I ‘ve taken some days to reflect on the election’s results. The reality is the democratic process has spoken. So we should accept our new president, even if we don’t agree with the choice, because we did agree to the process. So all we really can do at this point is hope he exceeds all expectations. I have my gripes with democracy as we practice it, but you can’t just be vocal about those gripes when you “lose” or don’t get your way. You must always be vocal about them if you truly want change. And before conservative voters go on agreeing with this statement, they should realize this criticism can just as easily be applied to them when Obama won both terms and they claimed he was going to destroy the country and he was not their president. I’ve always warned those who will listen about hyperbolic complaints about opposing representatives. We gained nothing by claiming Romney was the devil, and if anything we just further frustrated our country’s other half. In all fairness had Romney won the last election, he would not have plummeted the country into a downward spiral. But the conservative side of the country should also admit that Obama himself did not implode this country, and that if anything, he’s actually done a good job with what he’s been working with. And while I’m at it can the democrats just admit Bill Clinton wasn’t that great, and the Republicans also need to admit Ronald Reagan was pretty bad too. I think the era of false equivalencies, veiled politics, and catastrophic hyperbole needs to come to an end. Whatever comes next we need to start having honest conversations about it. Don’t tell me you want to protect your right to own guns because it’s the second amendment (veiled politics), when there was constitutional law protecting your right to own slaves at one point too. Instead be honest and just admit you probably just like owning guns. Which there is no issue with that. After all this is a democracy, so if a majority of people enjoy owning guns then we should work together to figure out the best way possible to make that a reality. This is America after all. But I digress.
G etting back to processing this election, I think it’s important to realize not everyone who voted for Trump see’s him as an accurate representation of all their ideologies. Some people are simply lashing out on a government that they feel has disenfranchised them (http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about/). To make a personal relation, I’ve always supported gay marriage, but may not have voted or supported the candidate that firmly supported it too. Hell, Obama himself was against gay marriage at first. Even though I suspect that was probably a little bit of political gamesmanship, that doesn’t change the fact I myself was willing to compromise on that stance to get what I wanted else where. We all do this when it comes to elections. The reality is if any one American was 100% happy, and felt 100% represented by a single candidate, then that person should realize, more than likely, a very large swath of citizens will feel 0% represented. But if you agree with this sentiment, then those who did vote for Trump have to confess to what they were willing to compromise on. For what they hope/claim should be an improved economy, Trump supporters are willingly okay with the fact that, for now, a large part of the population, which include people they personally know and love, do not feel safe in their own country. And this is not some tangential symptom of the elected party, much like some people feel less safe cause Obama refuses to use the words “terrorist” for certain incidences. This instead is a direct symptom because he has made actual threats with his speeches and rhetoric. They must be honest and admit that their higher premiums on insurance, or the possibility of lower taxes, or the removal of free trade agreements, is important enough to them, that they’re will to overlook the fact that our commander and chief has without subtlety personally attacked muslims, african americans, women, and numerous others that they themselves (the Trump voter) are most likely friends with. That the risk he might, through legislation threaten their existence and their safety in this country and possibly remove some of their rights, is a risk worth taking. Again this isn’t to say you personally agree with these ideologies, but it is to say you are willing to compromise on them if that’s what it takes.
I think as we look forward to what comes next we should really all reflect on how and why we vote, discuss, and take part in politics. I am constantly critical of the movement to push everyone to vote. Don’t just vote because you can, partake in the process because you’ve taken the time think about what you really think is best for this country as a whole. A common sentiment offered, is that people should pick one thing that is important to them, and vote based on that one ideology. I implore people to discontinue that way of thinking. It is that sort of thinking that gets us these current results. For me personally, as a straight male, with a well paying job, the thing that affects my life the most is taxes. But rather than focus on just that aspect, I choose to realize how fortunate I am that, that is the case. So in my ideal world I hope to support anything that will progress the country and our society to a point where that is everyone’s largest concern. So I choose to vote for everyone else. I choose to vote for my neighbor to get a seat at the table where we only care about taxes. But that’s just me.