Why I’m Ashamed

Why+I%27m+Ashamed

Xavier Maier, Editor

I am ashamed. Yes, this is about the election. But no, this isn’t just another whine-fest about Trump winning; I’ve already gotten that out of my system. This is about the people who largely share the same views as me doing things that no American should ever do. I don’t care how upset you are; you cannot burn the flag of a country that has given you all you have, a flag that so many people have traded their lives for so the rest of us could keep waving it. You cannot riot or say “the system is broken” when the person you are protesting said the exact same thing to garner pity that he was (or so it seemed) losing. That is ridiculous, unprompted, and exactly the kind of hate that got Trump elected. I’m all for expression through the First Amendment, and I encourage protest, but not when it insults a country that still has so much good despite electing a president who may as well already be impeached. That is why I am ashamed.

I understand being upset. Believe me, I’m just as upset as the next guy that we have racist, misogynistic Creamsicle strutting into office this coming January, and I’m not really happy with our country either. But I am also doing my best to understand. Most of the people who voted for Trump are not intolerant pigs like their president-elect appears to be. They have valid views and many good reasons for making the decision that they did. I don’t share those views. In fact, until recently, I was acting under anger so intense that I had a genuine desire to suppress the opinions of those who support Trump. But giving in to the kind of intolerance that I’m so afraid will run rampant under Trump’s reign is not the way to stop it.

A man who boasts about sexually assaulting women will be the next president. A man who was repeatedly sued for systematically discriminating against African-American tenants in his apartment complexes will be the next president. A man who cannot take criticism for his plethora of unacceptable actions and words without responding like a petulant child will be the next president. A man who scammed people out of millions of dollars for his self-titled “university” (yes, Trump is as much of a criminal as Hillary is alleged to be) will be the next president. A man who campaigned on excluding an entire major religion from a country founded on religious tolerance will be the next president. This is all true, regardless of political affiliation, and I don’t like it. But you won’t see me trying to incite civil war by saying things like “he’s not MY president.” He is your president. He is everyone in America’s president. Sure, he needs to condemn spreading hate in his name before I will have a shred of respect for him. No, I don’t think it’s even remotely okay to use his economic policies or a hatred of Hillary to justify voting for and ratifying Trump’s actions. But other people do, and it was enough people to elect him president. Personally, I believe the electoral college was implemented precisely to prevent candidates like Trump from being elected. However, it happened for a reason other than a new White Power movement, and to believe that’s the only reason is naive and untrue.

You don’t have to agree with Trump or his supporters. As I’ve made blatantly obvious in my article, I hate the man with a passion that parallels his passion for building walls. Even so, you can’t show them the same kind of hate that you fear. Racism still exists, true, and sexism is likely even more prevalent. But very, very few of Trump’s supporters genuinely want to send America back to the ‘50s. It is worth understanding and considering that their reasons are largely based on foreign policy, economic policy, and a desire to see something change in our great country. I am not proud to call Donald Trump my president, but I will not continue to allow myself to hate over it. That only accelerates what I don’t want to happen. In order to prevent such radical views from swinging into office in the form of a toupee-toting baked potato again, an effort needs to be made to find middle ground and compromise between both parties.

As Obama reminded Americans after whom I once believed to be the next Hitler was elected, “we are all on the same team.” That’s right: Team America. If we want what’s best for this country, we have to treat it like a child with one parent who is laid-back and lenient and one who is strict and wants the kid to grow up the same way the parent did. With some issues, we give the child free reign to make their own decisions and learn from the consequences, good or bad. In others, we lay down the law with an iron fist and stick to tradition. If this country is to progress into adulthood, we have to combine liberal views and conservative views. So what do you want to do? Do you want to divorce your spray-tanned spouse and leave the child to burn? Or do you want to find an understanding and raise the child to become the land of tolerance and power that Grandpa Washington and Pop Jefferson always wanted? It’s your choice.