The internet is exploding, at least on my American feed. A few of my friends are excited to see Donald Trump “Make America Great Again.” Quite a few of my friends—especially my Mexican friends—are very concerned about the safety of their families and the trends of distrust and even hatred they’ve faced from some of Trump’s supporters.
Personally, I have never considered Trump to be a very good presidential candidate. He lacks political experience, and more importantly, he seems to be culturally ignorant, which I find a dangerous thing in someone who works in foreign policy. I’m concerned about his degrading comments about Muslims, women, and foreigners, and more concerned that his comments might give excuses to others to escalate distrust into hatred or even violence.
Having said that, I’m beginning to understand why people would still vote for him. I know several people who, like myself, have deep concerns about popularizing abortion. I know others who are more concerned with Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings than Trump’s. I know some who are simply glad to see the government swing in a more conservative direction. All in all, I’m reminding myself that, while I didn’t want him as president, I can’t hate his supporters—especially since my main problem with Trump is the hatred I’ve seen following him.
My Facebook feed is filled with pain right now. Pain and fear. There’s pain from Clinton supporters who were hoping to tell their daughters that they can grow up to be president. There’s pain from immigrants concerned about Trump’s plans to “build a wall.” (Whatever that actually means. How much cement do you think it would take just to cover the Texas border?) There’s pain from people who have felt victimized by the rhetoric that both parties have been slinging at each other. There’s a lot of frustration here in Utah, where so many people were hoping for a third-party victory.
The pain makes sense. When something hurts, it hurts. But let’s remember that pain will heal, and fear is often a choice. Faith can cure fear.
I have faith that God is in charge, not The Donald. I have faith that by following God, we will be able to make it through. But lest you think this post is only for the religious, please consider this edit: I have faith that we are in charge.
The President is the leader of this country. But he is not the country. If we love our neighbors, then any racist rhetoric that comes from the White House will travel no further. If we take care of our families, they will always have somewhere to come home to. If we show our daughters the many women currently in power, they won’t feel cheated by one position that went to a man.* If Donald Trump does go off the deep end, it might be difficult to pick up the pieces—but there are 324 million of us, and only one of him. I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to clean up whatever mess he might throw at us.
If you’re excited about Trump’s presidency, I’m glad—but remember that having a good president does not magically create a good nation. We are the nation. If you want to see this country change for the better, we’re all going to have to pitch in. If you want better education, volunteer at a local school. If you want better jobs in your community, start a business. If you’re all for gun rights, take a class and get a concealed carry permit—so you can use a gun safely and responsibly. If you want to help stop abortion, start asking why it’s so important to so many women—and then see if you can help solve some of those concerns.
Let’s face it—we’re not very good at agreeing with each other. But there are a few things we all seem to want: safety, health, food, shelter, respect, dignity, good education—and on a local level, a lot of us can help out with those. Take care of your families. Take care of your friends. Take care of your communities.
Donald Trump won’t make America great again. We will. ♦
*There are currently women serving as heads of state in New Zealand, Granada, The Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Estonia, Austria, Taiwan, Nepal, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Croatia, Malta, Chile, South Korea, Switzerland, Lithuania, and Liberia.
[Edit: it has been brought to my attention that I left Germany off this list. Add that one, too.]