I’m not an idealist, I’m far too pessimistic for that. We don’t live in a world where we are perfect people, or have perfect candidates. We are flawed. All of us, and we have to accept that, in both ourselves and others. We have to sift through the good and bad in each of us and find the line that we can live with.
I’m not an idealist, but I admire the concept. So I’ll assume that you didn’t vote for Trump because you agreed with his divisive rhetoric. I’ll assume that unlike Trump you have never referred to other races as “The Blacks, ” or “The Hispanics.” That you have never groped an unwilling person, or condoned violence against those who disagreed with you.
I’ll assume that you voted for him because he promised change, and brought a new perspective. (After all that is part of why I voted for Bernie.) And that you disagree with the actions that caused him to be sued multiple times for discrimination and sexual harassment. The problem is that then I am left with assuming that it simply didn’t matter that much to you. And that matters to me.
I keep hearing people say that we shouldn’t let politics break up friendships, but for me, this isn’t about politics. It’s about decency, values, and empathy. Racism, sexism, xenophobia, this is where I draw my line. I won’t condone bigotry and I can’t look at you the same way for supporting it. This person, with his history of hate speech and bullying is who you chose to speak for you. You want to know why we can’t all get along? I want to know how you can even ask that.
Donald Trump is not the cause of our hate and divisiveness in this country. But by electing him president we effectively endorsed his behavior. We brought the hate out of the shadows and made the haters feel safe and righteous. I’d love to believe that by bringing these issues to light we can finally purge them. And that we can do so without people living in fear of their neighbors. Without them getting hurt. But I don’t believe it. After the Brexit vote in June racial and religious abuse spiked 41%, and while theses incidents declined in August, rates are still higher than pre-Brexit levels. And the same thing is already happening here. I’m not okay with this, and I’m not okay with Trump representing me and mine. And I’m not getting over it anytime soon.
I’m not an idealist. But right now, I wish I was.