This was a hard election for many people for a multitude of reasons in a seemingly infinite array of directions. In my nearly 33 years of existence, hardly have I ever seen an outcry of such extensive proportions. Maybe it’s the access to media, maybe it’s social media, maybe it’s the true disappointment of the American people (whether before or after the election). In whatever way a person voted, everyone has the right to civility, diplomacy, and peace.
It’s fine to vent your excitement or sorrow; in fact, I would argue to say that it’s absolutely healthy. Sing praises, cry, whatever you need to do, but do not hinder or demean the opinion of others. Do not presume to understand all of the myriad of layers to a person’s decision. Hardly does anyone ever agree 100% with a candidate, you simply choose who you feel would be best suited for the role.
In the wake of this election, I have been called a “liberal elitist,” “arrogant,” “overeducated,” and “fed with a silver spoon.” I do not feel I have to justify my choices, but I also feel I am being placed into a corner like a trapped, starving animal. I am a woman, a teacher, a small business owner, I work two full time jobs, as does my husband; I have paid my student loans for 12 years, and have at least another 150 years left. I pay my mortgage, my taxes, and my bills. These were all choices I made – not to be called these hateful things, but because I wanted to build a life where I educated people to learn how to make choices civilly, not because I wanted to dictate what another person should believe, or because I wanted to be “better” than anyone else.
I may not agree with your choice, but I will forever defend your right to make that decision. What I will not tolerate, and what I plead with all the American people not to tolerate, is to use this election for bigotry, hatred, vitriol, or seditious commentary. We are Americans, whether we or our parents immigrated here or were born here, and we all have the right to not fear. Hatred towards other people, or towards either candidate, only fuels ignorance.
I hate that I have to fear writing this post because I may be isolating people I love and care about, but I would hate more to watch men and women of all races, faiths, ethnicities, or sexual orientations to be that same trapped animal. I do not believe a person is ignorant for voting in either direction, in fact, I commend you for voting and making your choice. I believe ignorance is the true root of hatred, and I only feel there is ignorance when you hate a person simply for being who and what they are.
So this is my call to my America: Please just remember that your words and actions matter. For as much hatred there already is in the world, respond to it with calmness, with peace, with love. There is far too much violence without good, hardworking, everyday people adding to the mix. We have our right to pursue happiness, as do all people. Check yourself if you feel anger brewing. Write it down on paper and burn it. Be the person your dog thinks you are.