I had to uninstall Facebook from my phone this week. I was present on social media during the primaries, during major natural disasters, during the shooting in Orlando and the many tragedies since. I am the kind of person who wants to be informed about current events, no matter how disgusting they are, and so I force myself to watch. However, this week got so bad that I had to shut my eyes and turn away. Days later, I have signed back into my accounts and scrolled through Facebook posts until late in the night, and there is one opinion that I haven’t witnessed hardly at all: the unbiased opinion. Obviously, I hold slight biases here and there, because of the school I go to and the people I spend time with and my background and other, unavoidable, characteristics. However, in this incredibly bipartisan country, I’m the closest you’re going to get to a vaguely unbiased voice, since I hated both candidates equally. Here is my account of what happened:
The week before: I was actually proud of my country. There were numerous ad campaigns and celebrities stepping up, telling the people of America that it didn’t matter who they voted for, as long as they did their civic duty. Many celebrities and popular social media giants, tending Liberal on the most part, stood up and pushed for a vote. People like Ingrid Nilsen, Lin Manuel Miranda, and I saw people full on berate those who didn’t or who were unable to vote, but as a whole, it was pretty inspiring.
The day of the election: Ad campaigns were nuts. My Facebook feed blew up with individuals taking pictures of the evidence that they had voted. Everyone said, “Make your voice is heard, no matter what you say!”
The night of election/when the votes were being counted: I happened to watch the news coverage of the election on FOX News, which you would think would be as pro-Trump as possible. However, I was surprised by the fact that many of the anchors full-on disagreed with Trump, and were very vocal about it. This actually made me relatively pleased, since there is nothing I hate more in politics than the fact that people just blindly follow whoever is in charge of their party without taking the time to research what their opinions really mean. I started to have a little hope, not because an incredibly rude, tactless and misogynist man was being voted into power, but because people dared to disagree with a member of their party. I don’t know about you, but I found this inspiring. No change of magnitude will happen when there is no respectful resistance, and being willing to take criticism and be disagreed with means that there are steps being taken in the right direction.
After the election: Like I said, I honestly wouldn’t have been happy with the winner either way. I’ve been incredibly disappointed with the choices the American people made to even get to the point where we were forced to make the decision we did. However, what made me the most upset was the way people responded when Trump pulled ahead. I both understand a part of the fear and anger sweeping across the nation, and will never completely understand. However, the Democratic platform is said to be built on love. Days ago, I was told over and over that it didn’t matter who I voted for, as long as my voice was heard. The ad campaigns worked, America. 75% of Floridians voted. That's so impressive! Yet when they didn't vote the way many Democrats wanted them to, many lashed out and said it would be better if 3/4 of Florida was silent. When my voice wasn’t what people wanted to hear, I was told that my voice was uneducated, racist, misogynist, homophobic, and privileged. Now, I know that in some senses, in the sense that I grew up in North America and got a good education and have hope to succeed at some point in the future, I am privileged. However, I also grew up in poverty. I work three jobs to pay for my education. I’ve, at one point or another in my life, lost both parents. Additionally, I am pretty dang well-versed in issues before I voice my opinion about them. I do not flippantly make my voice count, and I realize the weight of my decision. As for the other horrible claims, I will not even stoop to defend myself against them, because if you knew me at all, you would realize how false those assumptions are. I saw such an awful outpouring of hate, and fear, and misdirected anger, that I had to turn the awful voices off. Luckily, I am secure in my identity enough not to care what people think of me. It doesn’t matter if my president thinks women are lesser, because I know I have the ability to rise above and achieve greater things than anyone could believe of me. I don't care that those who claim that #lovewins act in hatred towards me, because I feel the sorrow and sympathy and deep, deep love for those who feel like they are threatened course through my veins. However, I thought this country was better, and though I believe we are on the track to rise above, I am still so incredibly disappointed.