A few days ago, like a lot of people watching the election, my jaw dropped as the Electoral College elected Donald Trump as the new president of the United States. It is fair to say with any election, of course, there is going to be a losing side in a two party system, and in this case it was the Democrats and Hillary Clinton. In previous elections, the losing side for the most part, has graciously accepted defeat, as have I, and many of my Democratic allies, however, there is absolutely positively no denying that this time was not all the other times in recent history which is why so many people are taking to the streets and protesting and expressing their sadness and anger at what they feel this country has become.
This isn't simply a matter of one side being pissy because they lost. There are people who actively believe that is the problem here...a side of sore losers, but that is the furthest from the truth. What other president, Democratic or Republican has ever inspired such ire in our recent history after winning? I've read articles of women hoarding birth control because they fear future price hikes, the stock market going haywire fearing a Trump presidency, there are people fighting in the streets, Muslims now fear for their lives more so than they already did before, immigrants wonder if their families will be split up, the gay community feels that they will lose their rights...what other presidential candidate has had that effect in recent history without ever even setting foot in the White House? Not a one.
In our recent history, there has never been a candidate who made it into the White House who openly and repeatedly disparaged so many groups in this country...minorities, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, women, veterans, and on down the line. People talk about bringing this country together, but this is the furthest thing from that whole idea. I'm not sure what Trump supporters think all those groups should do when they hear they are not considered valued members of society to be respected like anyone else. I mean, I can't remember the last time someone called me a rapist and I was like, have my vote, run this country! That literally makes absolutely no sense, as does the disrespect of all the other groups, and now you have half a country who expects those same groups to support someone who outwardly has vilified and degraded them. Is that what you would do? You would support someone who promotes hatred of you and has encouraged others to hate you too and would support laws to actively do so?
Even though I am no Republican, I've never felt like a winning Republican candidate could not do the job of president to the best of their ability. I might not have liked their policies, but I never felt like the candidate was actively coming from a place of hate. For me personally, I have been brought up to respect other people who are different from me because at the end of the day, we all bleed the same blood, need work, have families, and are all trying to survive in this world. I have fought tirelessly alongside many people who are different from me, so that we can live in a world where those differences aren't made out to be the thing that seeks to divide us. I cannot turn my back on them or my own views and pretend that a Trump presidency is now okay, just because half this country elected him.
Respect is a two way street. It must be earned. It is not simply owed you because you wear the title of President.
At this point, I do not see how that is possible for Trump to earn a large portion of this countries respect or allegiance. I think he will have an all but impossible task of trying to convince the MANY people he has alienated in his campaign that he is best for them, their families, or this country. I expected more out of this country, but what we are seeing is the sad truth...that some people would rather support hatred, then promote love.