The Great Divide

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Think I can still throw my hat in? ;p

Sure why not, I’ll be the millionth blog post that rants about recent political events.

So in case you didn’t hear, there was an election yesterday.

What gets me down today—other than not having had more options as far as candidates—is scrolling through social media in the election aftermath.

I’m not talking about the legitimately sad posts, the ones disappointed in how things went. I get that.

I’m talking about the ones that are dividing friendships.

Last night, I read a post (paraphrased) in which this person essentially said that they wanted anyone who voted for a third-party candidate or wrote one in to delete them off Facebook. Not just if they voted for Trump, but if they voted for anything that did not line up with this person’s view.

I don’t actually know this person that well so it probably would’ve been a non-issue had I been deleted, but the sentiment behind the writer’s words seemed to be so clouded by ignorance.

I’m trying to practice grace though, since I know so many (myself included) are bewildered, upset and confused by what’s happening and are struggling to process through it all.

However, I don’t think the way to do so is to close ourselves off from anyone who voted—or didn’t vote—for a particular candidate. This goes both ways.

If there’s anything I learned from this year’s election—besides the fact that our political system is flawed and that we should never have an election like this ever again—it’s that diplomacy, even on just a casual conversational level, is so rare but so needed if we’re expected to get anywhere.

It saddens me when I see statuses and Tweets that say “If you’re voting for XXXXX I’m deleting you!!”

I’ve seen those messages on both sides actually, and you folks are not solving any of the problems our country is facing.

Why do you think there were so few Trump or Clinton bumper stickers this election? Everyone’s afraid of their cars getting egged or the windows smashed, lest they support the wrong candidate.

I’m even seeing people who are trying to be at peace in the midst of this political chaos called out for not being more angry with what’s happening. There’s no winning, I guess.

Freedom of speech, the freedom to share varying viewpoints, is one of the fundamental principles our country was founded on.

Often wrongly attributed to Voltaire, I strongly adhere to Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s words when she wrote, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

“But our country was founded on wrong principles too!” you argue.

True. But I don’t think the first amendment was one of the wrong ones (don’t argue with me on that, I’m a journalist).

If there’s positives to be found in any of this, perhaps it’s that our other elected officials will use their conscience as they carry out various legislation and all the power won’t be solely in the hands of one person.

On a more personal level, maybe this is the sign I need to care out my Plan C life plan and get a green card marriage to an amiable Brit.

And no, I’m not trying to sweep the issues that undoubtedly lie ahead under the rug. I know who our new leader is.

I suppose in my own small way, I’m trying to keep us (whoever wants to be included in that) united while everything else seems so divided and uncertain right now. At this point, the numbers don’t lie, which means it’s more important now than ever to stay strong.

And in the spirit of free discourse, I welcome any comments, or more likely, arguments, that may make their way to this thread (although my readership is slim to none, usually). I may not respond, though—I, along with the rest of the country—am trying to move forward.

As I reach a much higher word count than I initially expected, I end my prose with these words: Anyone But Kanye 2020.

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