Let me make something very clear. I love America. I may have not done as much for it as some, but I am someone who has always been proud of my country. Part of what makes me proud is the fact that I live in a country where I have the right to share my opinions and feelings openly. When I woke up this morning, as someone who finds the specter of a Trump presidency hard to accept, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel. I wondered if I’d be angry, scared, frustrated. Maybe even shocked. I was none of those things. What I was instead was profoundly sad. Sad because it felt to me as though this country had taken a huge step backwards, or even worse, it made me wonder if Trump was right. Maybe America isn’t that great. All that being said, I am very open and hopeful I end up being very wrong, even though today it’s very hard for me to imagine that being the case.
My sadness is not specifically about Donald Trump. It’s about the country as a whole. It was impossible for me to imagine that this nation I love and respect so much would elect a man who has said the things he said, ridiculed the people he has ridiculed, and given life and excitement to the worst elements of society would be chosen as my next president. Nevertheless that is exactly what happened. And it didn’t just barely happen. Donald Trump’s victory was quite convincing and shockingly resounding. I kept replaying in my head his mocking of the handicapped man, his attack on Megyn Kelly after the first debate, his stupid nicknames for his opponents and his initial refusal to disavow David Duke and I became even more sad. Sad that more than a few people were willing to elect him to the highest office in the land. Sad that we have become so much of a Reality TV culture that a man who exemplified that culture had achieved such power. I saw a picture of young ones who mean a lot to me and wondered what this country, my country I have loved so much had done , what kind of future they were being given and I became even more sad. I made a comment on social media exposing my feelings and the response I got from a Trump supporter was “grow a pair”. That made me even more sad, not because I can’t take it, of course I can, but because it was one more reason I found the idea of President Trump even more difficult to accept. It was bringing out the mean in people, and there are many people who will have a lot more difficult of a time time dealing with that type of reaction than I did may just be forced into silence. But I mostly felt sad because as much as I love America, I woke up this morning loving her a little less than I did the day before the election. Even with the fact that this was a result of America’s freedom, I still felt how I felt, and nothing made me more sad than that did.
All that being said, I not only hope I am terribly mistaken, I want to see that I am as soon as possible. I am open to learning my feelings are wrong. Hopeful that the element within Trump’s base that is motivated by hate and bigotry is so small they get lost in the crowd of hard-working Americans who just want a better life. Hopeful that our next president will truly be a president for the whole country and take into account the issues that matter to everyone, not just the conservative element in our society. Hopeful that as disgusting as some of his comments were, Trump only spoke as he did to get elected and that he will be a leader that shows judgment and decency.
I’m sad today because it doesn’t feel like that’s very likely, but hopeful because I have to be that way. Because if I’m right, we’ve all lost, not just those who hoped for a different outcome. I believe in supporting our president and will do so with an open mind, hoping that when all is said and done that I was wrong and that we as a country will be at worst OK. If that happens I will be significantly happier than if I am right, and I am very open to that outcome.
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