Friday, November 11, 2016
The 2016 Election
I really debated about posting about the election on the blog, as this blog is a largely non-political space focusing on travel and my life in general. I'm a little worried it could cost me a job opportunity in the future or something. This election is far too impactful to stay silent about, though. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows my opinion on this election... and that I'm not pleased with the results.
I hoped to see the first female president get elected. I hoped, but I also knew that Trump had a very real chance of winning. I was in Great Britain shortly after Brexit happened, and I remember Londoners feeling very confused about why their fellow countrymen voted to leave. Now I sit in a solidly blue state feeling very much like a Londoner did this summer. But, Brexit and Trump appeal to a very similar demographic: people who felt ignored and irrelevant in their nation, and wanted major change. The popular vote may have gone to Clinton, Trump and the ideas he campaigned on won.
Frankly, the thing I am the most disappointed about post-election is the level of disrespect between Democrats and Republicans-- and neither party is innocent. Fears about racism, hate crimes, environmental degradation, restrictions on women's reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, foreign policy changes... all of those feeling are valid and should be expressed. I worry for my friends, many who will be/have been directly affected by the emerging racist and xenophobic atmosphere.
I've never been so scared to be Asian before in this country.
All of that being said, I don't think hate is any sort of solution. Slinging insults at Trump supporters, stirring up fear, making up stories to appear more sympathetic... none of that is acceptable behaviour. There is a line between expressing anger/disappointment/sadness/fear and creating a toxic, hateful environment. Discussion is one thing. Vicious attacks on people who don't share your worldview is another. Clearly, my hopes that America would accept the results of this presidential election with grace were naive.
At the end of the day, the Republicans won the presidency, House and Senate. It is still far too early to tell what sort of a president Mr. Trump will actually turn out to be. Will this be a pleasant four years to be a Democrat? Absolutely not. Yet, I am proud to see many people rolling up their sleeves and getting ready to fight to preserve rights likely to come under fire.
The United States will survive these next four years.