Election Reflections: “Hate Won”?

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In the United States, the election is over, but the rhetoric, the ugliness, and the bad behavior continues. Social media is still filled with barbed comments, and citizens are still protesting. It doesn’t help that, for the first time that I know of, the president-elect called his opponent so that she could congratulate him or that the runner-up gave a concession speech filled with code words to encourage her supporters to continue the fight because “America” had made a bad choice.

To me, it’s a no-brainer that we had an extremely low voitng turnout: this is not the way most Americans want their leaders to behave.

However, in the aftermath of such an spiteful election, I think it is the attitudes that I have seen reflected on social mediia that disturb me the most. Especially when I read someone telling the world, “Today, I had to tell my children that hate won.”

Really?

Who said you had to tell you children that? Did hate really win, and is it fair to paint fellow citizens who disagree with your world view in that matter? Have you polled people who voted for Mr. Trump to find out why they voted that way?

Perhaps you could have told your children that, even when things don’t go the way we think they should, the American election system still works. The people have a voice in who governs them.

You might also have told your children that, whether or not we disagree with those who are elected, we have a duty as citizens to work to build and maintain a country where everyone is encouraged and has an opportunity to be their best.

You could have said that a lot of the issues over which we have been divided are deep and complex, but that we adults are doing our best to solve them using the laws and processes provided by our country.

Understand, I am NOT denying that Mr. Trump said some extremely disturbing things throughout the duration of his campaign. I admit that I have misgivings about anyone leading that has to keep going back and “explaining away” what he or she has said previously.

But I think the larger issue is not who is running the big show, but what we are swallowing as truth and then regurgitating to others. The people still hold the power — each person has a lot of power to influence others. How we behave ourselves makes a huge impact on the world in which we live.

Do we really have to buy the black-and-white thinking that has been crammed down our throats? Is it really true that someone who disagrees with my point of view must disagree becuase they are vile and hateful?

Do we have to run around claiming that it’s all over and there’s nothing left for us to do because the government has to solve all of our problems? Do we have the fortitude to join volunteer groups that are making a difference and actually be involved in change?

Personally, my choice is to bury the hatchets we have wielded throughout the campaigns reach across the divide, and extend a hand of friendship and brotherhood/sisterhood that has defined our nations ideals from the beginning.

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