A Post-Election Message

So the dust has finally settled.  The people have spoken and a new president has been chosen for the United States.

Am I happy with the results?  No, I’m not.  I don’t like Trump and I think some of his more extreme ideas could be damaging to our country.  I’m disappointed with the results of the election.  But it happened.  Now the question is what to do moving forward.  And to that end, I wanted to send a simple message out on this day after election day.

Be kind to each other.

Whether you’re a conservative or a liberal, republican or democrat, just be nice to each other.  So much hate and nasty comments have been thrown around this election.  Not only that, but there was a lot of doom-saying going on.  If you were a Trump supporter, Hillary was going to start World War 3.  If you were a Hillary supporter, Trump was a fascist and would destroy democracy.  There seemed to be very little middle or common ground in this election, and that worries me.  I’m worried that people won’t listen to each other or compromise on anything.  I’m worried people will give up on politics more than they already have.  I think part of the reason Trump won was because people in my generation are so convinced that their votes don’t matter that they just didn’t vote.

I saw something like that happen with Bernie Sanders supporters after he lost the primary.  Now let me be clear, I supported Bernie a lot and I really wish he would have been nominated.  But just because he lost that nomination didn’t mean that his ideas or his cause were lost.  It’s the same thing now.  We can all still work together to find compromises and make sure that people get what they want.  We don’t need mindless hatred.  We need to come together.  We need unity.

After all, aren’t we all sick of those bombastic negative political ads?  Most of us, even those who didn’t vote, are probably breathing a big sigh of relief that those are over with.  And I can echo that sentiment.  Here in northern Minnesota, the 8th district congressional race was one of the most heavily advertised in the entire country (if not the most).  It felt like I couldn’t go a single commercial break at work without seeing an ad for either Rick Nolan or Stewart Mills.

And those ads were ridiculous right?  One ad would come on and it would be like “Rick Nolan is a hero for the working class.  He fights for jobs here in the Iron Range.  Miners love Rick Nolan.  Rick Nolan is the best thing ever.”  And then a minute later another ad would come on and be like “Rick Nolan is the worst thing ever.  He hates the working class and kills jobs on the Iron Range.  Miners hate him.  Don’t vote for Rick Nolan.”

Honestly I’m disappointed.  They should have gone all out and made an ad that just said “Rick Nolan.  He’s pretty much the Antichrist.  And you wouldn’t vote for the Antichrist, would you?”

This election seems to have nailed us into two separate camps that aren’t allowed contact with each other.  If you were a liberal, you hated conservatives.  And if you were a conservative, you hated liberals.  But the thing is, they’re just opposite sides of the same coin, two ways of looking at the same world.  Instead of pretending that they are separate and incompatible, shouldn’t we be trying to find some middle ground?  Shouldn’t we be looking for the ways we connect instead of the ways we don’t?  I may not like Donald Trump, but I’ve tried to understand why people would support him.  And I understand it in a way.  People are sick of the same old nonsense.  They’re sick of politicians constantly bickering, never getting anything done, and paying more attention to their special interests than their constituents.  I don’t think Trump is the answer to that issue, but I can somewhat understand the frustration people feel and why that would drive them to vote for him.

And then you hear about stuff like those shootings at a California polling place last night and it makes you wonder.  Is this really how far we’ve gone?  Is this really how much we hate each other?  Are we really so divided that we’re willing to shoot each other over who’s voting for who?  I don’t know.  But I do know one thing: there is more that binds us than separates us, and we would do well to remember that.  It sounds like something from a feel-good movie, but I truly believe it.  The whole reason society has succeeded thus far is because we as human beings are capable of working together.  Once all this election stuff leaves our system, I think we would all do well to remember that.  Because if we work together, we can make the world a better place for ourselves and for future generations of humans.

Because that is what we are in the end.  Despite our differences, we are all human.

 

Well that’s all I have for this time.  Check back next Wednesday for another post and as always, have a wonderful week.

You can like the Rumination on the Lake Facebook page here.

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