What a week, amiright?
I woke up Tuesday morning feeling hopeful. My absentee ballot somewhere across the Pond, the London air was a little crisp and not too cold, and the fresh anxiety of a new president was in my heart. I thought back to when I watched Barack Obama hit 270 back in 2008, or when he did it again in 2012. I thought of my mom crying on the couch, my dad quiet for maybe the first time in his life. I was in seventh grade in 2008 and a sophomore in high school studying American Politics in 2012. Wow. I remember thinking. The next election that comes up is one that I get to vote in.
Fast forward through the next four years to a year and a half ago when Bernie was still a thing and Trump was still a joke. Not Trump I remember my brother saying. Who the hell would vote for The Apprentice?
Jokes on all of us, I guess.
Because Wednesday morning I was exhausted. I was on one hour of sleep, all hope gone, emotionally wiped, and genuinely distraught. But, like any millennial — I really, really, hate that word. Almost as much as I hate the fact that 36% of us came out to vote — I went on Facebook.
It was easy scrolling at first: many of my like-minded friends and family posting about their heartbreak and distress. But then, slowly but surely, the welcome other side of the aisle showed their faces, too. I, for the first time in a while, saw an even amount of political thought distribution on my feed. But then, something confused me:
“I’m a republican but I’m not racist!’ one post read.
“I’m a republican but I’m not terrible!” said another. ”
Each was met with fiery comments and a hell of a lot of hate from both sides.
Here’s the thing:
I come from a family of immigrants. My dad voted for George W. Bush in 2000 and for McCain in 2008. Like any American, he voted for the person who he thought was the most fit to lead at that particular time. He chose the best political candidate. In 2012 he felt it was Obama. In 2016 he felt it was Clinton.
It’s not the Republican party that I hate
What I hate is a candidate who makes me feel unsafe as a woman.
What I hate is a candidate who eggs hate speech at rallies.
What I hate is a candidate who has built his entire campaign on bullying people and lying.
To my friends who feel discouraged as a Republican, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that people are questioning your ethics and judging who you are as a person. That’s not fair.
But what I am not sorry for is the fact your party’s candidate — who I know does not speak for all Republicans — is the antithesis of what I deem to be a good, respectable human. No one hates you because you’re a republican. The republican party is built on some fundamentally sound ideals that I personally just happen to disagree with and that’s fine.
Not all republicans are bad. Many of you are wonderful, intelligent, and kind human beings. The vast majority of you are A-OK. I’m sure you had reasons for who you voted for, the same way that I did. People aren’t saying they’re upset with the election simply because it’s a republican. They’re upset because of the individual candidate that no one saw coming that is now our legitimate President-elect. They’re mad at the bigotry he speaks about, the negativity he preaches, not you (that is, unless you’re these people.)
We’re still one country. Unless Colorado actually secedes, we’re still 50 wonderfully different states. Let’s work together through the hate, through the darkness, and through the stress that every single one of us is feeling right now.