The Thoughts #15: The Election

  1. “I don’t post much”, “I don’t post much about politics”, “people have said this better than I have”; Indeed, I’m not as well-informed or deep in political knowledge as many of my peers, and indeed a lot of the generations of people who lived their formative years under different presidents. But I think having a voice is important on any platform, and as the history of this blog has shown, I like a little catharsis.
  2. Prior to this election cycle, I stayed well away from politics; I think I was deeply cynical, but at the same time, ignorant of a lot of the complicated web and nuances at play. I got into politics this election cycle because of Bernie Sanders, someone who spoke a lot of genuine truth about topics I cared about. Going to a rally was really inspiring. When he lost the primary, I was disheartened and lost a lot of the fervor I initially felt. At the end of the day, Hillary Clinton, for all her faults, was the realistic choice for me. I voted for her because “not Trump”. I know, I was very against this logic. It’s flawed, but I’ve also learned that real life is not idealistic. We have to choose between two candidates we may not support because that’s the way life goes. I voted for Hillary because the people I know could be directly affected by a Trump presidency. And think of the impact she would have on women around the world as the first female president (I’m not saying I voted for her just because she was a woman, but representation is important in all forms).
  3. I also learned that Bernie Sanders represented an ideal that would never die within me. His and our goal was always to spark change and revolution through our words and actions. For this, for him sparking this intensity in me to want to make the world better, I will always feel the Bern. The political revolution continues.
  4. I was shocked. I actually tried to go to sleep early but woke up to check the results and that night, I was having crying panic attacks thinking about the horror we were going through. I had no words. I sat back and tried to take it all in; I read everyone’s post across social media trying to rationalize everything (so many great thoughts and reactions among my friends and the people I follow). Throughout the week, there were times I’d be tearing up at work just from reading these horrific stories from people being attacked, people losing hope, and people fearing for their lives.
  5. I went to the gym on Wednesday and couldn’t help but have difficulty focusing. How many people there were closeted racists just ready to attack?
  6. Something I’ve been working on for a while now is understanding things as a spectrum; nothing is this or that, nothing is bipartisan. Additionally, I’m always attempting (to really train myself) to understand the “other side”, people we vilify and fail to comprehend because they’re not us. The analogy I use is road rage, because it affects me directly. We think people driving slower than us are too slow and people faster than us are too fast. We think people driving recklessly must be crazy and everyone sucks at driving (I make this joke often). What if some people are just in a rush? What if some people just have better controls of their car? What if some people feel comfortable driving at certain speeds? We then start to understand that we don’t know what is going on in someone else’s life, so we should not judge.
  7. This takes me to my point(s), if I actually have any. I’ve been awakened to the reality that we live in a bubble. I always knew this as an OC kid, but to this extent…I think that’s why I was so shocked at these results. I’ve been lucky to grow up in a world of diversity. I’ve also never had to deal with outright, malignant racism- really, only the microaggressive kind, in which I also partook in my foolish youth. My parents are not rich, but I’ve never lived in poverty thanks to them. I don’t live lavishly and I’ve come to really appreciate what I have and understanding all the different ways in which I’m privileged. I’ve also been spoiled growing up and maturing under a presidency as great as the Obamas (I was young and uninformed during the B. Clinton and Bush II eras). And really, I don’t think I talked to anyone who was a Trump supporter (though some of by Facebook friends are). It’s helped to talk to coworkers and friends for comfort and mutual understanding, but there’s always that divide- we all have the same views, so discussion always hits a ceiling.
  8. Everyone is a hypocrite. And it’s just human nature. A lot of people are blaming others and spewing more hate and judgment. It’s easy to think you’re on the right side. But understanding people is what’s really important (“You ever wonder why vampires suck human blood? It’s because they need Vitamin D, but you didn’t think of that did you? You only think about yourself.”). Everyone has flaws, and that’s what puts us all in the same house. People are blaming the liberals, people are blaming those who made Clinton our nominee, people are blaming Bernie supporters, people are blaming third-party voters and non-voters, people are blaming Trump supporters. “Libt**ds”, “uneducated white trash”, etc. I myself have always avoided people I considered “bigoted” without ever wanting to hear their argument (I often skip over these comments on social media), but I think it’s important to inform myself how other people feel, even if their opinions are so different than mine.
  9. I want to believe that Trump and most of his supporters are not racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc. Some signs have pointed to some small hopes for the presidency. But I’m worried we have stepped backwards (and I worry about the environment). I deeply want Trump to be a successful president because he is our president, as unfortunate as that sounds to many.
  10. I’m embarrassed and ashamed of how people have been acting in light of these events. Bigotry is still so alive today and as much as I felt we were progressing, it seemed like we were just sweeping it under the rug until someone powerful can embolden people to take hateful actions. The hardest thing will be to try and understand this kind of hate.
  11. I’m still scared. I’m still outraged and if you are too, you have every right to feel whatever emotion you feel. Embrace the positive as well as the negative emotions (happiness is not so without suffering as well) and understand yourself and your beliefs better. Let yourself feel these emotions and use them to fuel your action. But don’t “move to Canada”, don’t let bigotry and discrimination be normalized; protest, inform yourself, understand all sides of an argument, take action in ways that you can, be positive change, seek to open your mind, fight for your beliefs, learn from this failure. If anything, this election cycle has shown me that I need to involve myself more than ever.
  12. I will miss the Obamas. The Obama-Biden memes have helped me feel better.
  13. I invite discourse whether you agree with me or not. And send me articles, I want to read them all. And more memes. And puppy pictures.
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~ by Btab on 12 November 2016.

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