Where do We Go from Here?
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Politics

Where do We Go from Here?

My thoughts on this election, and what we can do moving forward

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Where do We Go from Here?
New York Times

On November 9th, Donald Trump the Republican nominee for President of the United States, won the election. He had 279 electoral votes compared to Hillary Clinton’s, the democratic nominee, 228 electoral votes. This was an unprecedented victory, as news outlets and people across the nation were shocked at his victory. I was never a big fan of either candidate, and I had been saying for months that “no matter who won, we would lose,” a tagline used by the movie “Alien v Predator.” Either way, in my eye, this election was a bust from the start. Being an avid reader of the New York Times, I figured that Trump had no chance of winning, that he had ruined any and all chances of winning Presidency with his various missteps along the way (such as his “twitter wars,” his behavior during the debates, his views on different races, etc.). I was genuinely in shock when I saw that he had won. It feels so surreal, that something that I figured would never come to pass did exactly that. “President Trump” is going to take some time to get used to saying.

What is more alarming to me is how people in general have been reacting to his victory. Of course it goes without saying that Trump supporters are happy, and Clinton supporters are not. Many people, including celebrities, have been very vocal about their views, ready to call Trump voters “racist,” “homophobes,” “xenophobes,” and any other kind of “-phobe” in the book. Similarly, many Trump supporters are quick to respond that Clinton is a criminal, that many of her supporters are “blind sheep,” and are extreme left wingers. Not once in my viewings in either social media or otherwise, have I actually heard or seen a legitimate, real conversation that doesn’t quickly devolve into mud-slinging or name calling.

Guys, the sad truth of it is that this is our reality. There are no superheroes to save us, no last minute switcheroo to be pulled, no man behind the curtain (that we know of); Trump won the presidency, but that doesn’t mean that we as a people need to lose. From the start of both parties’ campaigns, all I have seen are people shaming other people for their votes or views, and both sides trash talking the other, with no real solutions or compromises being offered. It seems that the actual concept of a debate, talking to someone else in an open, safe environment sharing views honestly and openly, trying to find a solution or compromise to a problem, is more dead then America is right now. And I’m not going to go on a rant about how one party is more guilty then the other in this regard, because both sides are equally guilty of this practice. If you happen to share one or more Conservative views, you’re labeled a “Racist,” or a “homophobe.” Likewise, if you happen to agree with a Liberal view, you’re a “sheep” or “traitor” or some other insult. There can never be any middle ground now, it’s either one side or another (and don’t tell me that silence is key, because more often than not you get dragged onto a side regardless).

We don’t need any more arguing in this country, because this is how we lose. We lose by allowing ourselves to hate and insult one another, dividing this country even further then we already are. I think this election was proof that this country is more splintered than ever, and I think a big part of that has to do with how we communicate with one another. Rather than engage in actual, meaningful debates, we’re more likely to shut down anyone with different views. One of the big hurdles we’re going to need to overcome in the next few years is how we engage with one another, as our discourse right now is being looked at by the younger generation. If you honestly took a look at all the tweets sent out, all the videos, and all the “back and forth” from the time both campaigns started until now, would you want your children, your nieces and nephews, to learn about political discourse from that?

We need to be willing to accept that not everyone is going to share the same views. Our given right as an American is to have a voice, and to have an opinion about things, and the minute we shut someone down, we let our ugliness show as a country. Not everyone is willing to engage in civil debates either, and that’s to be expected, but that doesn’t mean we need to stoop to their level. Rather we need to move on, and accept that not everyone can be civil. Again, this is a problem that both sides have, it’s not exclusively a Liberal/Conservative problem, and this is a problem that effects everyone. By opening up more, being more willing to share our views and opinions freely in a civil and appropriate manner, we can really open the door to new possibilities not only within our country, but within our own cultures.

So, is it truly the end of the world? Not necessarily; for the moment, the world is still spinning, and we’re still breathing. Right now, the best thing we can do is love one another as best we can, regardless of their views and opinions, and show other parts of the world that we as a people united are ready to tackle any challenge that is thrown our way.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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