What It Means To Have A Democracy

I get it, you are all very sick of hearing all of the election backlash and celebration. Scrolling through Facebook, all I see is one hateful post to the next. “America is ruined,” people are saying; “I’m moving to Canada.” Many people post with pictures of them purchasing one-way flights on Air Canada. But, as someone who did not support either candidate, I have felt the need for the entirety of the campaign season to defend both sides or to simply advocate for respect among both parties. And now, after our country has been divided so deeply for the past months, it doesn’t seem as though we have the capacity to heal as Donald Trump has won the election. So, I have decided to speak up as my position in the middle feels more important than ever.

Do Hillary Clinton supporters have a right to grieve? Absolutely. Just as Trump supporters would have been afforded that right if the roles were reversed, mourning Hillary’s shortcoming is expected. Regardless of her political views, it has ignited a spark of optimism in feminism and the ability for a woman to make it as far as she did in as important of an election as this was. She worked her ass off and deserves respect for it, in my opinion.

With that said, I cannot handle another comment stereotyping Trump supporters and declaring that anyone who voted for him is promoting sexism, racism, or any other -ism. There are a million reasons that people could have voted for Trump. For example, my economic views tend to align with the Republican party’s while I completely reject the way he talks about women, minorities, or the LGBTQ+ community. I’m sure many people felt this way, actually, I know many people felt this way and had to make a very difficult decision. Yet, those who did choose to vote for him are being persecuted by many in the public eye through social media. They are being labeled as things they are not simply because people are angry and jumping to conclusions out of hate.

Now, I am in no way attempting to denigrate the fears of many Democrats, because frankly, I think we all have no idea what the next four years entail. And, Trump’s campaign has undoubtedly stirred a very real terror among minorities and other marginalized communities throughout the US. I am simply proposing to everybody that lashing out in bitterness and disgust at people who made their own, informed decision about the fate of our country is not okay.

This is democracy. This is OUR democracy. We respect the outcome of these elections as much as we respect the people who fought for our ability to even have them. If we keep closing our minds to people who don’t agree with us, then there really is no hope. There is so much that this country has that’s worth fighting for. Not only that, but so many people seem very uneducated as to how our democracy actually works. There are so many hurdles put in place to assure that drastic and possibly detrimental decisions are not instituted. However much Trump runs his mouth, he can’t ruin our country. We are too evolved for that to happen. Plus, he hasn’t even entered office yet so I think he deserves a chance.

Do we have a lot of work to do? Hell yeah. But, we are not the same country that went through the Great Depression in the 1930s. We are not the same country that experienced the Great Recession of 2008. We are the country of now. We are constantly improving, moving forward and progressing. Don’t lose sight of that.

So, before you post another hateful comment on Facebook, recognize that negativity can only bring us down. Pick yourselves up off the ground, dust yourselves off, and let’s march towards progress together. If we don’t, then that will be what ruins America. Not Trump.

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