In Shock - Election 2016
I don’t really know what to think this morning. It’s the day after the election in the US and we’re staring down the barrel of a Trump presidency.
I’m shocked and confused how somebody as divisive as this man could garner enough support to become the 45th president of the United States. He’s ran a campaign based on fear and hate. He’s told masses of people that they are something to be feared because of the color of their skin, their country of origin, or their religion of choice. Somehow he ignited a part of this country that I think a lot of us kind of wanted to forget existed. We’d spent most of this election season choosing to believe that there was no way he could walk away with this.
I’m not a Republican or a Democrat. I think parties are a problem in American politics. It breeds a culture of divisiveness in our political system. John Adams said this way back in the day when our country was brand new:
He’s right. This has been one of the ugliest battles I’ve ever seen in my life when it comes to the presidency. Sure, people were upset when their candidate lost before. Though I think that all in all, we knew we were going to be okay. We knew that mistakes would be made, decisions would leave us confused and concerned, but most of our presidents have been “good” people. I put that in quotes because there are varying degrees of good. At least they seemed to have the best interest of all Americans in mind. Trump doesn’t. If you are white, non-Muslim, you are “American.” He hasn’t said that directly, but his actions and collections of words and deeds speak to it.
I think President Obama has done a lot of stuff I don’t agree with. He has, however, been one of the classiest presidents in recent memory. He stood in front of the UN when being pushed to do something about the hate speech in America by saying:
“Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. As president of our country, and commander-in-chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so."
That’s the opposite of the way Trump has carried himself during this campaign. He’s threatened the media with lawsuits because they said mean things about him, or even simply used his quotes in ads. That’s not how I think someone who is leading our country should behave. We need a leader who will defend our rights and liberties even when they disagree with them personally. I’m afraid that Trump will be way to sensitive to carry the power that we’ve just appointed him with.
At the end of the day, my goal and my family’s goal is to love others. I may not be able to control what happens in the higher tiers of our government, but I can control what goes on in my small corner of this planet.
One last thing. Trump’s platform in many aspects involved cleaning things up and getting rid of the immigration problem. We did this to the Irish as well back during the civil war. They were treated as trash, and many forced to fight for the Union as soon as they got off the boat. We would call that disgusting behavior as we look back at it, but we’re willing to do the same thing to a new set of people and call that “patriotism.”
Let’s not forget that this poem by Emma Lazarus is engraved on the Statue of Liberty, one of the most recognizable symbols of American freedom.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"