity and second chances. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave. And that doesn’t change overnight. We, the 320 million living, breathing people give Donald Trump his power. And we are still here. Four years is a long time. And yeah, if you’re like me then this is probably going to suck for a while. But that’s democracy. That’s how it works. America is resilient. We will get through this.

For today, I will allow myself to be heartbroken. While sitting in a Mexcian Starbucks, trying to comfort myself with a slice of chocolate cake, I can try and find a little solace in the fact that there are many millions of Americans who feel exactly as I do right now. I am very proud of my candidate and the campaign that she ran. I am proud to be with her. I am very proud of President Obama for taking the high road. And I am so proud of all of my friends who fought so hard this election season – you guys did great work.

If you voted for Trump, congratulations in your victory. And if you didn’t, I’m so sorry. But regardless, it’s time to come together, and move forward with compassion for your fellow man and love for the thing that makes this country so great: the 320 million people that call it home. And please, no more hate.

Advertisements