I Didn’t Vote Because Both Candidates Were Terrible — But Now We Need To Move Forward

Flickr / Oli Goldsmith
Flickr / Oli Goldsmith

I would like to start out by making this clear: I did not vote for Donald Trump. In all honesty (and I know that I will receive backlash for this), I did not vote at all in the 2016 election. To all my friends who are hurt or upset by this, I sincerely apologize. And I stand with you, regardless of your beliefs because I think it is a beautiful thing to execute our right to vote as Americans. However, I made a personal, informed decision early on that if I could not support either candidate’s views whole heartedly, I would feel dishonest placing a vote. I hope that can be understood.

Last night, I sat on my couch for hours, my heart pounding, anticipating the outcome that would sweep our nation a mere few hours later. I was terrified and anxious.

Terrified of how polarized our country has become. Scared that regardless of the result, people would riot. Fearful that we, as a nation, would forget that we are one.

I told myself that I would be okay with any outstanding result, because I trust the rest of our nation to make a sound decision. I trust our people. And clearly, as we have seen through last night’s results, the silent majority of Americans are trying to tell us something. They are upset. They are very clearly fed up with the current system. They want change. Unfortunately, the change came in the form of an outsider with no political experience. This election proved that we, a country who prides themselves on freedom of speech and equality, have refused to listen to the people. The vast majority of our country seemed to be unhappy with current policies.

Yet as I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I realize that people— family members and close friends especially—are also experiencing a great sense of dread, fear and sadness. While many are celebrating, just as many are mourning for an outcome that they truly believed would be different today.

Who can we blame? The media? Maybe.

The media projected a Clinton win. The media portrayed Donald Trump as a joke, something that would never actually happen. The media created an environment of fearful expectations if he were to come out of this election on top. Now look where we are. Fearful and as divided as ever.

Now for my own personal beliefs: I did not want Trump to be our Republican candidate any more than the rest of you. (I also did not want Clinton to be our Democratic candidate either—just to make things even.)

But here we are. It is November 9th; Donald Trump won the election; and the sun is still shining over our beautiful country.

Is is okay for Donald Trump, or anyone for that matter, to make racist remarks? Misogynist remarks? Is it okay to use hate words? ABSOLUTELY NOT. This is not what we want to teach our children, the future generations of this country. This is not the kind of America we want to create moving forward.

Yet I truly believe that many of his comments have been exaggerated by the media. I like to think that all of this racist jargon is just that—jargon. We as a people, will not let those hate words become our reality. I choose hope over fear. I honestly hope that he, as our 45th President of the United States will simmer down and prove us all wrong.

Is Donald Trump the best person for the most important job in the United States? Absolutely not. But regardless, the polarization of our country must end. This is serious and worrisome. This is not the time to name call others based on their political beliefs, to shame others for who they voted for. We cannot condemn Trump voters for expressing their beliefs, similar to the way we cannot condemn Clinton voters for being upset today. We cannot perpetuate a system of hate, name calling and close mindedness.

United we stand or together we fall. We still, and will always, have a lot to be thankful for.

For those of you who are mourning the outcome of this election, we must remember that love is love is love is love. Always. Let’s let love and human decency dominate these next four years. TC mark

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