Earlier this morning, I posted to Facebook asking the Trump supporters in my life to tell me what concerns motivated them to vote for him. I asked them to keep it to, “I am concerned about xyz” and leave it at that, and I did get a few polite responses.
To Trump supporters and others who are celebrating the results of this election:
I hear your concerns, now hear mine.
At least 8 transgender kids killed themselves today.
My friends are asking questions about their safety and security in this world, everything from wondering about their future careers as female academics in the sciences, to am I going to be able to keep my health insurance, to are our rights as a married couple safe? Others are wondering if they will be deported and forced to leave their kids behind.
We’re not just talking about nice-to-haves. We’re talking about the fabric of daily life. We’re talking about basic safety and human rights, the ability to take care of ourselves, and to believe that our fellow Americans won’t throw us under the bus.
People are crying, not because Clinton lost or Trump won, but because half the country just elected a man who declares that most of us aren’t people. According to him, women are objects, Muslims are terrorists, being LGBTQ is a heinous choice instead of a natural expression of humanity, climate change is bullshit, immigrants are ruining everything, and threatening and inciting violence against those who disagree with you is OK. Do you see what he’s doing there? He’s defining people as problems. How can we feel safe if our president-elect sees us as problems to be crushed or swept aside?
We’re afraid, in a way none of us have ever been due to an election. We’re afraid that the next four years could undo the hard work of the last 50 years.
I hear you celebrating that your concerns were heard in the outcome of this election. But this grief and fear is happening simultaneously.
We need to learn how to talk and listen to each other again. We need to find the issues we agree on and the ones we can support each other on even if we don’t give them the same level of importance. We need to stop this zero sum political game in its tracks.
I want to see a very different presidential election in four years, one that’s less divisive and polarized. But that’s the long term. Starting tomorrow, I want to see all of us more engaged with local politics and with each other. I want to know that you hear me, that you hear us. It may take some time for others who feel as strongly as I do about this outcome to be ready to listen, but I want you to feel heard too.
We need to deconstruct our echo chambers and rediscover the humanity in those who disagree with us. And we need you to stand with us to protect the human rights and our planet that are now under attack.