Who Have We Become America?

Who Have We Become America?

Because I don't recognize us anymore.
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November 8th, 2016. A day that surely will go down in United States history. It will be the Election Day that our kids and grandkids come to us, asking where we were when we realized that Donald Trump was now our nation's leader. Like when we had to ask our grandparents where they were when Kennedy was assassinated. They will ask us where we were, and how we felt.

I, along with many of you, will answer "I was on my college campus". I was in my dorm room, laying in bed, wondering what would await me when i woke up in the morning; though, the anxiety of our nation's fate kept me from sleeping. And as I looked at the results at 1:25 AM on November 9th, my heart sunk. Donald Trump had actually won. And what I feel? I am disgusted. Disgusted and ashamed.

I want to cry. No, scratch that, I want to vomit, fall out of my bed, vomit again, and then cry at the results of the 2016 election. While I cannot say that I supported either Hillary or Donald, as I had my issues with both, my heart is.....well, quite honestly, afraid.

Afraid because Trump has time and time again told an entire religion to get out of our country based on what he has learned about the religion in our media and popular culture. He doesn't understand what the Islamic faith is really about. He hasn't taken a moment to stop and look at what they really believe; to study it academically even for five minutes. Afraid because Trump has been as racist as the times of slavery toward people who have come from Mexico to try and have a better life. Allowing a candidate for any office to have even half of the "success" that Trump has based on those two platforms alone makes me wonder what America really stands for.

I cannot say that his comments toward women do not affect me. As not only a woman, but as someone who has experienced the sexual harassment that comes with being a woman in todays world, I am utterly disgusted. Are women simply viewed as objects to you, America? Are we nothing more than something you own? For a country that preaches equality, we have just elected a leader who quite honestly I don't believe knows the meaning of the word.

I am ashamed to be an American today. Ashamed because we have allowed someone who cannot be further from what America was built off of, and that is freedom of religion and equality of all people. Who could forget that the settlers left England to get away from the Anglican Church? They were tired of being told what to believe and yet, here we are. Telling an entire faith community to get out of our country......No. I am ashamed because I do not want to tell them to leave. I want to embrace them, and give them someplace safe to live and to raise a family.

Ashamed because we are telling an entire race to go back to where they escaped from. To put their lives, their families, in danger because they "stole our jobs". No. America we have become lazy. There is a reason you don't see Americans in the positions you claim have been stolen from us. And that, quite honestly, is because we have become to lazy to do the work ourselves.

Ashamed because women fought so hard just under 100 years ago to be seen as equal, and we have taken a giant step back. Because our newly elected president would just rather "Grab them by the p***y", to quote him directly. Ashamed because women yet again have been categorized as objects, property, to our male "superiors".

So, America, there you have it. We have a leader that, well honestly, reflects the views that sadly are quite prominent in our popular culture. The views of Muslims only being violent, when I promise you not all of them are. The views that Mexicans are are illegals who have "hopped the boarder to steal our jobs", which I promise you they did not. And the view that women are objects. Which, I promise you, we are not.

America, today, November 9th, 2016, I mourn for our nation. I mourn for where we are not only as a nation, but as mankind. We need saving. We need saving from ourselves and from the views that we hold. These two days will go down in history, and for the first time in my life I cannot say that I am proud to be an American.

Cover Image Credit: Shutterstock

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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