In such a a strange time, it’s important to listen to each other. Especially when we don’t agree. Now is not the time to go on your unfriending spree on your social media platforms. There is a greater problem with society here.
There is the fact that there were people who would never publicly say they supported Trump because of the dangerous rhetoric that most of his supporters seemed to be comfortable sharing, but still ended up voting for him when nobody was looking. Something must be seriously wrong with the government and status quo (don’t read this as Obama) for them to look past all that and still vote for Trump. Many of them are part of the very groups that the dangerous rhetoric oppresses and yet they still supported him. You need to pause and ask why before calling them names in disbelief.
There is also the reality that many people are incapable of thinking holistically enough to realize the side effects of this election on people who are not like them because they have never been taught to think outside their bubble. Their passion for breaking the status quo and bringing down the establishment overtook their ability to reason clearly.
There is also the issue that many, if not the majority, of the people who voted associate their government wholly with the presidential figurehead. Add personal beliefs/convictions and fear of anything that is different to a poor understanding of how the government really works and has worked throughout history, is a recipe for an election like we’ve seen.
We should have been trying to listen and engaging in intellectual conversation about the system with these people rather than letting our initial disdain for Trump and what he represents get the better of us. All your unfriending and deleting will do based on the way social media works will be to further create the silos that allowed fear, hatred and misunderstanding win an election that will definitely affect the world. We let the media get the better (or worse) of us.
There are larger systemic issues at play here and they are all connected. Don’t be fooled into thinking a change in the presidency is either the change you need or the end of everything. Despite everything, there is still hope because this election has opened everybody’s eyes, even just a crack, to the realities around us.
It’s what you do next that is critical.
So don’t let fear or anger win. Think and reflect. Educate yourselves and others. Engage with people and not just the character they appear to represent. “Othering” is not the way to go. Balance perspectives. Be angry, be disappointed, mourn, grieve, take care of your mental health and WORK to contribute to truly sustainable change. So many more thoughts on the events of last night, but I’ll leave it at that.
Sending love to everyone who is genuinely terrified of what this election means for them because love is truly what we need.