I woke up to what I thought was a nightmare yesterday morning. Our nation’s divide became apparent this past Tuesday when our nation elected a reality television star to become the next President of the United States. None of the mainstream media predicted this outcome. I have watched in shock as to how this man became a nominee with no experience, without any background in politics, without any real policies or plans other than to deport or ban Muslims and Mexicans. A man that has bullied his primary opponents, made fun of disabled people, has been accused of sexual assault by someone that was 13 at the time. A man that is not from a poor or working class family and has been known to not pay his contractors. A man who has had multiple wives and his current wife has taken very indecent photos as an ex-model. Any one of the above would have caused a scandal and made the person a nonviable candidate. In this case, the opposite happened and he made it all the way to the White House. All because white people are afraid. Afraid of change. Afraid for their security. Afraid that their way of life is disappearing. They have listened to this man fear monger and paint a doomsday portrait of America.
As a middle class, educated professional female living in a diverse suburb, I am immune to a lot of these pro- Trump people. That is why I was so devastated when this man won. Who in their right mind would elect this man into power? I am slowly realizing that there has always been racism but I will continue to choose to believe in the greater good in people. I am trying to understand the frustrations that his voters have been having with the same old politics and with Obamacare. I do work in an area where I see patients from the rural south who are anxious and living paycheck to paycheck. The education system here is lacking and there is a lot of drug use, especially meth around here. A lot of people are stuck in this cycle of poverty and don’t see a way out. They also live in homogeneous communities where a lot of their social life is centered around church. I am usually the first Muslim they have ever met. They get a lot of their news from right wing media and some have even challenged global warming to my face. I try to remember that they haven’t been educated the way that I have and may not believe in science. That the “other” can make people uncomfortable and most people don’t like their beliefs and ways challenged. I also have some friends who voted Republican because they don’t want to pay more taxes. This is something I can agree on but we also have to make sure that people aren’t falling into deeper poverty without a way out.
The same way that not all Muslims advocate terror, the same way not all white Christians are racist. We have to believe in civility and humanity. These are the traits that have made this nation great. As for making America great again, I would like to know at what point hasn’t it been great? What era are we referencing to? I know it’s great everyday that I go out and interact with the awesome people that make up this diverse nation. No nation has ever existed like this one and I hope we can all rise up and work through our differences to keep making it great. I am determined to live out the American Dream, who will join me?