Sunday, November 6, 2016

Election 2016. The ugliest we've ever been

Much has been made about how Trump's campaign has brought out the worst in his supporters. Many people are  being openly racist and misogynistic because.... well, their candidate is onboard with them. This post does not speak to those points, because they have been said. And I agree. This post is specifically about how this election has made us all uglier. Both #NeverTrump and #Never Hillary.

I'll start by saying a couple of things.
I am Hillary supporter. Not in a "best of two evils" or a #NeverTrump way, but in a honest pragmatic, "She's the best candidate for presidency we've had in awhile. She is good, smart, hardworking and I consider it a privilege to cast a vote for her." So as not to get distracted from my main point, you are welcome to read America's best hope by The Economist or watch this hilarious 8 minute video Clinton vs Trump and my absolute favorite video with Louis C.K. Louis C.K on Conan. I also think Trump is literally, the worst.

Back to my point: The 2016 election has truly made us worse off. Many of us cannot unsee the ignorance in our friends, coworkers and superiors. We cannot unfeel that moment when we lose respect for the intelligence of someone because they publicly declare support for Trump.
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The problem is, until now, we have been able to understand and politely disagree with the other side's candidate while maintaining our friendship with people whose support they have. Not this time. The reality is, the winner of most elections does so, because they got a required majority of votes how ever calculated and is then obligated to take office and lead those who voted for or against them.

As a result of this election, many of us belong to circles where calling someone an idiot, a fool, and other colorful language because they support Donald Trump is acceptable and retweeted. This includes Clinton calling many of his supporters "deplorable," a statement she later apologized for. As a result of this election, we very well might have a new normal, where intellectual political discourse has been exchanged for speaking very ugly words to each other.  I know I have personally closed off my mind to, and unfollowed or muted Trump supporting friends on my social media.

Four year ago, and four years before that, and before that, you felt strongly about your candidate, maybe argued vehemently about certain issues, but most people did not think the opposition's supporters were just stupid, racist and bigoted for their candidate choice. Yet, here we are in 2016. It is truly unfortunate that this is where we are. 

With my limited study and knowledge of politics, I think Trump truly is the natural result of the last 8 years of pure vitrol coming from the right, from Congress to the tea party supporters who acted as a stonewall against President Obama's agenda. It goes to show, you cannot plant ugliness and reap beauty.

Win or lose,whoever you support, this is the election that has truly made us the ugliest we've ever been.  And a Clinton presidency (fingers crossed) is not going to magically erase that. Not to be the agent of doom, but, it truly will take some work to return this nation to more respectable politics.

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