Freedom of speech is our right. Many have fought and died for it, and because of it. With every right, there is a responsibility though. Our responsibility is to listen, as well as speak.
We, as Americans, owe each other a listening ear. I ask that you read this to the end; if you think that I am wrong in my observations, then comment with your own perspective or experience. I will listen with an open mind.
Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be. ~Sydney J. Harris
“There is no way that it will happen.”
“How did this happen?”
“Is this really happening?”
“What will happen next?”
“What happens now?”
For every non-Trump supporter, this was the chronological set of “happen” statements from the last six months. I, for one, said these words, as well as heard them from others.
In my opinion, this election brought out The Ugly in many Americans. It criticized people of different races, religions, origins, and beliefs. It objectified women and undermined our worth. It insulted our military, its leaders, a Gold Star Family, and a former POW. It mocked people with disabilities, and discriminated against the LGBT community. In the end, The Ugly divided our nation from the fundamental values that our country was founded upon.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
There is no way that it will happen.
Well, it did. Now, it is time to move forward.
Many republican, conservative, and “angry” voters did not like, either the current financial state of our nation, the policies of the Obama administration, Bill and Hillary Clinton, the progressive movement of the Supreme Court’s decision of gay marriage, the continued support of a woman’s right to choose, or all of the above.
The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. ~George Washington
How did this happen?
I blame the media and people’s silence. It was the media coverage of every outlandish word that Mr. Trump spoke in the very beginning, monopolizing the coverage for any other Republican candidate. It was the media coverage of every “expert” who predicted a close race, but a Clinton victory based on poll numbers. It was the media that chose to cover the mudslinging of all candidates, rather than the issues that voters so desperately wanted to hear about. It was the media, whose coverage blinded the viewers from what was about to happen.
It was also the silence from many Trump voters who did not openly acknowledge their support, skewing any poll numbers. It was the silence of the conservative American voter who is secretly waiting for the next Supreme Court Justices to repeal Roe v. Wade and the 2015 ruling of gay marriage. It was the silence of the American voter who, deep down, is just not ready for a woman president. It was the silence of the American voter who may not have liked Trump, but did not want Bill and Hillary Clinton in any other White House administration. It was the silence of the American voter who wanted change, but was afraid to tell anyone. It was their silence, and ultimately their vote, that have since made every person question our country’s values, allegiance, safety, or future.
The first step in solving a problem is to tell someone about it. ~John Peter Flynn
Is this really happening?
Yes, it is. Even though the official Electoral College has not met, Secretary Hillary Clinton has conceded and the country has acknowledged that Mr. Trump will be our next President. In addition, two days after the election, President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama, met with President-elect Trump and Mrs. Trump at the White House. Yes, it is happening.
What will happen next?
It is disturbing what is currently happening next in our country. Peaceful protests make sense, but riots and vandalism absolutely do not! Violence and property damage will not change this election.
What should happen next? We should hope for a successful presidency. We should support America’s choice for President—the highest office in our country. We should support the person elected to this office, whether he was your choice, or not.
On Friday, January 20, 2017, President-elect Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. According the Twentieth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, his four-year term will officially begin on noon of that day. He will become OUR President. Until that time, President Barack Obama still holds the office.
What happens now?
We need to be fearless. Many Americans are afraid and this needs to stop. We ALL need to be unafraid to:
- express our personal and political views
- defend our beliefs
- challenge opposing viewpoints
- peacefully and respectfully protest
- acknowledge, to ourselves, that open-mindedness does not mean complete acceptance of another’s point of view
- admit that we are hurt, or confused, by the decisions of our family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors; people who we thought that we knew
- have the conversation that will reveal the hurt, awaken the anger, flood the tear ducts, find the root, and ultimately heal the heart
- accept that compromise does not mean defeat; it means progress
- work together for a common goal
Isn’t it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most? ~Charles A. Lindbergh
Don’t forget to use your voice, follow your heart, and open your mind. Most importantly, remember to find your purpose, pursue your own happiness and love thy neighbor.
The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. ~Benjamin Franklin
I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty
and justice for all.
We must not forget that we are the United States of America. United we stand, divided we fall. Stay united!