Danielle Elkins: We should come together as Americans, despite our differences
Although Election Day is in the rear view mirror, its aftermath is not.
Social media is explosive with hate, and we’ve seen riots break out in several areas of the United States in protest of Donald Trump’s triumph over rival Hillary Clinton.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users alike are spewing insults in every direction, arguing relentlessly over politically charged status updates, tweets and memes. Even worse, some rioters have gone as far as to destroy public property, burn Old Glory and promote violence in the wake of the election.
It’s difficult for me to keep quiet — there’s just too much that I need to say about what I observed on Wednesday morning when scrolling through my Facebook news feed and watching the news while waiting for my coffee to finish brewing.
In just a few minutes of being on Facebook, I read several status updates that offended me personally. For example, one person said he hopes everyone who “voted to make America white again is happy.” Another person said that any woman who voted for Trump is “basically asking to be raped.” Yet another person said that voters for Trump are all, in fact, stupid.
I voted for Donald Trump.
I can assure you that I am not racist, I do not support rape culture and I am not stupid.
We all have our reasons for voting the way we do, and it’s important for us to understand that it does not make a person incompetent if he or she didn’t vote the same way we did.
I can think of several intelligent, respectable people who have been vocal about voting for Clinton in this election, and my opinions of them have not changed based on their decisions to support her. I expect the same respect for myself and other Trump supporters who have behaved politely.
One of the beautiful things about living in this great nation is we have the freedom to openly voice our opinions on matters like politics. We should do so peacefully though, always keeping in mind that cutting down or inciting fear in others because they hold political views that differ from ours is a direct blow to the basic concepts of democracy and free thinking on which this country was founded.
Those who voted for Clinton should absolutely express their concerns, and those who voted for Trump should celebrate — but it should be done with decency and civility.
The 2016 presidential election was a turbulent one for all voters as both our Democratic and Republican candidates had a tremendous amount of controversial media coverage surrounding them. In the aftermath, we should be coming together as Americans, despite our differences in opinion.
To those who are rioting the election outcome: It’s okay to be upset that the candidate you supported didn’t win, but please don’t say that you’re ashamed to be an American; don’t personally attack others just because their opinions differ from yours; don’t destroy your community; don’t cause unnecessary issues for our hard-working police, firefighters and emergency responders; and don’t disrespect our country’s flag. By doing these things, you’re only going to cause more issues and disruption.
There are brave men and women putting their lives on the line every day to defend the American flag and the right of each of us, regardless of political views, to continue living with the freedoms we know as citizens of the United States. So, to say that you’re ashamed of this country or to mistreat its flag is to express a complete lack of respect for the sacrifices that our military personnel make.
We as a country have to move forward. It’s time to back away from the keyboards, trade your use of explicit language for words that your mothers can be proud of, stop throwing temper tantrums, and put our country’s flag back where it belongs.
The people have spoken, and Donald J. Trump is our president-elect. He’s faced with some big responsibilities and, like any president, he needs all the support he can get from the citizens of this great country he’s about to lead. Even if you aren’t pro-Trump, be pro-America.
Regardless of who is president, united we’ll stand or divided we’ll fall.
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