Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Coming Together To Heal After An Emotional Election


Here we are, election day; only hours away from the climactic conclusion of what I would consider to be the most emotionally-charged presidential election in history (or at least in my lifetime). When this whole thing kicked off roughly 18 months ago, I think we all knew this election was going to be like nothing we had ever seen before. Thanks to social media, WikiLeaks, Project Veritas, and the overwhelmingly-biased news outlets, we were proven to be correct.

On one side, we had a Clinton, a socialist and a random smattering of a few other candidates who were mostly no-names. On the other side, we had a Bush, a neurosurgeon, a reality TV star/billionaire real estate tycoon, and enough random other slightly-above mediocre candidates to fill not one, but two debate stages. It was almost as if the Republicans decided to throw everything they had at the wall just to see what stuck.

 
I don't believe anyone expected it to be a casual 18 month stroll to election day. But I think a lot of people woke up after the primaries and were a little dumbfounded. Suddenly they realized that it wasn't a dream, or a nightmare; either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump was actually more than likely going to be the next President of the United States. It was about this time that we all gasped in succession as we thought “oh my god, what the hell have we just done??”

Even prior to this election, if you were to walk up to a random person on the street and ask them to list ten celebrities and politicians they can't stand, the odds are pretty good that at least one, if not both of these candidates could be on that list. We have literally taken two of the most detested, narcissistic people in the country, given them as much money and media attention as they could possibly want, then told them to go fight it out to determine which of them gets to play President for the next four years.

I mean come on, the jokes write themselves!

It should come as no surprise to any of us that given the two candidates we put in this race, it's been a dirty, gloves off, no holds barred battle; seemingly with almost nothing off limits. But that's what you get when you give two rich, morally-ambiguous assholes who don't know how to play nice, win fairly, or lose with grace, the opportunity to win the ultimate contest. You get this shit show we have been witnessing.

Unfortunately, the real catastrophic result of this election, is the division of our country. Don't get me wrong; we were already pretty divided after nearly eight years of an Obama Presidency. But these two candidates and the media used that division to play on our emotions and turn us against each other. They tore apart families, ruined friendships, ended relationships and caused people to lose their jobs.

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If you thought this election was difficult and painful, I hate to break it to you, but the most challenging part is yet to come. After every ballot is cast, and every vote has (hopefully) been counted, we all have to wake up November 9th, or whenever the inevitable recounts are complete, and begin to heal.

We have to try to put aside the emotions and the hurt feelings. We have to try to regain the respect we once had for certain people who happened to disagree with our choice of candidates. We have to make ourselves forgive the people who said angry hurtful things when emotions were high. And perhaps most difficult; if your candidate comes out on top, you have to win with dignity, no matter how badly you might want to rub it in the face of that really annoying friend or coworker who was constantly posting negative comments about your candidate on Facebook. If you ignore any of these words of advice, no matter which side you're on, you are only prolonging the division of our country.

I wish I could say this will be easy for me personally, but I can't. If my candidate doesn't win, I'm going to feel cheated. I'm going to be angry. I'm going to have trouble ever believing they won fairly, or deserve to hold that office. I cannot even fathom a time when I could respect that person as my President and trust that they are looking out for my best interests. But if that happens and my candidate loses, all I can do is try; and I hope you will all commit to do the same.

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