Well, I guess it’s technically two nights ago as I write this. Anyway.
I never have supported and do not support Donald Trump. Throughout his campaign, he never presented a single policy position that wasn’t some gross caricature born out of a fundamental misunderstanding of what typical conservatives believe. Several examples immediately come to mind: concerns about border security became “we’re going to build a wall and Mexico will pay for it”, the call for national security against terrorist attacks got deformed into “let’s ban all Muslims coming from ‘terrorist countries’”, pro-life concerns got mistranslated into “women must be punished for having abortions.” He threatened to imprison journalists who printed negative things about him and to ban an entire religion, which would be both direct violations of the First Amendment. I’m not even sure he could tell you what the First Amendment says.
Yet, somehow, Americans found faith in these populist ramblings. And somehow, Trump will be our next president. It really hit me earlier tonight – beyond all the offensive things he’s said, this is the guy who up until a couple of years ago was known only for his wealth, bad haircut and firing people on his reality show.
Despite how bad it sounds, however, I’m not so sure it deserves the hysteria with which people have reacted. I couldn’t tell you the number of people I’ve talked to (or seen posting on social media) who described how they woke up in tears this morning because of the election’s outcome. We hosted a “post-election healing space” in (which I don’t think would have happened if Clinton won, but that’s beside the point). They truly believed that this singular man could take away their basic rights.
That’s a shame. It’s sad that he made them feel this way, but it’s even sadder when this isn’t true. We have checks and balances here. Despite GOP control of Congress and the ease with which they’d confirm a Supreme Court justice nominated by Trump, I find it hard to believe that his more radical statements (building the wall, deporting 11 million people) will actually pass without scrutiny.
We can’t do anything about it anymore, folks. It’s over. Clinton lost, Trump won. Perhaps instead of badmouthing the millions of people who voted for Trump over social media, which would probably include several of your friends and family, we could actually have a conversation. Instead of feigning shock that so much of America isn’t as progressive as you are, perhaps we could try to understand the anger that clearly drove Trump supporters to vote for such an unqualified candidate, and how he tapped into it.
But that won’t happen. Liberals will continue to call Trump supporters all uniformly racist misogynistic bastards and calling for the assassinations of both Trump and his vice president Mike Pence in total disregard for difference of opinion.
If we rely on stereotypes, caricatures, and generalizations to explain different political views, we’ll never see the real people that exist past them. If we can’t communicate with each other, we lose our unity. The drastically different American societies will continue to drift farther and farther apart until they fail to recognize each other.