Tuesday, November 08, 2016

11-8-16

Dear people of the future -

Today, Donald Trump has been elected the President of the United States of America.  He has been elected fairly, by the rules governing the electoral college.

You may read about this as you study the history of the United States.  And you may wonder how so many people not only allowed this to happen, but fully supported his election.  I have no answers.  But perhaps I can offer the smallest bit of insight, as I do not sit alone, shocked, saddened and personally devastated.

Nearly every person I know does not respect Donald Trump.  To be brash, I do not know one well meaning, intelligent person who even moderately supported Donald Trump.  More to the point, they are outright disgusted by the person he is.  The man is arrogant.  He has trampled others through his business ventures, only to see many of them fail.  The man lacks empathy.  He is a compulsive liar.  He certainly isn't someone that you would want as a boss, teacher or mentor in any capacity.  Yet, he will now hold the highest office of this nation.  The Presidency of the United States is currently the most powerful position any person can hold.  Tonight is downright frightening.

People are scared.  They are worried for the future of our nation and our people.  Markets are already down 5%.  The Mexican peso has already lost more than 5% of its value.  Those are simply numbers.  But people are scared for themselves.  Non-citizens are worried about their ability to stay here.  Women have quietly been silenced.  Silenced by losing the first woman president.  And also silenced by a man who clearly disrespects women as second rate citizens.  Many are afraid of what may become of our nation's place in the world.  Our relationships with other nations.  And in turn, our economy, our rights and our peace.

And yet, Donald Trump was elected.  He received the votes and support to do so.  If you learn about this election many years from now, I hope you have a chance to look closely at the maps and the votes.  The educated did not vote for him.  And that's not to say that formal education is the end all be all of a person.  But Donald Trump somehow summoned the support of the less educated.  The less well off.  He did so by fueling fear and hatred.  Blaming their struggles on immigrants and "others".  While nothing is farther from the truth, it worked.

The empathetic side of me wants to understand the people who resonate with him.  I honestly want to understand their struggles.  The rational side of me is hurt and furious.  How can we tell our children to be good people?  How can we say that honesty and integrity will ultimately allow them to succeed?  It's simply not true.  Our vote has somehow shouted out who we are.  We are fearful and bigoted.  We support lies that align with our prejudices more than we value ethics and compassion.  We have set the example for the world, our children and each other.  And I'm personally ashamed of it all.  Many of us are.

If this election affects our future the way I fear, I apologize on behalf of us.  The voters on November 8th, 2016.  It wasn't all of us.  But it wasn't enough of us.  I don't have the answers.  But I'm sorry nonetheless.

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