Wednesday 9 November 2016

Trump and change

The ball is in your court now, American Republicans.

I normally avoid politics and other controversial topics on my blog, because I have always felt it is important to keep my audience focused on the technical. Our common ground is unifying and allows us to look past our differences and learn from one another. I feared that if I started talking about politics, people would look at me differently, and I'd lose some of that audience. They wouldn't trust me and I wouldn't be able to enrich their lives.

I feel like that part of life in America is over now. President-Elect Donald Trump talks outlandishly, without filter or censor. People love him, people hate him, people think he's a joke, people think he's the best non-politician the political world has ever seen. As for myself, I'm somewhere between; but if I have learned a single thing from Mr Trump, it is that the world will not end if you speak up and say what is really on your mind. And perhaps this is a good kind of change. Without open discussion, we can't ever heal the divisiveness that permeates the entire country's political landscape, and indeed, the entire world's. There is a not-too-distant past where the words 'conservative' and 'liberal' were words that describe someone's political views, and were not used as slurs or to denigrate someone. Perhaps now that the precedent has been set, we can have open and honest discussions with one another. I'm not sure if that is where we are headed or not. I can only hope that we can learn to be respectful of each other's differences.

Mr Trump has said some things I agree with; per I Side With, I agree with almost 40% of his policies. It's not perfect, but it isn't exactly a disaster either. (For full disclosure, I only had just over 70% of agreement with Clinton.) He has also said a great deal of very offensive things. He has said things that have made some of my friends sick, depressed, and suicidal now that he has become President Elect of the United States. I urge these people especially to remember that first and foremost, Mr Trump is a showman. He knows how to pull in ratings, and was a reality television star. He may think less of Muslims than he should, but I don't think he will actually have every last one deported back to their homelands — especially since some of them were born and raised in the United States. He may think far less of women than he should, but that thinking is common in men from his generation. His objectification of women and misogyny is of course never acceptable, but women have had much worse oppressors than he ever could be.

I have friends of many classes. I have friends who are very well off — the typical Silicon Valley millionaire. I have friends who are destitute and live pay stub to pay stub, and would likely go homeless if they had even a small hiccup in work. I have friends who are in minority classes: African-American people, transgendered people, people with disabilities. We are all Americans. We all deserve a place in general society. Our society is built on the fact, not opinion, that everyone is created equal. There is room in the United States for the rich and poor, and the different races and religions that comprise this great country. No matter who won the United States election this year, our society has been broken, is broken, and will remain broken until it is healed.

Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, other party members, independents, and even those disillusioned with the political system as a whole: society will only begin to be fully inclusive when we all learn to love each other. We have to work together. We have to stand up for what we believe in. Conflicting interests only break people into hate when they do not bend to compromise. I plan on writing letters to my state Senator, who is a Republican, and telling him my concerns going forward. I will have my voice heard. My Senator will, of course, have to balance my voice with others in our great state of Oklahoma. But together, I feel that we can find common ground and be able to find peace and happiness no matter what our political views.

Mr Trump. You promised to make America great again. If you can set an example with moderation and fairness, balancing differing viewpoints to create a clear path forward, you just may be able to succeed. I did not vote for you, but I still wish to work with you to create a common good for all of the United States.