As we all know, the arduous, straining journey of what was the 2016 Presidential election came to a close Tuesday night. Republican candidate Donald Trump pulled off a shocking upset, defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and causing an uproar from every corner of our nation, from people of all types. My personal opinion resides on the side of the negative. I was never a huge Hillary supporter; however, if I had the opportunity to vote, I would have voted her over Mr. Trump 1,000 times out of 1,000. Many people know this; as this election has become a popular topic of discussion these last few months, I have shared my opinion when asked, and only when asked. I do not believe in starting political debates with my peers and family, especially during this election; the only thing that creates is animosity, and one side always seems unable or unwilling to accept the other’s views. However, I have received great reactions for my stand as a Democrat:
“You’re white; why are you a Democrat?”
“I thought Democrats were only poor people?”
“How are you not a Republican when you live in Hanover?”
“Are you stupid or are you joking?”
Yes, these are real responses, from real students, that I have received for my opinion. I have been on the receiving end of mocking for my candidate’s loss, for my choice of the “wrong” Presidential nominee ever since the campaign began, and even more so since the election concluded. I have even heard teachers, at my own school, outwardly mocking those for choosing the losing candidate, ridiculing their opinion. I have seen family members, friends, and peers post awful things about Democrats and those who voted for Hillary, bullying those who don’t share their opinion. As a human being, I would like to say that these actions are embarrassing, disgusting, and despicable. Is this the beginning of your plan to “Make America Great Again”? Your inability to respect your peers, colleagues, and fellow Americans is deplorable.
I have always believed, as long as you have a real reason, the candidate you like is the candidate you like; opinions are never wrong, and your personal preferences belong to you. I will never denounce someone for their opinion, as that is their right as an American, and I applaud those who truly know what they are preaching and stand behind it fully. However, many people seem to have forgotten this common courtesy recently, in their comments about the “deplorable, non-educated white voters,” “criminal-supporting idiots,” “moon-bats,” and “lazy sacks of sh*t” that voted for Hillary Clinton. To those of you who have said something along these lines, be ashamed of yourselves. That is not having a strong opinion; that is being an ignorant, inconsiderate person, with no respect to your fellow Americans and, more importantly, fellow human beings. My father has worked 14 hour days as a teacher and coach quite often; he is one of millions like him, who proudly call themselves Democrats. I will stand for those blue collar Americans who hold this country on their backs until the day I die.
Now, to our future President, Donald J. Trump:
I could go on about how we do not see eye to eye on our political views and about how I don’t think your unrealistic plans for office suffice; I could list statistics about the uneducated people who voted for you. However, I will not. The election is in the past now, and nothing I say in this will change its results. Also, I cannot judge your ability to run this country; you will not run our country until January, so as of now I have no basis to judge your ability as President. However, I have plenty of basis to judge you as a man. You have made several disturbing comments about women; too many to include in this article. You have belittled many popular women in our society, such as Angelina Jolie, Rosie O’Donnell, Anne Hathaway, Cher, and Heidi Klum, using adjectives such as “fat,” “gold digger,” “Miss Piggy,” and “tramp.” In your description of how to treat women, in an interview with New York Magazine, you replied “You have to treat ’em like sh*t.” You have belittled the Miss USA and Miss Universe competition, making them parade in front of you so you can get rid of the unattractive ones. This makes sense for your control of the competitions, however, as you said about them, “If you’re looking for a rocket scientist, don’t tune in tonight.” You’ve even made comments about underage women, using sexual innuendo to describe 10, 12, 14, and 17 year olds. My youngest sister is 10, and will spend her middle school years with you in office.
You have made countless comments about how worthless and despicable Mexicans are, specifically those who reside in our country illegally, doing jobs that pay under a dollar an hour, which no American citizen would ever do. You have brushed off matters of minority inequalities, belittled the Black Lives Matter movement, and made clear your anti-Muslim sentiments, and how they will be banned from this country in your time in office. You have used words of hate to destroy both your political and social opponents, never accepting their arguments, only using the tactics of a middle-school-bully to deprecate their characters.
With these traits, you managed to win the Presidential election, with an ability to persuade people that is quite unparalleled, if I may say. Now, your idiosyncrasies are on full display to the public, and will be for the next four years. My nephew, with eyes full of innocence, is 2 years old. My cousin, with the energy of a puppy, turned 6 this October. My sister, with a smile and happiness that seems to radiate around her, will turn 11 later this month. Do I want my nephew to hear the awful words you see on TV, to destroy those who merely disagree with you, and have to hear his mother call you our leader? Do I want my cousin to hear the demeaning tone you use to refer to minorities, as he approaches his beginning years of schooling, no doubt with children of minorities? Do I want my sister, as she grows into the person she will become, as she experiences middle school, to hear our President speak on women with such disgusting and deplorable tones, forcing her to reconsider her worth in today’s society? As a human being, Mr. Trump, I can never respect you, unless I see a change. I truly hope you develop some level morals, respect, integrity, and many other necessary qualities in order to successfully run our country. Although I am nervous about it, I can do nothing but put my full faith in you to maintain the success of the United States of America.
With all of the drastic opinions put out after the elections, one that I simply cannot take part in is “I am embarrassed to be an American.” Please. The President of this country will never, NEVER, fully embody the true qualities of this country. You can be embarrassed about the decision, but this decision will never change the root values of our country. Hard work, perseverance, drive, and pride in who we are will always prevail, and those concepts are something we can never be embarrassed about, no matter who our leader is. Although there will be some who find our future President to be our leader, if you share my opinion, you cannot say the same, and this is a sad realization. However, keep this in all of your hearts: we may have elected Donald Trump as our President, but we have the ability to elect ourselves as our leader. Our President does not have to lead us. In the hazed fog of the future of our country, the light from the solutions to the issues facing us will not be with him. It is up to us as American citizens to shine the light and navigate ourselves through the cloudy state of our nation, and come together to find our way through hardship.
I ask us all, citizens of all political viewpoints, races, religions, and nationalities, to come together; we have been divided too much these past 6 months. How did we let two political candidates, hungry for power, destroy the love and connections we have as Americans? We cannot let an election of one of the many positions of power in our country destroy the bonds of the American people. We are not Democrats and Republicans at heart; we are human beings. We need to have morality, we need to have love, we need to have respect, and most of all, we need to have empathy. Mr. Trump, so far, has not shown empathy. I pray that he will develop this sense, in order to help us come together. So, I ask of all you, all Americans, to open a door for a Democrat, help a Republican with a problem, and overall, treat all Americans as what they are: human beings. If there is ever a time to come together, it is now, after what was the worst Presidential election to date. The United States of America stands for so much; it is time for us to fully embody it.
Sources: “Donald Trump Sexism Tracker.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.