Divide and Conquer

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I have started and stopped this entry more times than I care to count. Less so in lack of things to say but rather the fear that what I say will be misheard, misrepresented, and misconstrued. In lieu of last nights results I have watched at least half of the United States fall apart. Disdain, disgust, and shock swept through the homes of citizens as we watched the candidate who went from being a glorified joke with no political experience defeat a woman with 30 years of experience.

Before I continue let me be clear about something, because I know a fair amount of you clicked on this just to find out who I supported/didn’t support in this election. I will not say, and I should not need to say. It is not for you to know, and if you know me you do not need to inquire anyways. The only thing that telling strangers who you supported accomplishes is a swift kick of judgment from the opposing party. That being said, I will continue.

You could chalk this result up a million different ways, but no matter how you chalk it up, do not dehumanize others in the exercise of processing it. “Well, Trump dehumanized everyone! Do you know the things he has said?”…

Yes. I’m well aware. We all are. No one of us has escaped the divisiveness of this election. I think this result is interesting in the sense of basic math. Look around folks, at your friends, your family, and respected/well rounded individuals in your community; at least a few of these individuals that you know and love voted Trump in this election.

Furthermore, I believe this election was largely underestimated, as the majority of Trump voters were closet Trump voters. People felt backed into a corner in choosing one of the two worst candidates our country as ever been presented with, and yes, I HEAR you…Trump took things to another level. His character, and his statements are without exception horrid. Contrarily, Hillary embodied the establishment in every way regardless of your personal opinion of her ability to be presidential. The DNC pushed her in, came unprepared, and underestimated Trump. For goodness sakes man was given every media platform in the country for a year. He was the center of everyone’s attention regardless of political affiliation. What was the loss for Trump? He has other people running his company, more press time than any businessman could pay for, and traveled in a jet all over the world propping himself into a media storm. He bypassed 16 running mates with ease, divided the Republican Party, and evoked a voice of opposition to rhetoric that enticed millions of voters as the lesser of two evils. The man had nothing to lose, and now he will hold the Presidency.

But let’s take Trump out of the equation for a moment. The Internet is a playground where cowards tearing into each other are the norm with or without politics. It is a place where everyone is saying something but very few are really listening. There is nothing you can say with haste that is going to stop my world even if I agree with you whole-heartedly. The truth is, you just open the doors for people to see you as immature, on the verge of a stroke, and unable to interface your opinions without also needing to dehumanize an individual or group in the process. Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not talking about the occasional vocalization of frustration and/or disagreement. I’m referring to those whose life depends on letting you know how right or wrong you really are, and if you’re wrong, you are nothing short of a piece of shit.

Thanks. That helps everyone.

Jumping back to the election hear this:

  • You have every right to be upset
  • You have every right to vocalize your disappointment
  • You don’t have to “just get over it”
  • You are allowed to process it

It’s been an intense, unruly, and disappointing election in more than one way. We aren’t going to just ease out of this. I’m not suggesting we all act like little angels who don’t have emotions, but I also do not believe that rioting, dehumanizing, chastising, or making generalizations about populations that may or may not be responsible for this outcome. Everyone went in a booth, everyone voted, and while you can clearly define what the majority feels you cannot insist on isolating every single individual to a piece of shit. Not in this election, and not with the amount of turbulence in our social framework. You may hate it, but it is true. This election brought the worst out to play on both sides from start to finish.

Going one step further I want to insist that now more than ever you be purposeful in not just saying something on social media, but doing something. Whatever convictions you have for social justice, wherever your desire to see social and cultural change, get up and go do something. History has proven time and time again that the most precedent movements of change began with small groups of dedicated individuals. Quit hash tagging about social progressions however you define them and go BE progressive. Technology can create conversation, it can create trends, and it can build alliances of conviction but it is not a substitute for real time. Whether it is at the local, regional, state, national or international level go where your conviction takes you. The government isn’t going to do it for you, and the Internet isn’t going to do it for you. We can preach tolerance and love from anywhere in the world through our screens but our screens will never act on tolerance and love. If this election has taught me anything it is that tolerance is limited. As long as tolerance fits your model, you will tolerate it.
The truth is nothing about this election brought me pride. Division ran ramped throughout the entire process, and, in our attempt to proudly exclaim our country devoid of being as ugly as our candidates we have only reaffirmed that we are. I’m not happy with the outcome, many of you who voted Trump are not happy with the outcome, and yet here we are. I am not suggesting I know the best way a country transitions into a Trump presidency. I am not suggesting you aren’t allowed to have emotion and express those emotions, but I am suggesting we not let one person divide and conquer.