Prior to Tuesday, November 8th there was a lot of people questioning what Donald Trump and his supporters would do after the election. Strangely, celebrating was never seriously considered and now it is the supporters of Hillary Clinton who are talking about not accepting the results of the election so I want to remind everyone of Michelle Obama’s inspiring quote.
Acknowledging is not Accepting
A lot of very prolific people have shared their thoughts about the election and after reading several articles I’ve come to my own conclusions. First, acknowledging isn’t accepting, but if we want others to respect democracy we have to acknowledge results even when we find them upsetting. One of my biggest issues with many people over the past 8 years was their inability to acknowledge Obama as a legitimate President (I lump Trump in that group).
Love and Hope > Hate and Anger
Another lesson I am reminding myself is that while I am seething with resentment: resentment with roughly half my fellow Americans; resentment with the Electoral System; resentment towards Trump for raising up and empowering hate groups; and… the list goes on and on. I must remember that I do believe in the power of love and hope and it is these emotions I want to have consume and motivate me – not anger and hate. I look to men like the non-violent, civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. for this inspiration.
I have a voice and I’ll be damned if I’m going keep quiet
While I may feel more marginalized today and wonder what is going to happen next, I tell myself that this election has served as a wake up call. I had hoped that after November 8th I could stop talking about politics. That will not happen now. On the campaign trail Bernie Sanders’ calls for a revolution (a peaceful revolution BTW) resonated. Calls for social justice from the Black Lives Matters movement inspired. And of course the LGBTQ movement and Pride now takes on added significance. The people who support these movements are still here and they need your help. So while I am troubled by certain groups who feel emboldened by a Trump victory, I am also looking to the Sanders movement, Black Lives Matters, LGBTQ community and others to come together, because to borrow a phrase I really do believe, “Together, we are stronger“.
Trump’s victory has upset me to my core, and for the moment changed how I view my country even calling into question what I think it means to be an American. I will not let that disappointment mutate into hate or despair, and I hope you will not let that happen either.
Some great articles worth reading:
Here’s Why We Grieve
Dear Queer America: Here is what we must do now that Trump will be President
Trump Victory Alarms Gay and Transgender Groups