I sympathize with your pain. I understand the feeling of hopelessness. I know how much it hurts to think that you have been ignored and marginalized by the government and the rest of your country. I feel you when you talk about how hard you pushed for Hillary and the issues that are important to you but lost anyway. I can relate to all of these things because I have been there. The entire country has been there at least once in their voting lives, unless you are a first time voter.
These are not new feelings. You are not unique in your feelings of despair. Many voters have spent the last eight years feeling exactly the way you are feeling now. Millions of us were saddened and hurt when President Obama won both of his elections in ’08 and ’12. Contrary to what you may have heard in your own little political bubble, there are millions of voters out there who hold different beliefs and values than you. There are actually people who do not think abortion rights are more important than the economy. I know. Its crazy right? There are huge populations of people out there that may not think LGBT rights are more important than terrorism. That doesn’t mean they don’t support LGBT rights but it may not be their number one priority. Shocker! A huge, I mean huge, number of citizens in this country support fixing the immigration system while not simultaneously hating immigrants themselves. I know you didn’t think that was possible but, unbelievably, it is.
Your candidate did not win this election, this time. It happens. You know what that means? You go back to the polls in four years and vote again for the next candidate that shares most of your beliefs and priorities. That is how our election system works. We do not have do-overs. We do not recall electoral college votes just because we are not happy with the results. We do not promote violence against those who have voted in opposition to our views. We do not protest and riot in the cities’ streets as if we are toddlers throwing a tantrum because mommy took away our favorite toy.
This country has survived many wars, external and internal, to become the great nation it is today. We have evolved with the change in times. People of every race, religion, gender, and belief have the same right to vote as another. We have a two-party system that allows people of different values to align themselves with the candidate that represents them the most. This is what has worked for more than 200 years.
What Hillary supporters, mostly Democrats, have shown us these past two days is that they are not willing to accept an election if it does not fit their needs or wants. A party that claims to want equality for everyone and for all people to have the same opportunities is attempting to negate and silence half of the country. A petition on change.org to have the electoral college voters change their vote to “faithless voters” on December 19th so Hillary can win is completely opposite to what this country’s entire election system is about.
Imagine if Hillary had won but she was just a couple hundred thousand votes shy of winning the popular vote but the electoral college vote wasn’t even close. Imagine that she flipped counties and states that used to be solid Republican. Picture in your mind that nobody thought she even had a chance of winning a few states, much less states that used to be red. Now imagine that while you were happy she won, because you voted for her, you didn’t come to that decision lightly. Then, imagine watching the news and seeing thousands of protesters screaming foul names and chanting “not my president” and “fuck Clinton”. Imagine the news anchors, pundits, celebrities, and YouTubers all crying and telling you how horrible it is that she was elected and that the country is going to be destroyed. Imagine every person who voted for Trump attacking you and calling you hateful names and telling you how pissed they are that you voted against them and their livelihood.
That is what Trump voters have been dealing with for months and 1000% worse since the election. Our friends, classmates, and even strangers have been attacking us and our views. Friends telling us that we cannot possible have any love for anyone and still vote for Trump. Students in high school accusing other white students of being racist because Trump was elected. Hispanic students making jokes about deporting white people because their ancestors were immigrants. People afraid to speak to anyone about how they voted for fear of being chastised and “unfriended” by people who claim to care about them.
I have had my own “friends” tell me that I voted against them. I do not understand this. Are we not supposed to vote our conscience? Do we vote for the betterment of our friends or do we vote the issues we care about? Is my family supposed to suffer so that my friends can be happy?
There was a hidden voter this election cycle. We were silent but we were not silenced. We made our voices heard through our vote. Our vote was a referendum on all career politicians and corruption. We made it clear that we were tired of the same policies and ideals from the same political families over and over. We wanted something new. We were willing to try an unknown. 60,000,000 people voted for a man who has a dirty mouth, a loud and obnoxious personality, and a sometimes questionable character because we are sick and tired of wondering when our elected officials are going to hear us. They hear us now.
I will not apologize for my vote. I feel for you. I know you are upset but I will not be part of a process that doesn’t include each person having a voice. I will not be silenced because you don’t like what the other half of the country thinks. I will not allow you to bully me into voting what you believe or who you believe in. This is OUR country. Not mine, not yours. Ours. In this country we make compromises. Its your turn.